Money is the #1 thing that couples argue about so here are some tips to keep your relationship strong even if your bank account is not.
No Secret Money – A lot of times I hear couples say, “I have a personal account that I keep just in case.” In case of what? In case he runs off with his secretary? Secret accounts just indicate and lead to secrets in the relationship. If you have accounts in your own name and insist on keeping them, make sure your partner knows where the money is, how to access it, and how much is there. If you worry that they might take it from you, you might not be in the right relationship.
Be Honest About Your Spending Habits – Some people are more frugal than others. If you have a secret passion for shoe shopping that you are trying to hide from your husband or that he finds out about only when investigating the credit card bill, you are damaging your relationship. My husband and I set a threshold amount over which we call one another for approval before purchasing. Not only does it keep you honest but it makes you have to ask yourself if you really want/need that item.
Do a Budget – You should have a household budget that you and your spouse create together at least once a year or when your financial situation changes. I can’t believe how many people say that they do not know how much money they need to live each month. That’s like driving your car around without being able to tell the level of your gas tank. Don’t get stranded, know what you and your spouse are spending.
Clarify Money Matters with Children – Kids can smell weakness so if they know that Dad will always say no to a toy or extra $5 they will game the system and get it from mom. Letting your kids play you against one another is not only dangerous for your relationship but also to your children’s own feelings about finance down the road. Even try an app like iallowance which will let your kid track the money they have coming in and going out. Finance management is one of the most important things for your to teach your kids.
Try Cost-Cutting Projects – Even though there is no direct correlation between having money and being happy, there are many other issues that you can avoid (foreclosure, health, burnout) that can be addressed with more money. Make money saving a game. Make bets on who can cut the most from their workday lunches, clothing budget, or grooming. The person who saves the most this week gets the dishes done by their partner for a week. See who can get the most creative about their money-saving pledge. Cutting financial corners is never fun but if you turn it into a little friendly competition and you can both win.
If you’ve recently started dating someone new and want to broach the topic of finances with your new partner, READ MORE HERE