WORK-LIFE BALANCE / NOV. 13, 2014
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How to Stop Fighting About Money

Even if you have a strong solid relationship, you and your partner might have an occasional fight. And sometimes, this tension revolves around finances. As a matter of fact, money is one of the main topics couples fight about. But fortunately, there are ways to minimize these heated discussions.

1. Make financial decisions together

Making financial decisions together is one way to stop fighting about money. Problems can develop when one person makes costly purchases without consulting the other. One spouse might perceive this as a dishonest move; and if the purchase was irresponsible, it can have a trickle-down effect and complicate household finances. Therefore, it’s important for couples to talk about purchases, and decide together, whether it’s a smart decision.

2. Recognize your partner’s financial strengths

Maybe you’re a saver and your partner is a spender. This can create issues in any relationship. Unfortunately, you can’t change a person’s spending pattern overnight. So, as you work out a compromise, focus on your partner’s financial strengths. He might be a spender, but at the same time, he might have zero credit card debt and a high credit score. This demonstrates a level of financial responsibility, thus worth of commendation.

3. Increase household income

Perhaps you fight about money because there isn’t enough to cover all your household expenses. If this is the case, look for ways to generate extra income. Do both of you work? If so, is this full-time or part-time employment? If you’re living off one income, a stay-at-home spouse might contribute to the household income with a part-time job one or two days a week, or with a home-based job. This helps reduce financial stress and calms tension in the household.

4. Balance the checkbook and manage the finances together

Problems can also develop when one person is financially naïve. If you’re the so-called financial one, you might pay all the bills and manage all the family’s finances. However, this approach can handicap your partner and he or she might not truly understand how much it takes to run a household. But if you share this responsibility and tackle bills together, your spouse may begin to understand how impulse shopping and poor budgeting complicates your finances.

5. Don’t lie about purchases, debts or assets

To enjoy a good relationship with your partner, be honest in all things. Don’t lie about or hide purchases. Don’t sugarcoat any debts you may have. And don’t hide money from your partner. Eventually he or she may discover your secret, which can trigger hurt feelings and tension in the relationship.

6. Don’t discuss money when you’re angry

If your spouse makes a huge financial mistake, you may be justifiably angry and eager to discuss the issue with him or her. But if you’re highly emotional, this isn’t the time to discuss money. Money discussions can get heated fast. Therefore, it’s wise to calm down first, and then work together to resolve a financial issue

7. Get a financial advisor

No matter how hard you try, you and your partner may be unable to get on the same page financially. If so, consider working with a financial advisor — basically an impartial third party who can help get your income and personal finances on the right track. A financial advisor can take a look at your situation and determine where you’re making mistakes. And if your spouse contributes to the bulk of your money problems, an advisor can bring these shortcomings to his or her attention. Your spouse might listen to a professional even if they won’t listen to you.

Don’t let discussions about money drive a wedge in your relationship. Together, you can get to the root of financial problems and find a solution that’s a win-win for the both of you.

 

Image: iStock

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