Is money causing trouble in your personal relationships? If so, you are not alone! A recent poll by American Consumer Credit Counseling found that nearly 3 in 5 Americans say money is the leading cause of stress in their relationship. The higher the consumer’s income level, the higher the level of stress over money. In addition, 31% reported that it did cause problems or conflict in their marriages. That stress may translate into serious problems affecting your relationship. This can ultimately lead to divorce if differences can’t be worked out in a constructive way.
Let’s point out that this poll was done before the added financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So how can you keep money from negatively impacting your personal relationships? First of all, according to the experts, you have to understand that money is usually tied up in feelings about power and control in a relationship. Having as much balance as possible between partners can make it less stressful for both people.
Here are a few tips for managing financial issues in your relationships.
Your Emotional Ties With Money
Understand that the way finances impact your relationship has everything to do with your relationship with money. If you grew up in a household with a very tight budget, you are likely to be very frugal and a careful spender. You can maintain that tight grip on money, even if you are now a successful adult. Or, the opposite could be true. Maybe you grew up in a household where you got everything on a silver platter, and money never seemed to be a problem.
Either way, you need to recognize the emotional ties you have with money. This will help you avoid letting your personal feelings get in the way of concrete financial planning. Being logical and productive about your money goals and spending can help any discussions about money be less fraught with emotion.
Learn From Each Other’s Habits
If you find a partner who looks at money and saves or spends as you do, that’s great. But, more often than not, there may be some things you like and some things you do not like about your partner’s way of managing money. Take a look at each other’s spending and budgeting habits. Be willing to embrace the ones you admire, and talk about changing the ones that you do not.
Communications is Key
As with anything in a healthy relationship, open and honest communication is key to minimizing financial strength. Letting money issues fester can cause arguments about other things. When you communicate about money often, and it’s an open topic of conversation, where each person isn’t afraid to speak up about how they feel, it’s going to lead to more productive talks. Extreme financial stress can sink the ship of any good relationship. Navigating those financial waters can be tricky, at best. If you need help, it’s always a good idea to look to a third party for assistance. A financial advisor can help set you and your partner on the right track to untangling some of the issues you are facing with money and mediate a plan that works for everyone. This will help you both deal with money problems better in the long run.