If you think money and romantic relationships do not go together, you are certainly not the only one. That’s because money is a huge issue in many relationships, and it’s one of the most common causes of splits. No matter how much you care about your significant other, combining your lives and money can lead to issues down the road. Luckily, there are a few ways to make things work out better. The key is to remember you are a team, not two separate entities.
1. Consider Increasing Your Income
Many times, money fights come from there not being enough money to cover all that month’s expenses. While you should still address the root of the issue with your significant other, you may want to consider ways of boosting your income as well. Getting a higher-paying job in another field can help you make the most of your working years. Getting your degree in a relevant area can help increase your job prospects. While college can be expensive, you can get a student loan to cover the cost and ease the financial burden. You can click here to view your options.
2. Make Sure Money is Combined
It can be tempting to think having separate accounts will make things easier. That way, each person’s paycheck is paying for their own expenses. However, this can actually lead to big issues in your relationship. That’s because a relationship should be more of a partnership instead of his and hers. if you separate your money and bills, you will start to have relationship issues later on. Keeping money together also helps you have open conversations, as spending is much more transparent.
3. Recognize Personality Differences
Everyone has a different approach to money, and in many relationships, opposites attract. One of you might be better at numbers than the other, while another might be more inclined toward frugalness. Personality differences can cause friction, but that is not a cause of relationship issues. Instead, it is neglecting to listen to the other person. If one person handles most of the financial details, they should share the information with the other person. Even if you aren’t as into the numbers as the other person, you should still take the time to offer encouragement, criticism, and feedback. Consider yourself a team that works together.
4. Avoid Letting Pay Differences Come Between You
It is not uncommon in relationships for one to make more income than the other. But no matter how much this difference is, issues can arise. The one who makes more might feel they have some type of leverage over the other one because they may feel like they control the money. They might feel like they should have more say over the money. However, that just causes more issues. Instead, consider your money as belonging to both of you. Think of yourselves as being part of the same team, and ensure your decisions reflect that. Of course, the one who does not earn as much or stays home should not feel like they do not get any say. If you are a stay-at-home mom, you don’t have to feel guilty about spending something beyond what you need. In fact, a stay-at-home parent might provide more value than they think, as this prevents them from needing to pay for childcare.
5. Keeping Everything in the Open
When you think of lying to your spouse, an affair might be the first thing that comes to mind. However, that’s not the only way you can defraud them. Having another bank account or putting cash away is another way of being deceitful to them. This prevents you from reaching your shared financial goals as quickly. If you have a credit card, they do not know anything about, you are also lying to them. If you have any other accounts or credit cards, it is important to be open about everything. This helps you stay on the same page and avoids hurt feelings about finances. Owning up is the first step, and you can then work toward rebuilding your trust in each other. Coming together to recommit to your goals will help you remember why you are doing these things. Remember that you are in it together, and having everything in the open will help you reach your goals as a team.
6. Set Realistic Expectations
If you don’t have the same expectations and find they are not met, conflicts can arise. You will likely feel unsatisfied with your significant other if things do not go as expected. If you thought you would purchase a house right away, you may feel dissatisfied if you are still renting for a while. However, know that there is no rule in life saying you have to do anything by a certain timeline. If you can’t do something right away, don’t worry about it. Getting your money in order allows you to turn your dreams into a reality.
7. Avoid Letting the Kids Run Things
The kids might ask for new toys, trips, video games, clothing, or other items. It can be tempting to give in, especially if it is the path of least resistance. However, your significant other may be upset if this was not something in the budget. This can put a strain on your relationship. Kids can highlight the differences in how you and your spouse view money, so it is important to discuss things to make a plan. Decide with each other whether the kids need sports equipment, an allowance, toys, or other items.
You should create a budget entry for the things they need, such as clothing or schooling. It will be up to you and your significant other to determine whether they need the things they have asked for. Spend some time talking about whether they should receive an allowance for doing extra work around the house. It helps them learn the importance of establishing a strong work ethic early on. You can help them use their allowance wisely so they also learn how to budget.