Discussing about money can easily transform a loving couple into long-time enemies, lashing out tirades of never forgotten money decisions from way back centuries ago. If you find yourself frequently engaged in a battle with your partner regarding your family’s finances, you are not alone. Studies have shown that money is indeed one of the most common topics that couples argue about. If you are tired from these unending arguments, try to employ these strategies when talking about your family’s finances.
1. Set rules. It’s easy to let your defenses up when discussing about money. However, this age-old strategy will definitely not get your family anywhere. To avoid repeatedly heading to the boxing ring each time you talk about money, try to establish rules. Agree on the no blaming, no yelling, and no arguing rule. And as hard as it may be, try to treat the discussion as if you would talk about the next family vacation. Remember that talking about money doesn’t have to be stressful because in the long run, it can lead to the family’s financial stability.
2. Forget about the past and move forward. Do not allow each other’s money mistakes to haunt your every discussion about the family’s finances. Let those unwise money decisions serve its purpose by being guidelines on how to properly handle money. Trust that with regards to spending habits, past experiences are the best teachers. So look on to the future with hope knowing that you are both equipped with the right money management skills.
3. Embrace the fact that some things may take time. Do not immediately expect your partner to change his spending habits because the learning process may take awhile. Be supportive, and help each other out in making sure that you stick to your financial goals.
4. Prepare ahead for any major financial adjustment. Job loss or a decrease in the family’s income may demand major adjustments in the family’s spending habits. If you need to give up some work hours for your family, you need to clearly discuss with your partner what you expect to happen with the family’s finances. This should be addressed prior to the impending change so that an ongoing battle on who pays what will not ensue.
5. Set aside a fixed amount for the family’s budget and for personal spending. Most couples argue about where the money should go. Agree on a monthly budget and employ strategies on how you will not overspend. To satisfy each other’s wants and to avoid arguments on the smallest splurge, agree on an amount that you will both get each month from the family’s money. The amount of the allowance should be determined from the family’s extra money – after paying bills and debt, and after allocating an amount for the family’ savings.
6. Plan about the future. Do not live on a paycheck to paycheck basis because you can never predict how much you will earn a few years from now. Work on securing your family’s future by planning on big investments like a house, retirement plan, life insurance policy, or even an emergency fund. Financial planning can help your family attain long term goals, so try to utilize a strategy that will help you do just that.
7. Be honest. Do not act like you belong to the debating team when you are confronted about your money habits. Be open and honest because this builds TRUST, which is a vital aspect in the success of any partnership.
Couples have varied set-ups with regards to handling money. While some couples find it beneficial to have a combined account, there are others who prefer to handle their money independently. Whether you combine the family’s income or you prefer to handle your own, the important thing to remember is that financial success can only be achieved through hard work and team work.