The stress of paying a mortgage, getting money together for a vacation, creating a college fund for the kids…with so much financial stress to cope with, it’s no secret that money is one of the top reasons why couples fight. If you’re constantly arguing with your partner about money, you’re not alone and the good news is that, with a little understanding and communication, you can get on the same page and start enjoying a happier, healthier relationship. The following are some tips for financial bliss when you’re one half of a couple.
Have a Not-So-Secret Stash
Our advice here is to set up a ‘mad money’ account. A mad money account has cash that each person in a couple can spend without having to check with their partner first. Wouldn’t it be nice to buy a new handbag or a new part for your car without having to justify the purchase to your partner? The fact that it’s not a secret stash means that you both don’t have to ask/answer questions about the cash that comes from that account.
Open Up Communication Channels
Communication is key in every aspect of a successful relationship, but it is especially important when it comes to finances. By talking about money, you will know exactly where you both stand and you can align your goals for the future. Whether you want to build your dream home or go on vacation, if you’re both on the same page about saving and spending, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals. With open communication, you can also work together to make financial decisions that are best for both of you.
Don’t Hide Debt
You may be tempted to keep debt a secret from your partner. Hiding your credit score and loan repayments might seem like the right thing to do but it’s a big mistake. If your partner finds out that you’ve been hiding debt, it can damage the trust in your relationship. Trust is essential for a healthy relationship, so it’s important to be honest about your finances from the start. As you grow together if you are trying to grow your net worth as a twosome, debt can hinder that if it is not managed properly. Setting the common goal of eliminating debt can actually bring you both closer and teach you effective problem-solving strategies as well.
Align Your Priorities & Goals
Couples who are serious about their relationship need to be on the same page when it comes to financial priorities. This means having regular conversations about money, setting common goals, and creating a budget that works for both partners. It means co-signing on a personal loan if you are taking out credit to cover expenses you will incur together. Thinking of taking out a personal loan so you can make renovations to the home where you’re both renting? It should be a joint responsibility. Or do you both want to take out a personal loan to go backpacking to Asia? Again, it should be a joint responsibility. If you don’t have the same priorities and goals as your partner, arguments about debt and spending will start to wedge a split between you that could, over time, become a much more serious problem.