Are money issues plaguing your marital bliss? Well, you're definitely not alone. In fact, research shows that couples fight more about money than any other issue—including sex, jobs, children, and religion.
For a relationship to be healthy and sustainable, both people must be committed to working through money issues. If your marriage is going through a financial rough patch, don’t worry! With a little work and a lot of communication, you'll get through the tough times.
Here are 4 money management tips to get back on the road to a happy and stable relationship:
Tip #1: Hold Yourself Accountable
Let's face it—your spouse probably isn't the only one to blame for financial problems in your relationship. Many people have bad habits when it comes to managing and spending money.
So before confronting your spouse, take some time to carefully analyze your own money habits. See if there are ways you can improve and then jot down ideas about how to make positive changes. When you lead by example, you’ll inspire your spouse to improve their financial habits as well.
Tip #2: Don’t Play the Blame Game
Conversations about money with your partner can get feisty. However, don’t let anger or resentment get the best of you.
Shaming your partner will only embarrass, humiliate, or anger him/her—so be cautious when you talk about money. If you feel that your partner is too careless with money or doesn't include you in financial decisions enough, calmly express how it makes you feel.
Try using this formula: "Whenever you [insert money habit], it makes me feel [insert emotion]."
Explain your thoughts and feelings logically and ask your partner if they'd be willing to work as a team to improve. Keeping any anger and resentment out of a money conversation will make it much more positive and productive!
Tip #3: Make Plans for your Future
One of the most unique ways to improve your relationship as a couple is to start planning for a successful financial future that you will enjoy together. Perhaps you want to save for a home, car, vacation, or early retirement.
Whatever the two of you envision for your future, start making decisions about how you'll reach those goals. Come up with a plan that you can stick to. Many of your financial goals will be long-term, so make sure to have little celebrations every few months to acknowledge your progress.
Tip #4: Talk about Spending Ahead of Time
Since you and your spouse probably won't be together every time you buy something, it's important to talk about big purchases ahead of time. The discussion could be as simple as making a phone call while you're shopping and asking, "Are you ok with me getting these shoes?"
It might seem a little overboard and juvenile, but trust me, considering your partner’s thoughts and feelings will pay off in the long run!
Money isn't always easy to talk about, but that doesn’t mean it has to wreak havoc in your relationship. Use these 4 tips to improve your finances as a couple and make your relationship stronger.