The Importance of Financial Communication
Studies have shown that money is one of the most frequents points of contention between married couples. But most of us don’t need a scientific study to tell us that. Whether you’re pinching every penny for all it’s worth or have more money than you know what to do with, sharing finances with someone else is bound to cause some disagreements.
Even the most compatible couples often have different ideas of how money should be handled. But that doesn’t mean they should call it quits if they can’t see eye to eye on financial issues. In many cases, it just means that they need to work on communication and compromise.
In many (if not most) couples, one is appointed as the financial manager of the household. This may happen after much discussion, or it may just happen without a conscious decision being made. The person managing the finances usually pays the bills, makes banking decisions and manages debts as he or she sees fit. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself, but it tends to separate the other partner from the financial picture. And when he or she does get a glimpse of it, if it’s not as good as imagined, it can cause problems.
That’s why it’s so important for both partners to have a hand in the finances. If one does not want to pay bills and such, that’s fine, but he should be kept in the loop about everything. If necessary, consider having a weekly meeting in which you discuss the state of your finances. This will eliminate unpleasant surprises and the arguments they may cause.
Keep Track of Spending
A frequent source of friction in a marriage or domestic partnership is spending. One partner might strive to be as frugal as possible so that more money can be saved or used to reduce debt, while the other feels that buying something she wants every now and then is fine. Instead of trying to work out a compromise, they might hide money or spending to avoid confrontation.
But when such lies are discovered, they’re bound to cause serious problems. That’s why it is crucial to be completely honest about not only your own spending, but your expectations for your partner’s spending. You may not see eye to eye, but being completely honest is the only way to truly know the state of your finances. It enables you to make a budget as well, and this can be a helpful tool in working out such differences.
When it comes to finances in a relationship, clear, honest communication is a must. Sharing your goals and ideas on how to achieve them will help you approach money matters as a team rather than fighting over them. Even if you have very different views on financial matters, it’s almost always possible to find a middle ground that both of you can live with.