Money stress is a common issue that arises in relationships, creating conflict where there doesn’t need to be any. It might even be more of an issue now in our world of COVID-19. People are still losing their jobs or getting paid less than they’re used to, making it difficult to get on top of debt. They may even be struggling to pay current bills.
Large amounts of debt come with pressure. We want to pay it off as quickly as possible but life happens and many of us just keep letting it grow. This can bring you down and cause you to take your stress out on the people closest to you. The money or lack thereof isn’t the primary issue. It comes down to big arguments from a lack of communication.
There are ways we can work on fixing money stress within ourselves. If you put the time and effort into changing your money habits and the ways in which you and your partner tackle these issues, you’ll be much happier for it. You guys may even come out stronger than you were before.
Communication is the biggest thing
Being open with your partner and willing to discuss your money woes is the first step to solving them.
This starts with being upfront about your finances early on in your relationship. Some people get married without having a general idea of how much debt their partner has which can become an issue down the line. Most people tend to take on more and more bills and loans as they get older. If you don’t know where each other stands financially it is likely you will take on more than you can really handle.
After you both have an understanding of each other's current finances, you can move onto other money discussions such as your desired lifestyle and future goals. You probably already have a general sense of what the other wants, but work it out in more detail. Figure out exactly what you both want in life. Do you guys want to own a home? Have children? What expenses should you plan for?
If your conversations about topics such as money don’t always go smoothly don’t be afraid to find a financial adviser or another professional that can help you talk through any issues. They can help guide you and make sure you aren’t just pointing fingers at each other.
Unless you’re surprising your significant other with a purchase (hopefully one within your budget) be clear about where your money is going.
I am guilty of hiding a purchase or two from my boyfriend. These were always purchases as simple as food delivery (we can blame that one on the pandemic) or an item I found online that I didn’t really need but thought I did. My boyfriend inevitably found out. Whether it was the empty takeout packaging or one of the new pieces of furniture in our home that just seemed to show up, it wasn’t hard for him to notice. He communicated with me that he didn’t care that I treated myself – in fact, he wanted me to – but he also wanted me to be open with him about it. I can imagine that’s the case for other couples.
You don’t have to be super strict about telling them every single thing you buy but don’t intentionally hide purchases either.
Compromise where it is needed
We all have been raised differently and instilled with beliefs about money that aren’t always the same. Because of this, it’s likely that one person in the relationship has mor