Wealth and Love. Choose One.
Money issues is one of the biggest cause of cracks and potholes in any romantic relationships, the type that you can repair and fix but never heal from. Arguments about money hampers almost every type of relationship, from early days of dating to even happily married couples.
If you consider that about a third of adults with partners report that money is one of the biggest source of conflict in their relationships, it’s no wonder that financial problems are a leading cause of ending relationships.
Do you constantly find yourself arguing with your significant other half about money? You are not alone. When you place money and love in the same jar, spats are bound to happen and sparks flying around violently (the negative type of sparks). Let’s look at some of the common traits that puts money in the spotlight in your relationship:
3 common individual traits that causes money arguments and conflicts:
Spending too much on hobbies or interest
You have always loved to collect something in your life and over time it became a hobby. As you age and progress in your career, you tend to spend more on your hobbies which for some, can cost a bomb but you are still doing it out of passion.
For men, collecting watches is considered normal while for women, perfume collections is a symbol of their status in society. These hobbies are only for the rich and famous, not for the faint hearted or those who live by monthly paycheques.
Impulse buying is one of the scariest way to deplete your savings over time. You can plan your finances anyhow you want, but when impulse buying kicks in when you are browsing social media or even window shopping, that is when you will suddenly realise the dent in your wallet increased in size for no reason.
When you see that pair of lovely heels, you know you need to get your hands on it no matter what it costs (even though you have an entire closet of heels at home)! That feeling gets even worse while trying on the heels and without second thought, you swipe your credit card for it.
When the monthly credit card statement arrives in your email, you knew that you did it again. You bought something that you do not really need, but out of impulse. Again.
You know that you should contribute fairly to the household bill with your significant other half when you move in and live together, but the temptations of online shopping is too much to resist.
Even when it comes to getting the tab for dinner or during takeout , you always find excuses to not be the one paying even though you may earn more than your significant other half.
Selfish. Plain simple selfish.
Arguments about money can be really destructive. It literally sends you down a warpath with your significant other half, heatedly discussing about resentment that seeded itself over time from petty things which eventually blew out of proportion. Money arguments almost always involve at least one person feeling insecure about the financial stability of the relationship.
In addition, we still need the essential emotional need for security. For many, financial stability plays a key role in meeting that need. It’s no secret that cultivating a solid relationship that hopefully leads to marriage takes time and effort. No matter how much you love your significant other half, trying to merge your lives with your money, debts, attitude and personality can be a really bumpy ride.
Does this mean that once financial arguments crop up in a love relationship, there is no solution to it?
No. There is always a fix to every problem when you are in a romantic relationship. Remember that.
Top 4 mistakes couples make when it comes to money and relationship – and how to fix them
Having separate bank accounts
Some couples believe that the best way to avoid financial arguments is to keep separate accounts. Each have their own account for paycheque and they each pay bills separately, avoiding knowledge on what each other’s financial capabilities are. No harm, no foul. Sound’s great? WRONG!
Being in a relationship is basically being in a partnership. Both parties must be involved in the finances and separating the money and splitting the bills is a bad idea.
Start with having a joint savings account and discipline yourself to commit a fixed amount of saving together.
Disagreement about lifestlye
You are perfectly content buying from online stores when you need to update your threads while your partner loves to buy name-brand designer items at full price. If your income doesn’t match your spending preference, that’s going to be a problem.
Being in love and together is about compromise. If either one is strongly attached to name-brand items, consider at least shopping at outlet malls by snagging those brands at discount or affordable price.
Your lifestyle has to be in-line with your actual income, not what you “wish” your income was.
Allowing salary differences to divide each other
For most couples, one of them probably makes much more money than the other. Rarely, both will be making the same exact amount of salary. Whether the difference is $50 or $50,000 a year, the same problem arises when the one who earns more thinks they have leverage over the other and feels entitled for the most say – all thanks to an extra few digits on their paycheque.
Don’t ever go down that route unless you are asking for more relationship troubles.
It’s not “yours” or “mine”.
Always remember it’s “OURS”. You are on the same team so start acting on it.
Committing Financial Unfaithfulness
Being unfaithful doesn’t always involve having an affair. It can be as simple as opening a side bank account or stashing away cash. That’s deceitful and being unfaithful.
Be open and honest about any side savings accounts or even credit cards that you have. It’s time to own up to the truth and clear up the air, then work towards establishing financial trust again between the both of you. Remember – You are in this together!
To help pave the road to better financial statuses in a romantic relationship, here is a brief accounting of the most common financial issues that couples contend with:
- If you are committed in a relationship, you and your significant other half owe each other a calm, honest conversation about each other’s finances, goals, habits and anxieties.
- If debt is an issue, you can employ various tools and strategies to start paying off debts and get on to a better financial footing
- Having kids together changes everything. Ideally, couples should communicate their expectations and ideas about how to raise and pay for the kids well before they are born.