Money is not an easy thing for some couples to manage. The very topic can cause arguments and general discord in the relationship. Often, when money is tight, they blame each other’s spending habits. This is not a new trend; in fact it is an age old dilemma.
A couple’s financial state can even lead to breakups and divorce in some marriages. Instead of giving in to frustration and stress, it is best to find ways to manage household finances as a team. This way, both people are aware of their financial situation at all times.
The problem can be how to talk to each other without playing the blame game. This is especially important if one’s spending habits need to change. Pointing fingers only makes the other one defensive and angry.
Agree to talk
This might sound odd, but it is important to agree to sit down and calmly discuss your financial situation. The reason this agreement is important is because money talk can quickly turn into angry silent treatment or slamming doors and crying. Decide on a time when neither of you will be distracted or too tired to talk.
Prior to the agreed upon date/time, plan to shut off phones and make arrangements so that you both will not be interrupted. You want to both be able to sit down and really focus on the financial issues. This is a time to talk, not point fingers or get defensive.
Put it on paper
One suggestion is to each write down what they consider important financial matters. When you sit down to talk, bring those lists. Talk about each list and why those items are important. You may some of the same items written down like rent, utilities, etc.
The reason these lists are important is that you both will be able to see what the other views as financial priorities. From there, you both can decide what should go and what should stay on a combined list. Be prepared because this could lead to some tense moments. Just try to remain focused on harmoniously resolving any heated moments.
The next suggested step is to discuss the non-essential spending. This includes things like hobbies, eating out, shopping sprees, etc. Try to reach a happy medium for both of you. After all, everyone deserves something special once in a while. Life can get very boring and frustrating when you can’t spoil yourself or the ones you love on occasion.
Special treats are important. However, there has to be a limit or else there will continue to be financial problems. You both must be willing to eliminate certain frivolities. You could each choose one or two special treats and have those to look forward to each month/pay day. The rest will probably have to be sacrificed in order to save money.
Create a budget
The final suggested step is to create a workable budget. List all of the monthly living expenses like rent, the secondary expenses like auto insurance and finally the “fun” expenses. Add together each item in one category and that is what is allowed for that category. Total each category and subtract from the total monthly income. What is left is what can go into savings for emergencies.
The above budget description sounds so easy, so cut and dried. However, it is not always as simple as it sounds. For example some bills can fluctuate in amount owed, such as utilities. When making a budget, it is important to take this into account.
A budget can work really well for couples as long as both people adhere to it. It is suggested that couples sit down each month and go over the budget so they know exactly where they stand financially. They may even find ways to cut corners and save enough money for a well deserved romantic getaway down the road!
No one likes to feel as though their financial world is crumbling. Not being able to cover monthly living expenses is a very stressful thing to deal with. If you have a partner who spends more than their share of the monthly income, it can get very frustrating. This is why managing the money together is the only way to go.
When couples work as a team, they can often reach acceptable compromises and resolve their financial troubles. It is not easy and both people must be willing to do their part. Couples must be able to sit down each month and calmly discuss the budget and evaluate where they stand financially. Working together, couples can tackle finances and come out ahead.