Money Conflicts

Some people say that our most common and most frustrating problems have to do with either finances or romances. So when you combine both of these, you have the potential for some explosive and destructive arguments. Sometimes, money conflicts can seethe beneath the surface of a relationship for weeks, months, or even years, deteriorating the trust. So it is vital that you take a good hard look at the role that money plays in your relationship and how you can work together to get the most out of your budget.

There are some very common money issues that cover the problems most couples have when it comes to finances. The first one that may arise in a marriage or live-in relationship is budgeting. Your budget is not just a list of how you spend your cash or what bills are due at what time of the month. You budget includes several compromises in your relationship that will determine who does what and when. If these agreements are not upheld on both ends, trouble ensues.

When first determining your budget, you need to work out the basics. Determine which bills are due for the entire household and when the regular due dates are. You will both have individual bills each month such as car insurance, but you will share the responsibility of many household costs. You will need to determine who pays these bills and how. You may want to split them up or designate one partner for this chore.

The rest of the household budget may need to be handled with more finesse. If one partner makes more money than the other, you might consider settling on a percentage of your incomes that you will contribute to the household budget. For example, if you make $40K and your partner makes $60K, then you can both contribute ten or twenty percent of your income to the upkeep of the household. This way, you both have disposable income left over without one of you making more of a sacrifice for the home than the other.

Another common area of financial conflict in couples is spending. If you partner goes out and buys a $2,000 dining table, you will definitely have a reaction. If you have wanted a dining table just like it for months, you may be thrilled. But if you have been saving your funds for a second honeymoon, you may be angry that your partner made such a huge buying decision without you.

To solve this problem, many couples make a rule about large spending. You could determine that anything over a certain amount requires joint approval before you spend. You could also determine a time of the month when you discuss your individual spending allowances from the joint account. This way, you know what you have for the month and don’t need to discuss this with your partner at the check out counter.

One of the most volatile topics in relationships is when one partner makes more money than the other. This is especially true when the woman makes more money than the man. The traditional view of the man as the provider has set up a stereotype that can easily bring friction and resentment to a couple’s happy home.

To avoid this, be open and honest about your feelings. If you are resentful, say so. But do it in a way that does not blame your partner for the inequality. Try to work out an arrangement for the household expenses similar to the percentage arrangement mentioned above. Let the person who is making more money contribute the same percentage to the household as the person who is making less. Then create a joint account for mutual spending.

Overall, the best policy for any money conflict is open and frank discussion. But remember that financial issues can be very personal and bring up sensitive feelings. So be respectful and open to new ideas from your partner.

 

 

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