Disagreements about money can be an underlying issue for relationship difficulties. Too often couples don’t talk about financial matters until months or years into a serious relationship. They also never establish short or long term goals or be honest with each other regarding the annoying money habits of the other.
Why are financial matters so important to discuss early on in a relationship?
Money issues are still given as the number one reason that marriages end in divorce. Many times, having an honest discussion at the beginning of a relationship can be helpful. Overlooking financial habits in your partner that are upsetting is not a good foundation for a long term relationship.
When should couples start discussing important money issues?
You probably shouldn’t discuss credit scores on the first date but as the relationship moves to being more serious, start talking about easy subjects such as their level of student loan debt or credit card debt. Maybe even what they spend their money on when they are not with you because this can give you insights on spending and saving habits.
What are subjects to discuss if the relationship becomes more serious?
As you feel more comfortable with where the relationship is heading you should then move into discussing each other’s current financial situation in depth. This is when credit score and current net worth are important to understand about each other. You don’t want to find out after you are married about a financial situation that could stress your marriage from the very beginning.
What is one of biggest reasons married couples have relationship difficulties related to money?
One of the biggest - agreeing when to consult the other on an unplanned purpose. Some might think anything over $100 should be discussed while for others think that limit is $1,000. If you don’t agree on the amount that is okay to spend without talking to the other person, it creates friction that can grow over time and lead to an emotional tug of war when it comes to other decisions.
How should couples handle financial matters in a relationship?
The most important, everyone needs to be an equal partner regardless of their income contribution to the budget. Unequal partnerships can lead to resentment or even apathy to all financial matters. Also, develop a long term plan together, regularly discuss the plan and understand that everyone will have priorities that change over time requiring the plan to be adjusted accordingly.
What is the most important advice for couples to avoid money fights?
Compromise and understanding is the key. When it comes to financial matters, it’s not about getting your way or winning, it’s about doing what is best financially and emotionally for the both of you. Making decisions with each other’s best interest in mind is critical. With that mentality, money troubles are less likely to happen.