“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” — Epicurus (341-270 B.C.)
You’re in a new relationship and you really want it to last. We love many things about our partners, but values about money can create a great divide. It can be a tool that assists both parties in striving toward a common goal and helping to strengthen the relationship; or it can cause much angst and tear your liaison apart. There is good news – the way YOU decide to handle money is a choice that you can have control over!
Some advice would be to create a plan that includes the following:
Communicate – A great relationship can be established by discussing your feelings on this subject and work to come to an agreement about your finances; this means taking both sides into consideration. Opposites attract, this is why one of you may have a high tolerance for risk and the other a very low tolerance. By balancing each other you may find you have the perfect solution.
Understand your partner’s viewpoint – In many cases men and women view money differently. For many women it is a means for security and stability where men may take more risks with money in order to build their self-esteem. Help each other understand the different perspectives, then work on an agreement for your overall goals.
Have a Financial Plan – It is important to work together and come up with some rules and limits. Create a monthly budget and if possible, agree to an amount you can spend without consulting one another. Some financial freedom may be beneficial even in a team relationship.
Issues disguised as Money Problems – Too often disagreements about money may have more to do with security, control, self-esteem and love. When you discuss money issues make sure there isn’t a larger problem at hand. You both need to be honest when talking about how you personally feel about money. We all have different money histories so discuss how you dealt with money in the past and how together you can make a plan that suits both of you.
Plan for the unexpected – Make time to discuss the “What if’s?” Together visit different money scenarios and convey how you each would handle these situations (loss of job, bounced checks, lost credit card, joint vs. separate accounts, etc.). Voice all your concerns, even those regarding spending habits of the other.
Working together as a team and ALWAYS having clear lines of communication will help benefit your relationship not only in money matters, but in building a solid life time commitment.
Answers from AZ