It’s a tragic and well-worn stereotype that money issues break up couples and sour relationships left, right and centre. It’s difficult to think of many other practical elements of your life with your partner that are as likely to result in as much emotional turmoil and upheaval as financial issues, if they’re not properly addressed and handled.
But while money issues can be a major source of strain, uncertainty, and bad blood in your relationship, they don’t have to be — as long as you’re mindful of taking the right kind of steps to keep everything ticking along smoothly.
Whether financial issues have already been a sticking point in your relationship with your significant other, or whether you and your partner simply need to become better at managing money, collectively, it’s worth having a sense of some of the best financial practices for couples to engage in.
Here are some financial tips for couples that can help you and your partner stave off money troubles, and improve the harmony of your household in turn.
Make Financial Decisions Jointly and Discuss Them With Each Other
This is the first and, really, the most obvious tip, but it’s remarkable just how many issues in the home stem from the simple fact that couples don’t discuss their financial decisions, and make those decisions jointly.
While it’s certainly not the case that you need to run every single little expense by each other, (“honey, is it ok if I buy a sandwich?”), it is imperative that you do discuss any purchase or financial decision which will have an impact on your joint household finances, or which will have the potential to significantly impact the course of your lives together.
If you feel that you need a loan, the first step is to do some thorough research on the issue to make sure you’re getting the best deals. On this page, for example, you’ll find information on getting money quickly, in Spain.
Aside from thorough research, however, you will also need to talk to your partner about your thoughts, your findings, and get their consent and approval before proceeding. If they object very strongly to your idea, that doesn’t mean that you can just override them and do what you want.
Instead, when you hit upon a point of contention, you need to continue the discussion, in a reasonable manner, without letting your tempers become too heated, and find a compromise which works for both of you.
Create A Shared Bank Account for Household Expenses
As a serious couple who live together, whether you’re married or not, you will have various shared expenses which aren’t too easily managed on an individual basis — unless one of you will be paying for all of the home-related expenses, or unless you both constantly go back and forward trying to work out who owes a few dollars for cleaning up liquid this week.
These kinds of household expenses may not, on the surface, seem like major issues, but rest assured, they can do the source of much turmoil and plenty of arguments, over time.
To forestall these kinds of annoying and pointless mini-battles on a near-daily basis, one of the best things you can do might be to open a shared bank account which you will use for your household expenses. That way, you can each deposit a small, fixed sum into that account on a regular basis, and either one of you can use the lump-sum present in that account to do things like buy dish washing liquid or toilet paper.
Just be sure not to dip into your joint expense account for gratuitous personal expenses, such as using a significant chunk of money from that account to buy yourself a luxury new makeup kit or craft beer collection. Unless your partner has given this the green light in advance, it will certainly come off as a breach of trust.
Use Budgeting Software To Help You Out
No matter how good you and your partner are with mental arithmetic, or with pen and paper organization, you are going to be introducing a huge number of potential avenues for argument and distress into your lives, if you don’t have a streamlined and effective system in place for managing your budget.
Using a Filofax or some other last-century technology is likely to just lead to excess confusion and irritation. Instead, you should take advantage of the fact that we now live in the digital age, and use one of the various highly regarded bits of budgeting software out there, in order to help keep you on track.
YouNeedaBudget is one program that allows you to keep your everyday budget balanced in mere minutes, as long as you don’t leave long gaps between updating the software.
Quickbooks, on the other hand, is a great tool for managing your books, dealing with tax, and so on, especially in the context of any businesses you may run, and any tax write-offs you might be entitled to.
Find Productive Ways to Vent When You Are Irritated by Your Financial Situation
No matter how many wise and practical methods you employ in order to reduce the likelihood of financial issues rearing their ugly head and causing unwelcome drama in your relationship, there will still inevitably be some occasions when money does present an issue, and when tempers do flare.
In these cases, it’s vitally important that you have productive systems in place for allowing yourself to vent your irritations, without allowing them to manifest via the path of least resistance — which usually means yelling at, and arguing with, your partner.
The particular techniques you use to cool down will differ from individual to individual, but they have to be things that work for you. You might find that writing out all of your frustrations in a long, stream-of-consciousness rant, and then destroying the piece of paper or the document will be cathartic.
Others may benefit from retreating to the garage and doing several rounds of martial arts drills on a punching bag.
Disclosure – I have teenagers who constantly need something and a husband who thinks items like race cars and boats are toys. So, throughout the blog you will find affiliate links that enable me to buy a bottle or two or three of wine to keep my sanity intact.