For anyone who has been in a committed relationship, it should come as no surprise that money can be an extremely stressful subject. I’m sure that we have all made those comments to our partners about if they needed that new purchase or try to take the lead because we feel we know better. Most intentions are good however money is the leading cause of divorces in Canada (46%) but what can we do to prevent this?
Read these 4 tips to take some stress out of your relationship!
Collaborative approach: Far to often demands are made in relationships when it comes to money. “We need to start investing this much now”, “We need to stop eating at restaurants”. These types of demands aren’t received very well and can cause frustration. No one likes being told what to do. There can be more success by having a collaborative approach. Next time try to start the conversation about something that you learned and how you think it could help your future together. When both people are involved it becomes more an exciting journey together instead of an almost impossible task. The bonus is you could discover a mutual passion that wasn’t known before. I find the best way to allocate money in a budget isn’t being told to do so but finding your why to do it.
Schedule monthly meetings: If this sounds very business-like that’s because it is meant to be. Time must be scheduled to sit down together and talk about your goals and how progress is coming. Do not make this an emotional attack on one partner or the other but instead a business like monthly check-in to see if adjustments need to be done or if there is cause for celebration! Apple doesn’t set a goal once with hopes that one day they reach it. The trick to a financially secure home is to treat it like a business.
Take the emotions out!: Emotions and money NEVER mix. Financial issues are tied to all kinds of emotional problems stemming from childhood. Our upbringing shapes our values and goals. When you discuss financial goals or values, you’re discussing your partner's family, childhood, and upbringing. Do not criticize, insult, or blame. If your partner feels like they are under attack – They will close up.
Approach it early and often: Don’t wait until you’re married for a few years swimming in debt and stress. The earlier you can discuss money, your understanding of it, and goals the easier it will be. Starting the conversation by talking about something you saw is a great way to warmly bring up the conversation. Another great idea would be to discuss your upbringing and how money was managed in your house to encourage your partner to do the same. The best way to achieve success is to change ourselves first.