The topic of money is one of the major causes of fights in a marriage, with many spouses citing the issues of debt as the cause of divorce. It doesn’t have to be this way.
In this article, we explore some of the common money issues in relationships and marriage and how to handle it effectively. We also look at how to get out of debt for a happier relationship.
Common Issues in Relationships and Marriage
Here are some of the money problems that couples face, and suggestions for resolution:
Different financial personalities
Your marriage or relationship faces serious problems when you and your partner think about money differently. For example, you might be a spendthrift while your partner is a natural saver.
If not addressed, the disconnect can result in bigger problems than an empty wallet. Values shape who we are as people, so you can begin to understand your partner’s take on money by discussing it openly and calmly. Each partner should express their concerns and devise a mutually agreeable spending style.
Some spouses get into debt without the knowledge of their trusted partners in life. It can cause huge mistrust when the other spouse discovers the truth (and realizes that they were kept in the dark).
If you’re struggling with debt, it’s important to tell your partner. It also affects them, if not financially, then emotionally. You should freely talk about spending and debts, and don’t hesitate to reveal any hidden debts to your partner.
Another point of contention is marriage is about the best way to save. One spouse could be so committed to saving that they’re willing to forego many life experiences, while the other doesn’t mind occasional splurging. Couples should talk about savings and agree on methods that work for both styles.
Power play can occur in any of the following scenarios:
- When one person has a paid job, and their partner does not
- When a couple would both like to be working but one is jobless
- When one spouse makes significantly more money than the other
- When one spouse comes from a wealthier family
In such situations, the privileged partner usually wants to dictate expenses in the relationship. It can lead to severe misunderstandings in the marriage, so it is important that the couple works as a team regardless of their different financial capabilities.
Common Money Mistakes and How to Avoid
There are other common mistakes that couples make when it comes to finances and the relationship:
Having a secret savings account or hiding money from your spouse can lead to a fight if your significant other discovers its existence.
In 2018, a study by the National Endowment for Financial Education revealed that about 75% of the participants admitted to financial deceit, which had an adverse impact on their relationships.
Instead of hiding money from each other, couples should agree to set aside some cash that each person can access without being accountable to the other.
If you want to stop spending beyond your means and stay out of debt, you and your partner should create a budget and stick to it. You can use a simple spreadsheet to track your earnings and expenses. Budgeting apps also keep your spending in check.
Neglecting long-term plans
It is important for a couple to talk about long-term needs, such as retirement and elderly care. While failing to do so might not lead to marriage failure, it could put avoidable pressure on the relationship.
You and your partner should talk about your long-term financial needs as soon as possible. Otherwise, your sunset years together might turn out differently from what you envisioned when you got married.
How to Manage and Save Money to Get Out of Debt
No matter what kind of debt you’re struggling with, paying it off can be challenging. There are sound strategies to help you save money and get out of debt faster:
Reduce your expenses
If you want to repay debt faster, start by cutting your expenses as much as possible. Consider creating a bare-bare bones budget to reduce your expenses as much as possible. You can survive on as little as possible for as long as you can to build up a financial buffer.
You can also switch to one of the most affordable Pennsylvania electricity suppliers to reduce your utility bills, and channel the savings into debt repayments.
Track your spending
You may not know how much you can save until you track your spending and identify excess areas. Track your actual expenses over the course of one month. Once you understand your spending habits, you can easily identify problem areas and put the money you save into repaying debts.
Money issues in marriage can be stressful, but if you talk about the issues openly, and implement the tips in this article, you can have a happy, debt-free marriage.