Stressing out about money can always put stress on your relationship, but it’s worse when we feel that the economy is doing poorly. This is because finances become something that we can’t ignore when everyone from our friends to the nightly news is making dire predictions about the economy. Here are five steps to make sure that your relationship doesn’t suffer the ups and downs of the economy.
1. Don’t play the blame game- It doesn’t matter if you have an obvious spender and an obvious saver in your relationship. Your relationship will suffer if money talks involve assigning blame. You need to view finances as “ours” not mine and yours to talk about finances without a battle
2. Be honest about debt- if you have accumulated debt that your partner doesn’t know about, then confess immediately. Lying always hurts a relationship. If your plan is to try to secretly clear things up in hopes that that you partner won’t find out, then forget it. You’re just setting yourself up for a fight about lying and poor money management.
3. Start a budget- this probably sounds like the most unromantic thing you can do for your relationship, but setting priorities together is critical to any lasting relationship, even if those priorities are financial.
4. Get the whole family involved- The biggest money fights come when parents can’t agree how much to spend on their children. Whether they are doing chores around the house or have a part time job, you need to make sure that your kids understand that money comes from work. Your kids will be less likely to ask for expensive items once they understand how many hours it takes to earn that much money.
5. Find a Buddy Couple- If you know at least one other couple who is trying to stay on a budget, it will makes sticking to it a whole lot easier. They’ll be your support system when you opt for a backyard cookout rather than everyone heading out to an expensive restaurant. It may seem silly to you, but every successful organization aimed at helping people make permanent changes in their lives involves a ‘buddy system.”
All of these steps involve taking control of your finances so that money problems won’t ruin your relationship. It’s easy to become paralyzed with fear worrying about what the economy will do and thinking that we are powerless. These steps will help to keep your personal finances from having huge ups and downs so that your relationship can function smoothly no matter what the economy does.
Author: Tina Tobin