But a lot of what makes or breaks relationships—especially the relationship between a husband and wife—has to do with money.
One of the top ten reasons for divorce is money issues. Divorcing for financial reasons often get too complicated for the couples to discuss. Relationships deteriorate over money fights. The quality of life changes for people living together whenever there are disagreements over how to spend and earn the money.
So, how does money affect relationships? Let’s find out.
Top 5 money problems in relationships
Money ruins relationships, if not handled well. It brings out the best and worst in relationships and in people. The more you have of it, the more problems and arguments over money it would create if the relationship was rocky to start with.
Well, all these can affect how one views and uses money.
Within a relationship, this may get tricky. Being aware of the differences between you and your spouse would help both of you work out solutions in specific financial situations that would satisfy everyone.
3. Providing for children or extended family
Raising children or taking care of an extended family is also how money affects relationships. It can become an added expense, opening up a world of disagreement between you and your spouse.
Such disagreements can get emotional because they directly relate to your children and you or your spouse’s family members.
Again, honest and clear communication would help lower the instances of money fights over this issue.
One of you may be itching to throw every penny possible into paying off the debt as soon as possible, while the other might be more relaxed about it. This is where budgeting and setting joint financial goals would be useful.
5. Splitting finances
Some couples abide by separate finances for married couples and want to draw clear lines on what money is yours, mine, and what is “ours.” Other couples are comfortable with pooling their resources.
Talk with your spouse, and discuss what would be best for your household. Confusion as to what money to use and where to direct income can create lots of stress within the relationship!
Check out these video below where different couples explain how they split their finances and get some tips:
How does money affect relationships: A matter of priorities
In the end, money in relationships causes friction because money highlights priorities. That’s what choosing how, where, and when to earn and spend the money really comes down to. That determines how much is put into which category on the budget.
That is why discussing money issues with your partner or child is so difficult. You are not only arguing over sense and cents. You are also attempting one of the most difficult things two human beings can do— communicating and understanding each other’s priorities and goals and agreeing on them.
When you work with your partner on a budget, you’re not just working together on money; you are strengthening that relationship by understanding what is important to the other person or doing the opposite.
In these situations, there’s usually another culprit spoiling the show. Opposites attract—and as it is in relationships, so it is in how each person deals with money.
One of you might be a big spender, while the other is a saver. One sees money as a tool to use to get more stuff, do more things, and enjoy life as soon as possible; the other sees money as something to feel secure in, something that’s good to have in case of emergencies and big purchases.
Be aware of these differences as you tackle finances together.
Tips to eliminate money fights in the home
Once you understand how money affects relationships and how it is becoming the root cause of your relationship problem, you will be able to fight the problem better. Here are some ways to help you solve money problems that you are constantly having with your partner:
1. Do a monthly budget
Sit down with your partner at the end or beginning of each month, and talk over each part of the budget— income, expenses, savings, investments, and spending.
Details matter! Get down to the very dollar or even cent, and make sure you’re both on the same page.
2. Decide together
Both of you must have a say in the budget.
Spenders! Seek to appreciate the drive to save that your partner has. Show your appreciation by agreeing on, say, having more in the savings column than in the spending one.
Savers! Make budgeting enjoyable for your other half. Give them space to change at least one thing on the budget after everything’s settled—yes when the budget’s already perfect.
When both of you get to make decisions on how money is used in your household, this would help both of you to stick to the plan.
3. Stick to the plan
Stick to the plan. It might be an exceptionally elaborate budget or a simple income/outgo chart that tells you how much you can use this week and what must be paid for. But both of you must commit to actually doing the thing.
Keep each other accountable by holding regular budget committee meetings.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Odelia Chan is a Christian, singer, teacher, writer, and avid reader. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications, and is also a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. She enjoys making music, gardening, practicing martial arts, and spending time with her family