Juggling all your commitments is stressful enough without everyone bickering with each other!
You earn the money to keep your family going, you’re expected to find the best deals, pay the bills, and deal with everyone’s financial issues even though they got themselves into that mess in the first place!
Just when you thought you didn’t have enough on your plate, you are also trying to track the family finances and maintaining a plan to reach your financial goals. This is a task which never ends, and it doesn’t help when no one else understands or appreciates all of the work that you do for them.
When everyone is bickering, it can feel like a constant betrayal in one of the most stressful areas of life. That’s why arguments over finances are the number one source of tension between couples, and the number one predictor of divorce.
Unlocking the positive power of conflict
There is a silver lining to this cloud though! The reason these arguments are so common is because there’s a grain of truth in the old saying “opposites attract”. In other words, you’re likely to be attracted to a person with different financial goals and approaches than your own. The key is managing this difference, so your strengths and weaknesses act as complementary approaches, instead of generating conflict. Conflict and stress have been shown to reduce financial planning – which makes things worse.
Of course, arguments about money are not always about money. If money is being used as a weapon to deal with relationship issues, then a good marriage counsellor should be your first port of call.
Make planning as easy as 1-2-3
Assuming finances are the real issue, the solution is communication and a clear plan. Communicate your goals clearly.
Listen to your partner’s unconscious beliefs about spending and saving. Once both partners have clearly communicated their position, making a plan is the easy part.
Imagine how constructive your money-management sessions will be when there is no conflict involved. Instead of arguing about priorities or spending patterns, they will be exciting conversations where your plans for the future unfold!
To get there, you should treat money-management as a regular part of “relationship maintenance”: set aside regular time for a “finance date” to review your position and to let your partner know any changes to your goals and priorities.
Transparency builds trust
Have your “finance date” somewhere you can easily check your account balances and transactions – it doesn’t matter whether that’s at home, or at your favourite wine bar with your laptop.
By using a service like Bill Butler, all the other regular outgoings will be equally quick and easy to check. This way you’re starting the conversation transparently and honestly, and (most importantly) the financial health-check will be so quick that there’s time to turn off the computer afterwards and share a glass of wine and a movie!
Lead Thought Provoker
Jay began his career in London with Rabobank, CLS bank and a Lloyd’s of London syndicate. Jay’s work has spanned corporate communications, content editing, newspaper articles, courseware, blogging, policy drafting, technical writing, and a regular crossword. He is passionate about 8-bit tunes, self-improvement, and the Oxford comma.