Stop arguing over Money
Money and finances is one of the most common causes of arguments for couples and families. Individuals often have very different personal attitudes and approaches when it comes to how to manage their finances and this can become a source of friction when not handled properly. Money is an emotive topic as it is so closely linked with security, the future and lifestyles. If one partner is typically a spender and the other a thrifty saver, this can spell relationship trouble.
Finding financial harmony
Although it might not seem like it in the beginning, it is usually possible to find financial harmony. Taking the time to understand each others' point of view on money matters is a good way to start. For example, one of you might feel that having a large pot of savings makes you feel secure and provides peace of mind. Your partner might feel however that life is too short to squirrel everything away and prefer to live for the moment. There is no right and wrong, however there is a sensible middle ground!
Get the basics right
If you are in debt, paying off debts should always be the number one priority. Paying off debts is more important than saving money, as the amount of interest you will be paying on credit cards and loans will be much higher than anything you are likely to earn on a savings account. Focus on paying off debts with the highest interest rate first and always try to pay off as much as you can afford.
If you are able to put something aside each month, it is generally a good idea to have between three and six months salary saved up for emergencies. This provides a cushion should unexpected expenses arise and a safe base from which other more long term plans can be put in place.
Plan your future together
Another good strategy is to be clear about what your goals are and which shared things you wish to enjoy in the future. For example if you wish to buy a house or go on a dream holiday, you will both need to commit to a savings plan to achieve this. By setting out clear goals and routes to achieving them, each person will be able to see how their spending habits impact the steps towards their goal. This also means that any disagreements about money are tied to fact rather than high emotion.
It's not all about money!
Another good tip is to look at activities that you both enjoy which don't involve spending at all. With a bit of research and ingenuity you will find a wide range of options to entertain yourselves. Several groups, clubs and organisations offer the chance to meet new people, learn new skills and find a focus completely unrelated to your financial situation. Spending time doing things you enjoy as a couple will strengthen your relationship and help you forget about money problems.