Although money is just a tool, it is a tool that holds a lot of power.
Money is one of the top cited reasons for conflict in a relationship and often attributed to couples breaking up. Getting a better grasp on what money means and how it operates between partners is paramount.
In that light, here are four often misunderstood financial considerations for couples to keep in mind…
1. Communication about money can be difficult for couples.
Money and sex are two of the most uncomfortable topics for couples to discuss openly. For a variety of reasons, partners may feel like it is taboo to talk about money.
Some reasons include: It invades their privacy, they feel embarrassed, they feel out of control, they don’t feel educated enough, or they don’t think there is a reason to talk about it. However, just like talking about your sexual health and history is critical for each partner, so is talking about your financial health and history.
Without these conversations, assumptions are made, damaging secrets can be kept, and the freedom of being known and accepted is impossible to achieve.
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2. Values drive our actions in life, including how we spend our money.
Often what attracts us to a partner is similar values however most conflict over spending can be connected to value differences.
For example, if one partner highly values security they may be prone to spending less whereas if the other partner highly values experience, they may spend more freely. This small difference in values will cause conflict for this couple. Without understanding that it is their differing values driving the conflict they are bound to blame one another. A simple conversation as to what values are important to each of them can help foster an aligned spending plan that honours each of their values.
3. Tolerance refers to the level of financial risk that each partner is comfortable taking with their money.
Typically most people have a balance number in their checking and saving accounts that feels comfortable. For some that balance can be quite small where for others this figure may be quite significant. When partners have a large gap in this number, it can cause conflict.
Tolerance can also include how much debt partners are willing to carry and how aggressive they want to be with their investments. Understanding where these comfort levels reside for each partner is critical and finding common ground that is realistic for the relationship is necessary.