You work hard for your money. You take care of yourself. You make sure you have enough for a rainy day. You are responsible and stay accountable to yourself. Then you meet that special someone. All of a sudden, you find out your finances are in shambles. Hard as you try to rake in the dough, you can’t seem to hang on to it.
What happened? Your significant other just doesn’t seem to value cash as much as you do. Does this sound familiar? If it does, the answer might not be as simple as you think it is.
Shared finances can be a nightmare, and this is the reason why many relationships break up. The partners just can’t seem to agree about money. If you find yourself in this situation, keep the following tips in mind. If you communicate clearly enough and you respect and love each other enough, you should be able to overcome your disagreements over finances.
Things that you feel you can’t agree on can actually be just part of larger communication issues that have little to do with money. Fix that larger underlying issue and your money problems just might go away.
Take the time to talk
You are busy, and your partner is probably busy too. The worst thing you can do is to half-communicate with each other regarding how your finances are stressing you out. Remember, half-communicating is almost the same as not communicating at all. Give yourselves the time and the space to have a real heart to heart talk about money matters.
It is a big deal so you better treat it like a big deal. Set an appointment. Meet on neutral ground. Clear your mind of stress first and, more importantly, open it to whatever resolution you and your partner can agree on. Remember, resolutions are not about what you want to hear or what would make you feel good but they are about what solutions both of you can support.
When describing your emotions, don’t blame your partner. Don’t put him or her on the spot. You have to keep in mind that your partner is precisely that-a partner. This means someone who is with you through the challenges. An ally. Not an enemy. Describe the problem but don’t lay it on his or her shoulders.
Ask for help
Open your heart and be honest about your emotions and what the financial challenges are doing to your nerves and your peace of mind. Wrap it up by asking for help. Make your ally know that you treat him or her as an ally, and that you are looking for solutions both of you can work on.
The last thing you want to do is to tell your partner to get her or his act together because you aren’t going to be putting up with it any longer. Don’t do that. It is tempting but don’t go there Instead, focus on mutual help and mutual solutions.
Give something up
Communicate that you are willing to give something up so you can help bring about a solution. This is a great signal for the other party to give something up to. The key is to get the other person to see where you are coming from and that you both need to work toward the solution.