Gone are the days when the man was the only breadwinner in the home. Most women take pride in their ability to get good paying jobs and support equal pay. Yet, there are enough issues to be discussed between partners to ensure there is no friction caused by money and spending. In fact, the first cause of divorces and separations is money worries, so you should take this seriously enough. Here are some winning strategies when it comes to the root of all evil.
Have a Financial Date
The best advice is to talk about money before it becomes a problem. It is better to plan and be prepared instead of bringing it out when there is already a situation. Tension can elevate quickly if there are already funds missing and you are trying to make ends meet.
The best advice is to take some time every week and discuss financial matters with your significant other. Make sure you are on the same page. Who should pay the bills? Who is taking the check on dates? Are you both comfortable with 50/50? After you set the base, continue with a follow up each week and see if you are within your budget and saving goals.
There is that joke about a man’s who said that his only regret will be that when he dies, his wife will sell his fishing gear at the price he told her he paid for them. If you hide purchases or the real price from your significant other, you are lying to them and to yourself.
Make sure you understand the reasons why you need to lie. Are you buying stuff that you can’t afford? Do you have a hobby that your spouse or partner does not approve? Either explain to your partner the importance of your purchase and make them aware of your decision or just stop.
Also take responsibility towards existing debt, especially delinquent one. Make sure you are aware of what you own to lenders and that you are making efforts towards paying. If you have charge-offs, namely unpaid debt that is older than half a year, learn from the AAA Credit Guide how to deal with it before it ruins your credit score and chances of getting good interest rates.
Say “No” often
Most of us end up spending more than we planned simply because we don’t want to reject others. Either we can’t say no to invitations, feel pressured to spend a lot on gifts for holidays or can’t refuse a friend or relative asking for some money.
Decide with your partner what is the acceptable limit of spending on going out, entertainment or helping each other’s families. Remember that having in place good rules and restrictions is the way society evolves and you should do the same. Never let anyone emotionally blackmail you and connect spending with how much you care about them. Even if it seems far-fetched if you lend money to friends and family get it in writing and think about charging interest.
Educate yourself and your partner
Making the most out of your money is knowing the rules of the game. There are numerous provisions, tax deductions and possible savings for couples. You need to assess your situation and see if it fits you better to file taxes separately or jointly to get as much back as possible. This is called a marriage penalty or bonus.
Make sure money is the issue
Last but not least, when talking about money, partners are talking more about their roles in the family. Money can be a proxy for love, respect, control, self-worth or independence. Do you or your partner see money as a way to show love to each other? Do you bribe the other one with presents to make up for your mistakes? Most relationship psychologists say that money could be a tangible representation of the emotions between partners.