Tag Archives | arguments about money

Spending and Saving Conflicts for Couples

ConflictSpending and Saving Conflicts for Couples

There is no doubt that arguments about money are one of the key causes of conflict in relationships. When money is in short supply, arguments often revolve around differences in attitude towards spending and the distinction between needs and wants. The interesting thing about financial decisions is that they are never right or wrong. A good financial decision is one which is made in full consideration of the consequences of the choice that is made. Choosing to spend money now rather than saving it to spend later may lower your standard of living in the long term. On the other hand, saving money now to spend later means sacrificing current lifestyle for future benefit. Neither approach is right or wrong, they just have different consequences. Conflict arises where each partner has different views about the acceptability of the consequences. Here are some guiding principles which should help to resolve conflict:

  • Respect your partner’s views and acknowledge that different attitudes to spending and saving are not right or wrong
  • Focus on understanding the consequences of financial decisions
  • Agree on which decisions need to be made jointly and which can be made individually
  • Agree an amount of money (from income and/or savings) which each partner is free to spend or save as they wish on things that are important to him or her
  • Be clear on the difference between needs and wants and make sure the essentials are taken care of first
  • Ensure that you have plans in place to cover at least your basic long term requirements before making large purchases in the short term for lifestyle reasons.

Whether you are arguing over how much your partner spends on wine or cigarettes, or how much to spend on a new car or kitchen, these guidelines should help you reach an agreement.

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Love and Money

Love and Money

Relationships are complex and adding financial stress into the mix complicates things even further. Arguments about money are the leading cause of relationship breakdown and it follows that if couples can find a way to reduce financial stress and avoid conflict over money, the chances of a successful relationship are greatly enhanced. When two people come together from different backgrounds, they usually have different attitudes towards money or different money personalities. That’s because your money personality is shaped by a number of factors that relate to your upbringing and your past experiences. These different money personalities show up as different attitudes towards spending and saving, debt, financial risk, and building wealth. It is important to remember that when it comes to personalities, there is no right and wrong; just different. The best way to deal with differences is to firstly identify what they are, then to acknowledge them with acceptance and discuss how they can be taken into account. Opposite personalities, such as spenders and savers or risk takers and risk avoiders require compromise and boundaries. For example, a spender can be given freedom to spend up to a certain limit, or a risk taker can be given an agreed amount of money with which to speculate. Problems occur when there is no compromise, when boundaries are not set and more importantly when people do not acknowledge or understand the consequences of their actions. For example, a spender may incur large debts without thinking about how the debts are going to be repaid. In a good relationship, each person acts in such a way as to cause minimal negative impact on the other. Agreeing financial goals is a great place to start so that you are both working towards the same outcomes with regard to your income and your assets.

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