There’s an old saying: “When money troubles come through the door, love goes out the window.” This rings true for many couples who, no matter what their financial picture, experience conflict over finance – particularly spending. People don’t have to be on the poverty line to experience financial conflict, as generally speaking, the more we earn the more we tend to spend. Which explains why couples may be at odds — not about how much is coming in – but by how much is going out (and on what).
In relationships, it’s easy to lose that loving feeling when you’re at odds about your spending priorities.
If you’re unhappy about your partner’s spending habits, before you call a couple’s therapist you might want to consider calling a financial planner.
As a Certified Financial Planner, I’m a neutral party and an observer. I can see how different spending priorities create real tensions in otherwise happy relationships. I also know how to solve these problems with the magic of….budgeting.
What is budgeting?
Quite simply, budgeting is the process of working out what’s appropriate to spend money on so that saving is possible. While many people resist creating a budget because it’s “boring”, I like to think of a budget as a relationship miracle worker. With a clear budget, one that both parties agree on and which accommodate your individual as well as shared values and goals, couples can eliminate the blame game. Without a budget, it’s easy to get caught up in judgment over each other’s spending.
The beauty of a budget: understanding.
With the help of a Certified Financial Planner, you actually get the chance to articulate what really matters to each of you individually and to set some joint goals. For example, a husband may judge a wife for her passion for fashion, or a wife may resent her husband’s lavish lunch and latte habit while she’s taking a packed lunch to work each day. With space to see where money is currently being spent, couples can be supported to work out exactly where they want their money to go, without sacrificing all the things that make life enjoyable.
Get on the same page:
Since money is an emotive issue, it’s easy for couples to either avoid the topic, resent each other’s spending or openly argue: this isn’t good for anyone.
A financial planner, as a neutral third party, can help couples out of this tug of war to get on the same page. Budgeting isn’t boring; it could bring back that loving feeling. And it definitely minimise relationship tensions and stress.