How to Stop Money From Ruining Your Relationship

November 29, 2011  |  
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Money.  It causes more fights than household chores and is often cited as one of the main causes of divorce.  At its least harmful, it can lead to minor arguments and bickering. At its worst, it is on a par with infidelity, causing a breakdown in trust, growing resentment and sometimes irreversible damage. More specifically, the spending and saving of money is the root of most financial issues.  Don’t let money ruin your relationship.  Check out these 7 tips of how to ward off financial drama.

1. Don’t blame

Debt can be overpowering, you work all month just to dig yourself deeper in debt, increasing stress, which leads to fighting that can destroy your relationship and your happiness. Remember that the enemy is not your spouse or boyfriend; the enemy is your debt. Blaming your spouse, your parents or your boss will not fix your problems. The debt fairy is not coming. It is time to stop complaining and get to work on your current situation.

2. Live within your means

Whether you are worth millions or make a modest salary, you need to live within your means. For the average American, there are simple and proven techniques that work. One example is to stop wasting thousands of dollars each month on food you don’t need. Eat every item in your fridge and pantry before you go shopping and you will save thousands each month.

3. Work at home life too

Work as hard at your home life as you do at the office! Set aside time completely devoted to your husband and kids, or boyfriend. Don’t take business calls or even think about business. This not only reminds you how much you love each other but will recharge your batteries so you are itching to go back to work to kick butt and provide.  If your main focus in life is money you will surely end up unfulfilled and unhappy.  Yes, we all need money to live but there’s more to life than your bank account.  Put effort into your relationship with your boyfriend or spouse, as well as other family and friends to keep a balanced and enjoyable life.

4. Don’t lie

A poll recently commissioned by ForbesWomen showed that 31% of Americans lie to their spouses about money. This is the fastest way to sabotage your relationship. Sit down with each other, figure out where you can trim back and set goals for yourselves. Money should not tear you apart. If you are open and honest with each other, you can overcome these issues together and it can actually make you stronger by eliminating unnecessary financial stress.

5. Create a monthly budget

Do a monthly budget together to keep money problems from ruining your marriage. Sit down with your paychecks, bills, and lists of wants and make a detailed written budget so that you know where every dollar goes. It is really easy to do. Make a list of things that need to be paid first.  Next should be house payment/rent, food, utilities, clothing, gas, savings for an emergency fund, and childcare (if necessary). If you have any left over, that should go to pay debt, start an emergency fund, or to do a few fun things with it.

6. Set up an emergency fund

As mentioned earlier, starting an emergency fund is a very smart thing to create as a couple. Try to have a few months expenses saved up so that if something happens, like a job loss, you won’t have the stress of scarping together money to live on. It will be there in the bank waiting for you and therefore help keep the stress of money problems from invading your relationship.

7. Set financial goals together

What do you want to accomplish as a couple? Do you need to pay down debt? Save for a house?  Once you have a common goal in mind, you will be able to keep each other on track with your agreed-upon budget.  Also establish ground rules together, such as consulting each other before a large purchase.  This generally is a rule for married couples, but its smart for couples who are dating to get used to communicating their own spending habits to each other.

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