Money shouldn’t be the cause of your relationship falling apart — But it can be! Research shows that financial issues play a hefty role in a couple’s marriage satisfaction – or lack thereof. One of the top reasons cited for divorce in the United States, the money you have (or do not have) can have a big effect on how happy your home will be today, tomorrow, and in the years to come.
There is no doubt about it, sooner or later, every couple fights about money. That’s normal. He wants to buy a new car. She thinks a trip to the Bahamas is a priority. Wanting to enjoy nice things isn’t usually bad. But, when normal disagreements over money become a wedge between two partners, it is time to take a closer look at how you both view your finances and the role it plays in your marriage.
Do You Understand Your Individual Money Habits?
Everyone looks at money differently. Some of us are natural spenders; while others are thrifty savers. Neither attitude is right – or wrong. But, boy, when you put the two together in a relationship, there sure can be fireworks!
Instead of letting a different point of view about money come between you, it is possible to use those differences to create a stronger financial life together. A spender can help a saver enjoy experiences more; while a saver can help a spender learn to balance buying with security. The problem is most couples never take the time to understand what drives their partner’s views on money. Once they do, it is much easier to find ways to balance both of your money styles.
What makes John so eager to spend … spend … spend … and what gives Sarah the need to save … save … save? It all has to do with how they look at money. Spenders usually look at money as a way to enjoy life or show off. They concentrate more on today, with little concern about tomorrow. Savers are planners. They like to plan for the future and look at money as a safety net. Without money in the bank, they feel like circumstances will control their life, and that makes them feel insecure and uneasy.
What makes people look at money in a certain way? Here are a few factors:
- Our Culture. The world tells us what to consider important. If we fall for all of the advertising, we will likely become a spender.
- The Emotional Impact of Money. Money can be an emotional trigger for many people. Do you or your partner overspend to hide your feelings? Feel loved and accepted? Find self-worth? Understanding your emotional attachment to money can help you break bad spending habits.
- The Need to Show off. Do either of you sue things to show others how successful you are. Understanding this need to showcase your success can help you better understand those excessive purchases.
No one’s financial personality is all right, or all wrong. It is usually a mixture of good and bad traits. That’s what can give money so much power in your life and your relationship. If you try to change your partner’s spending habits without understanding their view of money, tensions will rise.
Instead of trying to make your partner view money (and use it), the way you do, why not take the best you have to offer, and the best your mate has to offer and create a brand new financial personality that fits you both as a couple? No matter what positive (or negative) money messages you’ve been confronted with in the past, remember, it is possible to work toward a common financial goal. The key to breaking the bonds money has on your relationship is the willingness to face your own views and make the changes necessary for a more satisfying – and blissful – life together.