In any relationship there are bound to be disagreements but there is none that occurs more often than a disagreement about money. Who was supposed to pay for what, who paid too much for something or who made a donation without consultation. Money fights can be avoided or reduced if you
1. Distinguish the category or type you fall into when it comes to dealing with money and have an open discussion about it. Once you know your profile put some effort into making changes. Could you be the,
Miser; someone who hates to spend money but likes to have it and hold on to it.
Giver; someone who is selfless and tending to give all or a lot of what they have.
Spender; someone who spends a lot or is unable to stop themselves spending.
Manipulator; someone who is controlling with rules and emotive statements.
Astute; someone who is shrewd and wise with money.
2. Understand that you both come from different backgrounds and so you both have different levels of financial knowledge, if any. Find out who your partner is and what background they come from; knowing something about the other person will help you understand the way the other person deals with money.
3. Communicate with each other. When you share with your partner about the things that affect both of you, especially finances you will encounter less hostility. Share your goals and plans and believe that you can grow together. Also do not be afraid to express your own feelings and to set boundaries. It does not matter which one of you is working longer hours or which one of you is earning more; talk to each other respectfully.
4. Appreciate the other and praise them when they have clearly done well. In case there has been a bad outcome try not to be over critical. Share your opinion without being mean and do not bring it up again once you have talked it over. The key is to talk about what happens to the money and to make sure that you are always working together.
5. Have Money meetings and go through all important financial issues once or twice a month. Take these meetings very seriously and use them to go over your income, expenses and debts. Decide who will be responsible for which bills. Also use the time to go through the budget and the long term goals.
6. Deal with outsiders together and agree on how much to give or if at all you will give (a relative who cannot make their rent or a cousin for their daughter’s wedding) any money. Outsiders can be a cause of a lot of money quarrels. Make sure that you and your partner have a ‘begging bowl strategy.’
7. Open a joint account that is aimed at keeping funds for the bills and agree on who will be the ‘card carrier’ and the in-charge of this account. This does not mean the other person cannot use the account, they can. As long as they stick to the things the account was opened for.
8. Remember this joint account does not mean that you cannot have your own separate accounts. You can; you are not hiding anything, you are just having a certain amount of privacy and discretion.
9. Respect the joint account and do not spend left over money after the bills are covered. Decide what is to be done with this left over money at the next money meeting.
10. Open an emergency fund for the inevitable emergency. Often each partner thinks that they can spend what is left of their money as they see fit after bill obligations are met, but depending on the amounts that are earned individually the left overs can be large or small and spending them separately can lead to resentment. So, to avoid quarrels open an emergency fund and deposit extras as much as you can. You will be happy to have it when you or your partner fall sick, do not get ‘that deal’ or need to repair something urgently.