How to prevent financial arguments.
You may have seen our article which highlighted a survey about financial infidelity and the secrets we keep from our spouse. Financial disagreements are often strongly correlated to negative outcomes for relationships and sadly in some cases can lead to divorce. Preventing financial arguments is important to create a harmonious home environment for you and your family!
This one seems logical but communication is important in every aspect of your partnership. One of the biggest problems is money is often seen as an awkward topic and so is often not talked about. To make it more relaxing open a bottle of wine and be open about it all.
It is important to know the money personality of your spouse. If you can understand how each other spends money or thinks about finances you will have a better chance of being able to communicate and establish clear goals. You need to be open and honest about any debts that you have or have had in the past which will allow you to strategize how you control your finances.
Establish a budget
Having a household budget gets everything out on paper which can help avoid disagreements. It also sets clear expectations of your income and expenses which is especially useful if one person is a bit of a spendthrift. Being able to look at the factual numbers, removes any emotions from the discussion. In your budget though it is important to include an amount for each person to be able to spend as they like. Having too many constrictions can lead to conflict.
Again communication and transparency are important here. You need to be able to set goals together (this should not just be one person). It may be about a strategy to clear your debt or it may be creating savings for a trip you are planning. The key is to work as a team and highlight to each other what your aims are. By both being involved, both people are held accountable and responsible for achieving those goals.
Rather than relying on one person to pay all the bills it might be easier to set up automated payments for most things out of your joint account. This helps avoids mistakes or missing bills which will then avoid any finger pointing.
Agree on major purchases
Things like groceries are not as big a deal as major purchases. Both partners should be in agreement on what larger purchases are being made and how much is to be used for such. This will reduce any resentment that may come up if one person goes out and splurges all your savings on a new plasma tv.
If you can agree on spending limits beforehand it can relieve added stress and anger. For instance some people use a $100 rule and if the amount goes over you discuss it before you purchase. You need to be open to this because sometimes things can cost unexpectedly more. Having limits will however help you budget your money more effectively.
You probably all have heard about the concept of positive reinforcement. Everybody makes mistakes but if you focus on praise when good things are being done, this creates a stronger incentive to keep doing the good behaviour. Happy people=happier marriage. You might even try something simple like having a night out together after you have reached so and so goal.