Money can be a very contentious subject. Relationship expert Susan Wenzel underlines that money is such an important part of a relationship that financial stress is one major area of life which cause couples to fight. This expert suggests that money should be discussed early between a couple, prior to entering a serious lasting relationship. Openly discussing finances, asking questions such as, ‘’Are you a spender, what do you do, how much do you make, etc. . . .’’. can be a positive game changer.
Choosing to have separate or joint accounts depends on the couple. If one of the two is a spender or if you are disciplined in your spending may dictate your choice of financial planning. This expert suggests possibly having a joint account as well as each keeping a separate account.
Money management should also be customized to fit the couple’s style. Some strategies couples use are giving each other ‘’allowances’’, sharing the financial responsibilities and expenses. The financial burden can be shared based on income and a percentage calculation can determine who contributes more to the expenses. Another strategy is that one salary might cover the mortgage while the other pays the insurance and electricity bill for example.
If conflict arises about a financial issue, tense words and hurt feelings might linger. Your response during that conflict can stem from your deep-rooted fears, past experiences and your upbringing. Susan Wenzel, our relationship expert shares this golden nugget with us by stating, ‘’In any conflict, it’s not what you are going through, but how you go through it’’. Susan emphasizes that it is important for the couple to continue to respect each other in their dialogue.