How much money is enough? Just a little bit more. No matter what your income level, most relationships where finances are co-mingled have had some financial stress. Whether it’s from student loans, or phone bills, we all have obligations. Finances and money are in the top ten reasons why couples fight and even breakup and divorce.
If you and your partner are disagreeing on money issues, what is the answer? I suggest you do a few things to ease the stress and remind yourself that it’s the circumstances and not you that are causing the problems. It’s hard to be under pressure from outside stressors and it’s your closest partner, your spouse that generally feels the pain of the stress on the relationship.
You and your partner need to take an objective look at your income and obligations and come up with a budget that works for both of you. Give yourselves a little wiggle room and cut out spending that is unnecessary or frivolous. If you each give up a small luxury and create a pool of money from what you save, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll meet your financial goals.
Each of you should have some walking around money and there should be a set dollar amount that you’re allowed to spend without discussing with your partner. Neither of you should have to ask permission to spend money. Even if only one partner works, they should have their own pocket money.
Designate one person to handle the finances and review your budget whenever there is a change. Life throws us many curveballs and we have to be able to adjust accordingly. It’s also crucial that when you’re the person handling the money that you discuss things often and keep the other person informed on the state of your financial health.
When you and your partner have common goals and recognize that you are both working for the same thing on the same side, you’ll find that you argue much less about money matters. You’re both working hard. Enjoy the fruits of your labors together by splurging once in a while on something fun.