Happy in Love (and Money)
In surveys of couples, finances are often found to be the number one cause of disagreements in a relationship. Because of underlying stressors such as debt, personality and financial infidelity, relationships can become damaged if both partners are not on the same page. So, what can be done to keep couples happy in love and money? With Valentines Day top of mind, here are some common financial issues couples face and tips to properly address them to stay happy in love (and money):
Debt: Debt can be a huge detriment in any relationship. In a recent study by LendingTree, nearly half of Americans think that a relationship will fail if both partners have different views on debt. In that same study, 23% of millennials have broken off a relationship because of debt - and 17% of all generations combined ended a relationship because of it.
- Tip: Many enter relationships with debt. From student loans to credit card debt, it's important to discuss with your partner what kind of debt you've accumulated and how much is left to be paid off. Debt can also be an indication of poor spending habits, bad credit and more. To deal with debt, you should have frequent, honest and open-minded conversations with your partner to identify bad habits, address poor credit and to determine pay-off strategies such as tackling high-interest credit card debt first.
Personality: It's important to understand each other's money personalities. In most relationships, one partner the "spender" and the other is the "saver". In cases like this, the money personalities clash, but working with - rather than against - your money personality can eliminate the friction.
- Tip: It's important to understand money habits and to talk about them openly for a healthier relationship. Once you and your partner realize one another's money personalities, you will recognize that although you might have different save and spend habits, both are valid. Knowing is half the battle, so continue having conversations to understand how your opposing habits can be complimentary in your relationship.
Financial Infidelity: To break it down, financial infidelity happens when one partner lies to the other about money. From making large purchases without talking about it to stowing money in a separate account unknown by a partner, financial infidelity can come in many forms.
- Tip: Be aware of the signs. Checks made out to "cash", excessive spending on gambling or gifts, and unexplained withdrawals from joint checking accounts are all signs that your partner may be on a downward spiral. If you are concerned about financial infidelity, gather the facts and discuss with your partner what to do. If debt has accumulated, plan together to pay it off and stop new debts from popping up. If you need help, enlist the help of a financial coach.
Communicating about money is key to a healthy relationship. Like all problems, money anxiety - if not addressed - can snowball into a larger problem and be much difficult to manage down the road. Not sure where to start? Our certified financial coaches are here to help members address financial challenges they may be currently facing. Click here to schedule an appointment today!