Money and relationships: how to deal with financial stress
It’s often debated whether money brings happiness, but having a lack of it can certainly cause a lot of stress. Money worries can impact our mental health causing anxiety, stress, anger and even depression.
Disagreements over money management when in a relationship can cause arguments and even breakups or divorce.
The mental health issues caused by personal financial stress can have an impact on our relationship through our temperament.
If money is negatively impacting your relationship, here are some tips on how to deal with it.
How to deal with financial stress in a relationship
Don’t place blame
Many of us have opposing money management views, so just because you might be a saver and your partner a spender, it doesn’t mean you are right and they are wrong.
Whilst some people are anxious about the future and want to save every last penny, others live for the moment and believe in enjoying the money they work so hard to earn by spending it now.
Both views hold value and rather than blame each other for not managing money how you’d like, instead work together to come to a compromise.
Placing blame is only going to lead to arguments and refusing to accept another point of view.
No-one is ‘right’ - you just have different opinions.
Having a difference in opinion when it comes to money management doesn’t mean your relationship needs to suffer or end. Instead you need to discover a way to solve your differences.
Talk honestly about money
Whether we want it to or not, money does have a huge impact on our lives. Too little can cause constant money anxiety and stress. How will we pay next month’s bills? What if the car breaks down?
Even if we have disposable income, we can find ourselves battling over how to best use it. Should we spend it now or save it for the future?
In order to prevent arguments, no matter what our financial situation, we need to be able to discuss money openly with our partner.
Couples might not always agree on how to spend money, but it’s a conversation that needs to be had.
It’s also important to both know where you stand with money, especially if you share a bank account and one person mainly controls it. Make sure you both regularly know the standing of the account and how the budget is progressing through the month. Don’t stay in the dark when it comes to money.
It’s not always a bad thing if one is a saver and one a spender. Perhaps you both need each other!
If you’re a hard-core anxious-about-the-future saver then perhaps you need someone to encourage you to relax a little about money every now and then and to treat yourself. Living in the now isn’t always a bad thing. No-one knows what the future holds and it’s OK to spend money on yourself and enjoy some of it now!
On the other hand, if you spend every last penny before next payday, then perhaps some of your spending does need reining in. Sure, life is for living, but when you’re too old to work then you’ll need a retirement fund so it’s best to start saving something.
Agreeing on an amount to save each month and a spending budget will ensure you are both on the same page, get to live a little now and can secure your future too.
Talk to a therapist
If money stress is causing a serious strain on your relationship then talking to a professional can help you to truly understand each other’s worries and come up with solutions moving forwards.
You can visit a therapist in person, or if time is short, or you’re more comfortable doing it at home, then online therapy is a great option.
Online relationship counselling platform ReGain even offers marriage counselling for free for one week so you can see if it’s right for you, as well as lots of helpful articles to help strengthen your relationship and learn more about therapy such as https://www.regain.us/advice/marriage/free-marriage-counseling-you-get-what-you-pay-for/.
Talking about how financial stress is impacting your relationship and seeking professional counsel can help you to overcome these problems. Talking won’t make any money difficulties go away, but it can help you learn to communicate with one another effectively and ensure you don’t let finances ruin your personal relationship.
Learn how to budget
If you’re both always running out of money and it’s this lack of money management on both your parts that causes friction, then learn how to properly manage your salary and budget throughout the month.
Make it a team effort. Do your research and work together to manage your money properly. Hold each other accountable.
Budget for saving and spending each month and stick to it.
Increase your earnings and/or savings
If lack of money is causing a rift, then look at ways to increase your monthly income. Perhaps you can progress in your career, look for a better paid job or even start your own business.
If you enjoy your job and don’t want to change, then there are still ways you can make more money or save money on your household spending.
There are also lots of ways to make additional income online in your spare time that can boost your monthly income for spending or even pay towards your debts.
Take a look at your monthly outgoings and see where you can cut costs. If you haven’t switched energy, mobile or broadband suppliers for a while then these are great places to start. Many people save hundreds per year just by switching energy supplier.
If you have memberships or subscriptions you rarely use then either scrap them or start using them. Learn where you are wasting money or not getting value for money and do something about it.
Get cashback for all your online purchases and even in-stores. Get money back in your wallet to spend or save how you want!
Check out these lists of cashback sites and apps to get started:
Start reducing any financial pressure in your relationship by making more or saving more.
Set financial goals together
Whilst you may need to compromise on money management, you do need to set financial goals together and come to an agreement you are both happy with financially.
You might have some separate financial goals you wish to achieve, but for a relationship to be healthy you should also have some joint financial goals that you are working towards together.
Perhaps that’s saving for a family holiday or paying off a joint credit card.
Find value in each other
Rather than finding value in material belongings and trying to keep up with the Joneses, leading to overspending and potentially debt, rediscover the things that truly hold value and importance in your lives and each other.
Spending time together and enjoying each other’s company doesn’t have to cost a penny. A successful relationship shouldn’t have anything to do with money and compatible couples should thrive together whether poor or wealthy.
It’s not all about money. It’s about your love for one another.
More relationship blog posts
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How to keep a relationship strong after having kids
The secrets to a long term relationship
How to make getting married affordable
Married life after the big day — what are the costs that lie ahead?
How to save your relationship for free
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