Relationships and Money are the perfect breeding ground for conflict.
Fear and change can often lead to conflict, in any situation. People have very strong emotions about money. It is the emotions and values people attach to money that cause the conflict.
Do you fight about money or ignore money problems?
Money concerns such as not having enough, not making enough, not saving enough, spending too much are common sources of conflict in relationships. Most people fight about money; that is no surprise.
During a lifetime there are many stages that money conflict can occur in relationships.
Beginning Of A Relationship
Moving in together, unpaid school debt, wedding costs or purchasing your first house. You should definitely set the expectations early. Who is going to pay for what and how will you afford the things that you want/need?
This would also be a good time to look into a cohabitation or pre-nuptial agreement.
Your First Child
A time of great joy, and great stress over money. There are many financial decisions to be made such as daycare, will both parents continue to work, education savings as well as the plain cost of raising a child. It’s important to discuss your values even before getting pregnant or adopting your first child. This is not an area where you want surprises or unwanted conversations.
Separation or Divorce
Divorce is costly and high stress. In many cases people chose to continue to live together because they can’t afford to divorce. If they do proceed with the divorce, splitting the family assets and going forward alone can take its toll. Using Mediation or Collaborative Law are options to help you make decisions about your future while keeping money in your pocket.
We all know that raising children is tough. Disputes occur around the value of money – them wasting money or them earning money. When should they contribute to their own lifestyle (clothing, driving, cell phones), school and sometimes rent? Ensure that they grow up knowing the value of money and your expectation and feelings towards it.
An Elderly Parent
You want the best for your parents but how do you and your family not feel burdened by the financial stress of providing that care?
Sibling squabbles can occur when the parent has no or little money to fund their own care. Taking in an elderly parent to live in your home is also an area where disputes arise.
Communication with extended family members, in addition to ensuring that the elderly parent has a voice in the process will alleviate some of the stress.
The age old question of when can you retire? Can you afford it? How will your standard of living change? What if you run out of money? Stress is high as you are leaving your lifelong working environment and still want to ensure your quality of life. Making these decisions with your partner will provide you with the support you need; at least emotionally, to plan for your future.
Follow these 10 tips to successfully avoid money conflict in your relationships:
- Openly communicate about financial matters
- Use professionals when appropriate
- Discuss your VALUES regarding money
- Ensure each person has access to money
- Be realistic
- Manage debt
- Manage expectations
- Understand that feelings about money are personal
- Understand your personal and the family’s financial position
Here is your question to take away…
If you won $10,000 what would you do with it? Would your partner agree?