How to have the #money talk with your #partner

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-6-40-27-pmBecause you can’t just survive on love and fresh air, here’s a primer to chatting up your partner about finances without beating around the bush!

Who needs money when there is love? Sounds very quixotic, but no matter how deeply you love your partner, let’s get real, money is crucial for survival. After the honeymoon period -doesn’t last more than six months -is over, reality sets in and life happens. It’s not always easy, especially if you are married. To avoid financial problems, couples must remove time to consider their individual money patterns and values before intermingling their financial accounts. Here are five tips about financial communication to embrace in order to have a healthy relationship with each other, and with money:

Don’t procrastinate

Don’t wait until you’re married or engaged to address concerns about spending and saving. If your girlfriend shops unnecessarily, raise the red flag now.Some people are willing to change their behaviours. If you can’t discuss these difficult topics before you decide to spend your life together, there is little chance that you’ll able to resolve them later.

Sort the spending

After you are married, don’t be childish and play the mine-and-yours game. If you must, for whatever reason, label what’s yours, what’s your partner’s, and then what is `our’ money. Decide how to share joint expenses (home rent, grocery bills, maid’s salary, joint vacations) and then allow each person to spend the leftovers as they fancy.

What you could do is agree on a set amount over for purchase. Little purchases can add up to plenty of money but everyone deserves the respect and freedom to spend their money as they see fit even if you disa gree. So if the wife likes to pamper herself at the spa, don’t stop her. Likewise, if the husband enjoys spending his extra money on Playstation games, let him.

Don’t keep unreal expectations

Bitter fights occur when we negatively view our partner’s behaviour, and create expectations that are not required. If your husband’s salary barely covers the home expense, why would you wish he gifts you an expensive holiday on your birthday? Try to open your mind. Go work for it, yourself, and gift him one, instead. Be appreciative of what you have and learn to work for things that matter the most to you. Seeing your drive, perhaps, your partner may be inspired too. Focus on the balance you bring into each other’s lives.

Figure out your values

Most fights happen over `what we’re spending on’ than `how much we’re spending’.

If you find that your values are completely off sync, finding a harmonious financial relationship is much more difficult. The reason is that values aren’t good or bad. You can’t always debate or rationalise someone’s values. When your values contradict, things can get challenging. If you care about the same things even if your spending patterns differ, it’s easier to allocate your shared financial resources.

Ask important questions

Much time and energy goes into trying to change what we can’t control: other people.You may be able to influence someone else -but all the time not. We can only control ourselves. Money is one of the important areas a couple needs to navigate. Don’t let romantic idealism over ride your values in the area of personal finance, and recognise that communication is the starting place for working through these issues. So gather courage, go head and talk.

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