Planning a Good Budget Can Keep Everyone Happy

by Eric Jilson

Money is without question the number one topic couples argue over, and also a topic most people stress over throughout most of their lives. Money is also a common reason for couples separating. The trouble usually stems from the fact that one of the partner’s controls the majority of the finances and financial decisions, disrupting the middle road balance that couples try to maintain in most aspects of their relationships. What often happens is that the main money earner becomes overly protective of their money, feeling the weight of the work they put into earning it more keenly, while the other partner simply views it as excess money that can and should be spent.

The first step to having a healthy financial relationship with your partner is to be completely open and honest. This not only includes any money your spending, but also on the overall financial health of the household in general. One partner often knows how the finances are doing while the other partner may be in the dark. When the partner in the know tells their spouse that things are okay to avoid stress or arguments, even when they’re not, this can create more problems. The other partner will likely continue to spend money that the household cannot afford to have spend in that way, thinking that their finances are okay. This can just lead to further financial woes and stress.

When you’ve both agreed to be open and honest about your purchases and the financial picture, things should run much more smoothly. Your last major issue will be in breaking any stalemates over planned purchases or the like. You should sit down together and try to discuss it and see if it makes sense at the time. You may come up with a mediation method that works in all cases, such as if one partner is unsure about any purchase, then you both err on the side of caution. At the very least a compromise may be able to be worked out where less money is spent for a similar item or service.

A last resort would be to go to counseling. If a couple isn’t on the same page and do not have time to discuss financial matters like getting a Visa credit card, arguing starts and often accomplish nothing but wasted time and hurtful words, with very little satisfaction. In these cases a third party is useful for getting both parties on the same page by reaching a middle ground that can work for both of them.

With money being as important as it is in society, and with being the number one thing individuals stress over, it’s not surprising that this topic is also the most stressed over and fought about by couples. Life is a constant work in progress, and things can change on a dime, and this mindset needs to be incorporated into your finances. What may have or may not have worked before very well may or may not now. Adapting and working together as a team should keep you ahead of the game and happy over your financial picture.

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