Relationships and money: When money becomes an issue

There are millions of couples struggling with budgeting, different salaries, and all kinds of problems that originate from the partners’ different incomes or spending habits. 

It seems that far too many people are never content with their money situation. They always strive for more and often neglect their significant others, their family, and their friends, while seeking ways to build up their wealth. Such behavior could be detrimental to a romantic relationship.

Another money issue couples struggle with is having different incomes. Sometimes, when one of the partners makes significantly more money than the other, it could lead to feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, and worthlessness.

Why do couples struggle with money issues in the first place?

As writer Melissa Steussy notes, many of our issues with financing stem from childhood programming. Growing up, we witness how our parents handle money, and we subconsciously follow some of their habits, even the unhealthy ones.

For example, if you grew up in a household where saving money was valued more than the momentary satisfaction of spending, then you have probably adopted the same mentality as an adult. Instead of spending a fortune on new clothes every month, you have a modest wardrobe with essential pieces that go with everything. Instead of spending your salary on eating out, going on luxury vacations, or purchasing things you don’t really need, you have a budgeting system that allows you to control your income better.

On the contrary, if you grew up in a family that was never concerned about price tags, you might be spending more than you earn. In case your parents never really cared what they spent their cash on, you might find such a relationship with money completely normal.

Now imagine a romantic relationship between two people having completely different mindsets about finances.

Sooner or later, as their feelings for each other grow and they start creating a family, money will definitely get in the way. While one of them can easily spend a hundred dollars on a night out, for instance, the other one will put those hundred bucks in the bank or spend them on the weekly grocery shopping. This could create severe misunderstandings and deeper mental health issues.

Being on the same page about budgeting, however, could spare you some serious relationship problems. It sets you free from the anxiety you inevitably have from running out of money or making less than your other half.

So, where can you and your partner meet in the middle if you are currently dealing with money issues? 

For instance, if you are the big spender in your couple, you may be in charge of travel expenses, after you discuss them with your spouse, of course. In case spending money is hard for them in general, you can help them understand that sometimes spending on things that make you happy and bring you wholesome memories you are going to keep in your heart forever, such as a summer vacation with a loved one, is not equal to wasting money.

On the other hand, they can help you acknowledge where to put the line and stop before you turn spending into wasting. Their proneness to saving money can help you control your compulsive shopping addiction. Just like yin and yang, you complete each other and help one another deal with the stress that comes with being in charge of your finances.

The point is to be content with what you have individually and as a couple. Having regular conversations about your views on money is a healthy habit that will strengthen your bond and help you avoid serious arguments.

Is money an issue in your relationship? If yes, what is the issue, and how do you handle it? Leave a comment to let us know!

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