We all like to believe that love is all you need to make a relationship or marriage work. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that divorce is seldom caused by a lack of love. In fact, financial troubles is cited as one of the top 5 reasons for divorce in most countries.
Here are 5 critical financial mistakes to avoid in your relationship:
1. Not talking about it
This is one of the biggest mistakes couples make when it comes to money. It is also a habit often passed on by parents to their offspring.
Some people regard finances to be a private and sensitive matter. Unfortunately, not talking openly and honestly about your finances can lead to serious misunderstandings, mistrust and confrontations.
Avoid broken hearts by breaking the silence.
2. Avoiding conflict
You know that pair of shoes that you weren’t supposed to buy? But you bought it anyway and then felt too guilty to wear it, so you hid it from your partner for a couple of months? You are not alone.
Hiding financial issues or lying about purchases to avoid conflict is a very common mistake in relationships.
Trying to avoid conflict not only leads to trust issues, but also prevents you and your partner from learning more about each other’s spending habits.
3. Losing your independence
Sure, it is nice to know that your partner is taking care of the finances, especially if you are not the “numbers type”. However, putting all the financial responsibility on one partner’s shoulders can have devastating effects for both.
This does not mean to say that both partners should be gainfully employed, but that both partners should have an understanding of your combined financial situation. It is advisable, therefore, that both partners know how the household finances work and what the status of your financial position is.
If both take responsibility, it means that the pressure is equally distributed.
4. Different money values
This is probably the biggest issue couples ignore, and also the most difficult to solve. If you and your partner have fundamentally different ideas about money, it might cause serious misunderstandings and misjudgements in your relationship.
For example, the one might love to gamble, while the other hates it. One might prefer to shop according to brands while the other is less brand conscious. One partner might believe strongly in recycling, while the other does not. The one might be a planner and the other might be more impulsive.
You may also attach different monetary values to different aspects of life. For example, you might feel that splurging on a big night out once a month is important, while your partner might feel the money may be better spent on something practical. Your partner might feel saving for exotic vacations are important, whereas you would rather vacation on a budget and drive a fancier car.
Whatever the case might be in your relationship, the only way to avoid this pitfall is through open communication and the willingness to compromise and make sacrifices.
Trying to keep up with the Joneses (or Kardashians) can destroy relationships. Sometimes it is not money itself, but rather the value people put on things that leads to breakups and divorces. Studies by BYU and William Paterson
University shown that marriages where both spouses are materialistic are worst off in every relationship aspect measured.
Forcing your partner to create debt or to buy something you can’t afford just because you want people to think you are wealthier than you really are is very toxic for any relationship.