Money issues in a relationship often lead to divorce. The recent fiscal cliff deal means less money for everyone. Marital issues are likely to arise if not dealt with properly. Don’t let money issues damage your marriage or family relationships. While money issues are a top reason for divorce, it doesn’t have to be. While we live in uncertain times and a very weak economy, it is time to build unity within the family, pull together, and make this tough situation a benefit for family relationships. In this article I’ll provide several tips on how you can not only survive money issues in your relationship but also flourish in these difficult financial times.
There is an article published Friday, January 11, 2013 about how millions of people are finding lighter paychecks due to the payroll tax hike. Twenty-one year old Gabriella Hoffman is quoted as saying “Although it’s a small quantity on a monthly basis, just having less money going into my paycheck will prevent me from doing things and force me to be more frugal.” For those living together or married, the reduced income can lead to marital issues. This is really an opportunity in disguise. It is an opportunity to talk about money before it becomes a money issue. The best time to talk about money issues is calmly at the dinner table.
Plan right now to talk about money. Let your partner or spouse know you want to talk about money issues and you’d like to talk about it at dinner tonight. This takes the pressure off the moment and allows each person to prepare.
How to Talk About Money Issues at the Dinner Table
Here are some tips and ideas on how to talk about money issues during a family meal:
- Always remain calm and never let emotion enter into the discussion.
- Always start by showing respect to your partner or spouse. Be respectful of them always and in everything.
- It is quite possible one person is a money spender while the other is money saver. Each has merits and each person can learn and benefit from the other. The key is to not have either one dominate the other.
- Be honest. Be truthful. Don’t hide any spending or saving from your spouse. Lay all the cards on the table.
- Never blame. If you are married, you are equal partners and in it together. Like partners on a doubles tennis team, you win or lose as a team. If one is not doing well, it is up to the other partner to step in and pick it up until both are equal again. This is a very important mindset.
- Make and stick to a budget. Yes, people budget! It is important for each person in the family to know what is coming in and going out.
- Set goals, financial and otherwise. See my post about goal setting for more info.
- Aim to be in 100% complete agreement by the time you are finished talking. Both partners must be in agreement.
Use the family meal as an opportunity to solve money issues. When done properly, talking over a family meal will avoid marital issues.
What are your thoughts on this? Let me know below.