Money issues have the potential to cause major tension in any relationship, regardless of the couple’s age and financial situation – why then do so few couples talk about money? To answer this question, it’s important to understand what money means to most couples and why money matters are either swept under the rug or become a sore point for many people.
Money, Success and Status
Today most of the world has become fast-paced, with countries across the globe embracing capitalism and developing and people living at a higher standard than ever before. In a world where we measure our achievements by our career status or success in business, it’s clear that the connection between money, success and status is here to stay.
For many couples the issue of money and status comes up when one partner earns significantly less than the other. While it’s difficult to measure this difference, if there is an income gap of R10 000 per month or more between them, the two partners should sit down and discuss their feelings about money and their relationship. Some couples are extremely happy with a large difference in income while others may opt for a partner in a similar income bracket. Whatever your views on money and relationships, communication is essential.
Talking Money with Your Partner
Depending on your circumstances and how you measure success, you’ll need to be honest with your partner about money matters. To avoid lingering resentment which can result in major arguments, it’s best to decide who is responsible for monthly payments, household expenses and optional spending.
Remembering that your life partner can also be a great partner in your personal finances, discuss your joint financial situation and find ways to budget effectively in ways that suit both of you. You’ll also be able to set savings and investment goals with the same outcome in mind, whether it’s buying a house or going on a holiday you’ve always dreamed of.