Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
Relationships are complex and adding financial stress into the mix complicates things even further. Arguments about money are the leading cause of relationship breakdown and it follows that if couples can find a way to reduce financial stress and avoid conflict over money, the chances of a successful relationship are greatly enhanced. When two people come together from different backgrounds, they usually have different attitudes towards money or different money personalities. That’s because your money personality is shaped by a number of factors that relate to your upbringing and your past experiences. These different money personalities show up as different attitudes towards spending and saving, debt, financial risk, and building wealth. It is important to remember that when it comes to personalities, there is no right and wrong; just different. The best way to deal with differences is to firstly identify what they are, then to acknowledge them with acceptance and discuss how they can be taken into account. Opposite personalities, such as spenders and savers or risk takers and risk avoiders require compromise and boundaries. For example, a spender can be given freedom to spend up to a certain limit, or a risk taker can be given an agreed amount of money with which to speculate. Problems occur when there is no compromise, when boundaries are not set and more importantly when people do not acknowledge or understand the consequences of their actions. For example, a spender may incur large debts without thinking about how the debts are going to be repaid. In a good relationship, each person acts in such a way as to cause minimal negative impact on the other. Agreeing financial goals is a great place to start so that you are both working towards the same outcomes with regard to your income and your assets.
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