Relationships and Money – Avoiding the Usual Mistakes

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October 15, 2012 by debthelpau

Money is one of the most common causes of disagreement between couples new and old and, if left unchecked, can cause serious problems. Your attitude towards money will have been influenced by your upbringing and personal experiences and should these differ greatly to those of your partner, your attitudes may clash. By identifying the key mistakes that you can make when handling money in a relationship, you can learn to successfully avoid them.

Mistake # 1: Neglecting Budgeting

The creation of a monthly budget is essential if you wish to handle your money wisely. If one of you earns more than the other, it is important to eliminate the power differential, even if it would appear to be the logical solution to hand the responsibility for all of the money over to the person who earns the most. To ensure that you have a balanced relationship, you must balance the components within your relationship and this means that you will need to come to the understanding that any income generated is for the both of you, not just for yourself. When drawing up a budget, you must be honest with regards to your spending habits. If you fail to disclose your spending, the issue will be brought to light sooner rather than later.

Mistake #2: Hiding Previously Accumulated Debts

You must take the time to learn about your partner’s previous relationship with money. Attitudes to money can derive from a range of factors, from growing up in a house with a low income to being in a relationship in which money was handled unwisely. When you gain an understanding of the way in which money was handled in your partner’s past, you will be better able to understand their current management of money and this can aid you in reaching suitable compromises.

Mistake #3: Avoiding Responsibility

One of you should be held responsible for the payment of bills. If no-one is assigned to this task, it will be all too easy for you to miss payment deadlines and incur late charges. While the most financially-minded person should take charge of the management of payments, the other person must be involved and should be capable of paying bills should they be required to do so at any time in the future.

Mistake #4: Owning Only Joint Credit Cards

While it is acceptable to take out joint credit cards, you should ideally have one credit card in your own name so that you are able to maintain your own credit history. If you split up or your partner dies, you may find it difficult to obtain a loan, mortgage or credit card if you do not have your own credit history.

Mistake #5: Owning Only Joint Accounts

You should consider keeping separate accounts so that you each possess a personal amount of money to spend or splurge each month. Income percentages can be used to determine the amount of money that should be split into your separate accounts. Alternatively, you can choose to split any remaining money up equally. You can keep any joint accounts for your joint expenses, such as your rent and other household bills.

Mistake #6: Failing to Keep the Money Conversation Open

Money never fails to be a touchy topic in relationships but the key to avoiding arguments is to always keep the money conversation open for discussion. It is important for the both of you to keep an open mind and to listen to each other’s concerns and requests. If your partner’s attitude towards money differs greatly to that of your own, you may need to exercise a degree of self-discipline to make compromises. For the sake of balancing out your relationship and preventing money from turning into a problem, you may need to be more flexible, or more conservative, than you used to be.

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