Some people say being in a relationship is hard, but this hits on a negative aspect, and it isn’t entirely true. Being in a relationship takes work, and it’s the work that some couples find to be hard to deal with.
The truth is, many of us just don’t want to work for certain things. Americans in particular have this unrealistic expectation that things are supposed to be easy, including relationships. But this ideology sets you up for a tough battle, especially after the natural progression of a relationship from meeting to dating to marriage.
The trick is to maintain your same momentum throughout the relationship. And, that’s the part we refer to as “hard work.”
Additionally, one of the top reasons why couples split up is largely due to financial stress.
Whether you’re fighting about how much money to save, considering new auto insurance, or even if you’re fighting over that shirt you bought last week, there’s still time to repair the damage from financial stress.
Dealing With Financial Stress
You’re probably going to be familiar with the following scenario:
You and your spouse go out shopping for groceries. You pick out all the items on your list together, as a couple, and then proceed to the checkout counter. When the cashier rings everything up, you see the total and the next thing you know your face is getting hot and you’re calculating in your mind just how much of a financial hit you’re taking from buying all those groceries.
So, you both casually go back to the car, load your super expensive shopping trip into the trunk and get in the car. For the first mile or two, you both sit in silence. And, then it happens.
“I can’t believe we just spent all that money.” Says one of you.
After this statement, the financial argument usually begins.
No matter the state of your financial affairs, everyone stresses over money at some point in their life. But, as individuals, we can usually deal with our own stress fairly well.
When in a relationship, however, you have to learn how to communicate your frustrations in an understanding and compromising manner, otherwise you’re in for an all-out brawl.
Regarding your financial angst, there are two main techniques you can use to ease the tension, and get on to living your life as a happy couple.
Everyone needs a budget. If you’re going through life without budgeting at all, well, you’re probably not reading this post. But, if you’re like the majority of Americans who actually need to budget on a weekly to monthly basis, you understand the positive aspect of budgeting and the pain of miscalculations.
Set up a monthly budget, and be prepared to sacrifice a bit in order to get you and your spouse into good financial graces.
This can be as simple as removing expenses on things like luxuries, eating out, or any entertainment packages that you have. Sit down and really calculate what your financial goals are and how you both want to get there while removing any unneeded expenses. Look for areas that you can save in. For instance, if you feel your car insurance is too high, turn to a comparison site to see what your rate options are from multiple insurance companies.
Sacrifices are necessary with financial planning, and the more frivolous expenses you can remove, the less stress you’ll be subjected to.
If you feel yourself beginning to stress out about what you or your spouse is spending, it’s time to have a serious conversation.
Maybe you’re worried about not being able to contribute to your kid’s college fund. Or, perhaps you’re worried about the next four years of auto loan installments that you feel are just too high to maintain.
No matter your worries, you have to communicate to your spouse in a kind and friendly (gentle) manner just exactly why you’re worried and propose a solution or two about how to fix these issues.
You’d be surprised at how much better you feel when you clear the air, have positive discourse, and work together to find solutions.
No matter what, don’t begin talking about finances by going on the attack or pointing fingers. Chances are, you’ve frivolously spent a few dollars as well.
Relationships are a two-way financial street. You have to realize that you are a part of the relationship too, and financial stress is a burden that you both have to bear.
To begin a discussion, take a few bucks, if you can afford it, and go out to have a couple of drinks or a casual dinner and discuss your financial plan. Or, do something fun for free like taking an easy hike or sitting at a park.
Make it fun, and keep it cordial. And remember, a little honesty regarding how you’re feeling financially goes a long way in any relationship.