Love is easy, but it doesn’t pay your bills

Money is the most common source of disagreements and arguments for couples. Finances can make or break any relationship by adding stress into the mix. Love is easy, but it doesn’t pay your bills.

There is a lot of relationship advice out there – and financial advice – on how to keep your relationship healthy, even when money threatens to tear it apart. So where do you begin?

Earning, spending, and saving money is a necessary part of life. Lack of finances may often lead to misunderstanding and conflict in your relationship, which sometimes becomes severe and unsettled.

As much as you want to avoid thinking about it, you need money to support your everyday life. You need money to buy food, handle your household expenses, raise your children, and plan for your future.

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Most couples find it difficult to raise financial issues with their partners because sometimes it causes arguments and disagreements.

There are many reasons why couples are facing financial difficulties:

  • Income is not enough for their expenses.
  • One of you loses a job.
  • One of you is an impulsive buyer or a shopaholic.
  • One of you has a gambling problem.
  • Unexpected illness or accident.
  • Your first baby is born

Both of you need to be on the same page about your finances

Whatever the reason might be, the financial issues in your relationship can be solved, and you should start by talking to your partner about it in a healthy way. Both of you need to be on the same page about your finances.

The good news is, it is never too late to have this conversation, and having an open line of communication about money is healthy for your relationship.

Most likely, you inherit your values and beliefs about money from your parents and family members. You subconsciously apply these in your spending and saving habits.

Whatever the reason might be, the financial issues in your relationship can be solved, and you should start by talking to your partner about it in a healthy way

If you and your partner have different values and beliefs about money, this may cause conflicts. To avoid conflicts, you need to understand your partner’s values and beliefs about money. This will help you to set the stage in discussing your financial plan.

You could include these questions when you discuss your financial plan with your partner, and it will help you create a financial value system as a couple:

  • What are your values and beliefs about spending money?
  • What are your values and beliefs about managing debt?
  • What are your values and beliefs about managing savings?
  • What are your values and beliefs about earning money?
  • What are your financial goals?
  • What did your parents teach you about money?
  • How do you organise your finances?

Couples should work as a team in dealing with their finances

Your financial situation may be that one of you is working while the other manages the home and finances. Or it may be that both of you work, but you also have to provide money for things like day-care or other expenses.

Your financial situation is unique to you; an ideal situation is that you both have a grasp of how much money is coming in, how it will be allocated, and what is important for both of you to focus on each month with regard to bills, child-rearing costs, and saving for retirement or college funds.

Both partners should share an equal role in financial decision making. You may trade duties in handling your finances, for example: This month you will handle your savings and investment while your partner handles the household expenses.

The next month, you will handle the household expenses and your partner handles your savings and investment.

If your partner’s income is short, you may also take freelancing jobs so you can help your partner with the household expenses, or use the money you have earned in your investments.

It is always best to discuss financial matters with your partner. You might agree or sometimes disagree on your beliefs and values about finances, but it is important to start talking about your financial situation, financial habits and financial goals whether you are married, engaged, or just starting to get serious in your relationship.

Esther Bilbao helps mentor women to have better relationships, health, and personal development. For more information on how she can help you create a better life for yourself, visit her website for a 30-day all-access pass for lessons from expert instructors.

This article was first published on YourTango.