Don’t let the dollars and cents drive a wedge between you and your partner.
Here are five ways you can stop arguing about money.
#1 Be transparent about your financial situation.
Come clean and be honest about your finances. “This allows the other partner to help with anything that is not enough or bad for your relationship,” says Dato’ Dr. Arunan Selvaraj, lawyer and author of Saving Your Marriage. “Being transparent is also about being true and honest. This will build trust and further strengthen your marriage.”
#2 Set your financial goals on the same priority, whether it is to buy a home, paying off debts or saving for retirement.
“Mutual motivation and benefit at reaching your financial goals are better when shared. It helps you cooperate and makes it easier to understand why sacrifices are being made,” says Dr. Arunan. Having the same financial goals is also the first step to fostering a strong partnership with one another. Aside from being on the same team financially, this shared value will also ensure better communication between you and your partner.
#3 Budget, budget, budget.
“A budget is important so that both of you won’t lose track with money. Getting carried away with money will only result in poor future planning,” says Dr. Arunan. It is one thing to have a budget and another to actually follow it. Dr. Arunan’s tip? “Set a realistic budget plan that you both can live by. Track your spending together so that you are both up to date with each other’s progress.”
#4 Learn how to talk about money without fighting.
Money cannot buy love but it sure can make or break a relationship, especially when all you do is fight over money. The smart way around it? Be calm, cool and collected whenever the talk centres about moolah. “It is common to feel very sensitive when it comes to money,” says Dr. Arunan. “Therefore it is important to not only address the issues accordingly but also speak with respect.” The one way to go about it? Avoid blaming, accusing or pointing out one another’s fault whenever money’s involved. Make it an open discussion that is honest and supportive.
#5 Reflect on your own money philosophy before critising your partner’s.
You may think you’ve got a better handle on your cash than your partner. Good on you but that doesn’t mean his way is totally wrong. People deal with money differently. Unless it is completely out of order, appreciate how your partner views and treats money. “This way can help you understand your differences better and eventually embrace those differences so you can plan a shared vision that you both are committed to,” says Dr. Arunan.
Dato Dr. Arunan Selvaraj, Advocate & Solicitor, Managing Partner of Messrs. Rusmah Arunan & Associates.
Dr. Arunan’s book Saving Your Marriage is available at major bookstores for RM39.90.For purchase information, contact Ms. Patricia at 012- 6903373.