Handling financial stress with a loved one, in many ways, is far better than suffering through it alone. However, stressing out about money can have a heavy impact on a relationship, whether it be romantic or platonic. So, how do you go about handling financial stress without adding stress to your relationship?
There’s no 1-2-3 answer to this really. In many cases, the dynamic of the relationship will determine how financial stress is handled. However, there are some steps you can take to ease the stress on your relationship and place it where it belongs: on fixing your finances.
How to Deal With Financial Stress in a Relationship
My significant other and I have been living together for about a year and a half. Up until recently though, we were pretty strapped financially. It took a lot of discipline and hard work. We paid off debts, saved money, and made things happen quickly. One of the main contributors to our success in doing so was not allowing the financial stress to damage our relationship. Here’s how we did it:
- Be open and honest about money. One key step in our success to overcoming our financial stress was communication, and it will be on your journey as well. If you are sharing finances with this person, and plan to do so the rest of your life, you can’t be afraid to talk to them about it. A huge thing for us and many other couples is being able to find a tool that we could use to monitor all of the finances in the house. We did this by sharing a Mint budgeting account. We added all of our accounts and reminded one another of due dates, savings goals, and had a good idea of where we were financially at all times.
- Talk about areas you messed up and discuss your losses. Before we got to that great place where we were communicating about our finances well, we messed up. A lot. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’ve messed up, but also work with your partner on ways to prevent it from happening again. Talking about where you messed up and how it happened can prevent financial stress down the road. For instance, we went over budget at Christmas time and, subsequently, had a really tight budget at the beginning of the year. We discussed having additional savings this year for Christmas (because we both love the holiday). Discussing it took the stress out of the relationship and placed it back on the finances like it should be.
- Always appreciate the little things. When you are broke or seriously working on your finances, you don’t have money to spend on spoiling your significant other, and that sucks. You can still do a lot of little things that will make a world of difference though. When dealing with financial stress in a relationship, focusing on the little things can make-or-break it. While we were experiencing hard times, my other half brought home $1 coffee mugs (I love coffee), or he would bring home my favorite snack. Although these things didn’t cost much, they meant a lot.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help
Whether it is relationship counseling or financial counseling, always remember that reaching out for help is a possibility. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a financial advisor or relationship counselor to help you navigate these tough times. There are many affordable counseling services available.
Dealing with financial stress in a relationship can be tough but as long as you keep communication open, work together, and reach out for help when you need it, you and your partner will be on your way to financial success in no time!