Handling money is a skill. Some people are good at it. They have a budget all written out. Their planner or calendar has what to pay and when. They even have a retirement plan in place. Others are not so good at managing their finances. They pay late, incurring late fees. They’ve hurt their credit. They go on shopping sprees or can’t resist impulse buys. But what happens when your romantic partner is the one who is bad with money? It may be fine if you live in separate places and have separate finances, but warning bells go off when the relationship gets more serious. Bad credit can affect important options for the future such as buying a house, financing a car, getting a better job and so on. This could truly inhibit life goals. The number one issue that couples fight about is money (yourtango.com). Financial worries put strain on a relationship. So what can you do if your partner is bad with money? Turns out there are a lot of things you can do.
First, evaluate how you spend money. Are you a free spender? Do you hide things in the closet that you’ve bought out of guilt? Are you a miser or prudent and sensible when it comes to managing money? Next, evaluate who your partner is. Some people would rather live in the moment while others save for important moments in life such as college or retirement. If you and your partner’s money saving styles are in conflict, have a heart-to-heart about it. Make sure it is a conversation with no judgment, only a pointing out of certain behavior and how it effects the relationship. If one person is being too tight with money, and the other too loose, a compromise can be reached. A sensible budget should be drawn up with discretionary spending for each party and what each party will equitably contribute to the bills and savings. Negotiation, patience, encouragement and rule making are key to success. If one strays from their promise, one should only need reminding of the budget and their agreement. If there is a compulsion which no amount of discussion has curbed, seek the advice of a couple’s counselor, or perhaps the party who has the compulsion should seek counseling, whatever you decide together is best.