Money is a touchy topic for most of us. Money fights between couples are all about control and freedom. Keeping the communication channels open and respecting each other’s attitudes can help couples manage finance better, says Rajiv Raj.
Love makes our head spin! Well, money makes heads spin too! What happens when the two come together? They fight. Monetary issues have been cited as the number one reason in marital disputes between couples.
Love exists, but discussions about money can turn good into ugly, if monetary foundation is not laid well in the initial days of the relationship.
About 37 per cent of the workforce population today consists of women. They are treading the path they never used to in terms of genres of work, and as a by product there is financial freedom. The dimensions of a relationship between couples have changed today because of this. More and more couples are raising issues regarding money. Here are some of the common money issues which, if not taken care of, can lead to arguments. However, couples can avoid these tiffs!
1. Share financial plans
Conflicting ideas, plans and priorities about money can lead to disagreements in a relationship. Also, controlling aspects about the finances can make partners uncomfortable. Sharing each other’s money management plans and goals, preferably before marriage can give a head start to manage the finances better after wedding. Also, being transparent and honest about money to each other can earn a lot more brownie points than imagined.
2. Joint or separate
Difference in opinion about having a joint account and bearing the common expenses together or having separate accounts and splitting the bills, can lead to major fights and arguments. Couples should realise that, there is no ‘one way to handle finances’. Whatever suits them should be done as long as both the partners agree to what seems fair to them.
3. Managing debts
Whether you got into debts on your own or as a couple, debt can cause major stress in a relationship. Couples who are mature to understand that working together as a team, not only strengthens the relationship but also helps reduce debts more quickly.
4. Default in payments
If you are looking forward to building that dream house together, and have applied for housing loan together, a bad credit score in one of your Cibil report due to default in credit card payments and other reasons can make your significant other go red. Helping each other in paying off balances on time can go a long way in avoiding this.
5. Attitude regarding money
If one of you is a spendthrift and the other believes in saving, chances are high that the arguments are a day-to-day affair. Couples with contradictory mindsets can have trouble agreeing on how their money should be spent. Having a personal allowance for oneself and creating a mutually planned budget for common expenses can go a long way in minimising these conflicts. In this case, the partner who is a spendthrift could avoid half the conflicts by being aware of the mindset of the other.
Money is a touchy topic for most of us. Money fights between couples are all about control and freedom. Keeping the communication channels open and respecting each other’s attitudes can help couples manage finance better.
If not, it makes a lot of sense to seek advice from financial experts, who can give you unemotional, objective suggestions. So, think about where you stand in your marital life from a financial perspective and work towards bettering it.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
The author is a credit expert with 10 years of experience in personal finance and consumer banking industry and another 7 years in credit bureau sector. Rajiv was instrumental in setting up India's first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). He has also worked with Citibank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Experian in various capacities.