Financial incompatibility can always pinch an otherwise sound relationship. Spendthrifts and misers can never be compatible. It becomes very important to find a common ground for the relationship to sustain, especially when such extremities are at play. A study on how money impacts the overall happiness in a relationship revealed that happy couples have different money habits compared to not so happy couples. Bad money habits can lead to hardships in the long run and can possibly lead to a breakup. Avoiding a few mistakes can certainly help.
- Evading money talks – most couples make the mistake of avoiding this significant topic and thus jeopardize their relationship’s happiness. It has been proved that couples who talk about money more than those who don’t, have higher chances to be successful in their relationship. Money related issues are very personal and sharing them is like sharing a personal goal or a dream. And this can draw a couple close to each other. It’s a great way to get to know each other.
- Taking too long to discuss -Waiting too long to discuss money related issues can be one of the biggest blunders couples make. A person’s money habits always reflect some of the life choices he or she makes. There can be different takes though. Someone may wish to work hard to make money only to indulge in luxuries. While someone else may work hard to make money, not to indulge in luxuries but to afford a healthy retirement in the future. Here we have multiples perspectives – someone who spends freely on luxuries, could either be perceived as generous or careless. While someone who saves eagerly could be perceived as either farsighted or stingy. It’s all about how comfortable a couple is about these differences. Procrastinating money conversations would be a big fallacy since working out the differences sooner rather than later is always beneficial.
- Maintaining separate bank accounts is a no – gone are the days when money was handled only by one person. Sharing money is an important aspect for a happy relationship. A survey found that people who kept their money separate were less happy compared to those who shared. Similarly, using separate credit and debit cards also has the same impact. The more financial resources the couples share, the closer they feel about working towards a common goal – be it investments, retirement, savings, loans etc.
- Not budgeting money for entertainment and personal indulgences – while savings and investments never hurt, one should always keep some money aside for gifts and vacations. These two ingredients are very important for the mental health of couples. Prioritizing and budgeting for holidays and gifts can create enormous happiness in a relationship.
- Never keep financial secrets – while any secrecy always hampers a relationship, a financial secret is an absolute no. Frequent secret purchases, secret lending, borrowing or spending on someone outside the relationship can create trust issues in the couple. Here the damage is not done by money but by secrecy and money only becomes the tool, which is not at all worth it.
- Avoid significant credit card debts – again a survey revealed that the ratio of happiness in couples who had major credit card debts was much lower compared to those with less or no debt.
Money is the link between the present and the future of your relationship. Please do not underestimate the significance of its implications. I strongly believe in what someone very aptly said: “If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right!”