The 4 Ways People In Happy Relationships Think About Money
More often than not, the number one thing couples fight about within their relationships is money. How it’s spent, earned and saved – plus people’s beliefs around money – can be a huge point of contention for so many. Good communicators tend to be great partners, so make sure you consider the following when dealing with any financial concerns in your relationship.
#1 Money conversations need empathy
It’s vital to remember that the number one rule of a successful communication is empathy. It’s easy to get caught up in your own wants and needs while forgetting that the person you love the most might be hurt by how you approach a topic.
Conversations regarding money are no different. Ensure you don’t begin the conversation with any aggression, blame or assumption; come at it conversationally and from a place of love. Ask questions instead of making statements or claims about how they handle money or feel about money, unless you want to put them immediately offside and have the talk turn into an argument.
#2 The current value of your relationship is determined by your expectations of the future
We invest in things we care about, in things we know will have a long lasting impact on our lives. Big ticket items like a house or a car, even a year travelling abroad – these are all things that might have a high cost attached to them, but we’re happy to save and put the money towards them because we know they are worth the outlay. Do you think about investing in your relationship in the same way?
If neither of you are saving for the future, you’re sending a message to your partner that you’re not really thinking about one with them in it. Even if you’re only squirrelling away a small amount, it’s enough to change your behaviour and attitude towards making space for happiness later down the track. It doesn’t matter what state your finances are in now, get a planner together and start working towards saving for your future.
#3 It’s about building the quality of your financial life, not quantity
It’s vital to invest in things together that will not only improve the quality of your life, but also the quality of your relationship. This will involve working out what really matters to the both of you, as opposed to spending money on things you think others expect of people in relationships. Jane Hwangbo for The Financial Diet says that, “according to Greg McKeown in Essentialism, we must say ‘no’ to the ‘trivial many’ so we can focus on the ‘essential few.'”
Be authentic about what uniquely matters to the both of you, and then invest in those things. Maybe you don’t care either way about a big wedding or a massive diamond ring – if those things aren’t for you, please save your cash and put it towards experiences and high quality investments that honour your individuality as a couple.
#4 You’ve go to let specific outcomes go
There is very little anyone can control in this life, except for how you choose to react to situations. When you’re both building your finances and figuring out your careers and business, there will be failure. Hwangbo says, “If you refuse to embrace failure as part of your partnership’s financial learning curve, you invite shame into your house and ask it to stay.” Release your expectations on yourself and your partner, and you’ll open yourself up to learning from mistakes and failures instead of letting them break you.
Our efforts mightn’t always be met with success, and that’s the risk with investing. Just remember that your love adds up to far more than your bank balances.
[h/t: The Financial Diet]
Esther is a freelance writer, editor, publicist, content maker and dog patter. She has written for Interview Magazine, New York Press, The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, and local titles Broadsheet, Beat and Tone Deaf. Please tag her in photos of dogs @esthersaurus