Communicating about finances in relationships

Talking about money styles will decrease stress in households.

Money issues are one of the top causes of stress in relationships. With a little communication, households can create a plan that works for everyone. Here are some tips to get started.

Sharing money is a difficult task and in order to be successful, partners need to trust each other. We all have different spending habits. Different spending habits and ideas on how to spend money can cause conflicts. Some people are natural savers and others love to spend. Some see money as a way to have fun and others worry about it. Another issue may be that one person may earn more money or income for the household, while the other person is in school or home with the children.

Talking about money styles will decrease stress and can increase communication around finances in households. Everyone has their own thoughts and feelings on how to utilize money. Learning each other’s styles will create a better understanding and potentially a compromise on what is best for the household. There is no right or wrong way. What is important is that you create a plan that works for everyone.

Creating a financial plan as a household is rewarding and will reduce stress. This provides a roadmap on where the household wants to go as a whole and is a clear understanding on how decisions are made. If children are involved it is an excellent opportunity to teach money management.

Establish money rules. This will reduce conflicts and help manage money as a team. Agree on equal say about money regardless of who earns it. Be honest and open about all money matters and make important money management decisions together. Some households agree on a certain dollar amount that each can spend without consulting the other.

Michigan State University Extension has an interactive website called MI money health that offers a plethora of free resources. For MSU Extension classes on stress management, anger management and financial management offered near you go to: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/events.

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