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5 Common Money Mistakes Couples Make

5 Common Money Mistakes Couples Make

Sharing your life with someone else can be a wonderful experience with many benefits but not all is sunshine and lollipops and a successful relationship requires hard work. Individuals get together when they share common interests, enjoy each others company and, to a certain extent, want to have a future together. Many relationships fail however due to common and easily preventable money mistakes which can be avoided by taking a few proactive steps.

1. Not Creating a Budget

When couples get together they often share responsibility for expenses like food and utilities but also establish common goals for vacations and planning for the future. Creating a budget is a crucial tool to both manage expenses and allocate limited financial resources. Many financial misunderstandings and resentment can be directly tied to not knowing what money is coming in and where it is going. To minimize complications in the relationship, creating a budget is essential to build communication and trust.

2. Inopportune Sharing

Many couples, when they establish the ground rules for their relationship, have a blanket policy of sharing everything at all times. While generally speaking, having the freedom to say what's on your mind is a good thing but there's a time and place for everything. Inappropriate or inopportune sharing with include topics like who gets what if and when the relationship ends, is my name going on the title to your car and how much if anything does the other person pay of your outstanding debt or assist in cosigning loans. Certain topics should be approached with caution and only at the right time.

3. Keeping Secrets

It is true that honesty is always the best policy and it is even more appropriate when sharing your life with someone else. Many individuals, when they enter into a relationship, have the best intentions when it comes to being open and honest but sometimes feel patronized or marginalized when discussing finances. It is an all too common occurrence for one or both people in a relationship to hide purchases or tell small lies about expenses or debts. Instead of treating each other like equals many relationships devolve into patriarchal scenarios where one is treated like a child while the other assumes more responsibility. Having mutual respect and not being judgmental can assist in keeping lines of communication open regarding finances.

4. Lack of Communication

Effective communication should be embraced early and practiced often since there will be ups and downs in any relationship. Problems will only be solved if such topics can be broached and discussed with ease. The best way to handle topics pertaining finances is to plan times to communicate about your budget and financial goals. Some couples evaluate their current money situation once or twice a month when paying bills or will schedule a time such as a weekly lunch devoted solely to the issue of managing money. It is important to keep the discussion casual and non-confrontational if it is to be productive.

5. Overlooking Differences

Differences are what make life interesting and it is a common saying that opposites attract when it comes to relationships. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not in the best interest of both parties if the differences are such that they will create resentment or confrontation when it comes to managing money. It is not likely to work out if one person is a saver while the other is a spender since one will have a difficult time parting with money and the other is likely to have a carefree live for today attitude when spending money. That's not to say a couple can't make it work but it will be more difficult and overlooking these crucial differences with regards to money is bound to lead to failure. Embrace and acknowledge your differences and work together for solution which benefits you both.

Image by: Jesse Garrison