They say money can’t buy love, but it CAN tear a relationship apart. Here are three ways to put a stop-payment on your money bickering, so you can start saving for your future. These come from Psychologist Dr. Jonathan Rich, who wrote the book: The Couple’s Guide To Love And Money.
- Create 3 bank accounts. Start with separate “his” and “hers” accounts. Then add a third “ours” account. Dr. Rich says that’ll be the one you use to cover shared expenses – like the mortgage, utilities, and food. If one of you makes more than the other – make the “ours” account the same percentage of your total pay so it’s fair. Then use your individual accounts for personal fun. That way neither of you will feel deprived if one of you wants to splurge.
- Stay focused on your long-term goals. Sailors are told to fight sea-sickness by staring at the distant horizon. That way their brain can focus on something stable, instead of the objects bobbing up and down in the water close by. Dr. Rich says that advice applies to money too. Bickering over small day-to-day expenses will strain your relationship. Instead, concentrate on the big picture. Sit down and map out some long-term goals – like saving to buy a house. Then after you agree on a plan, check in with each other only ONCE a month, to make sure you’re still on course.
- Always share the wealth. It’s normal for men to thrive on competition, but rivalries have NO place in a marriage. If one of you gets a raise at work, consider it a raise for BOTH of you. Don’t stress out over who’s the bigger breadwinner! So if one of you gets a holiday bonus this year, Dr. Rich says cheer each other on. Don’t turn it into a competition between you because that’s one competition you’ll lose, even if you win.