Money Issues in a Relationship

Money is a significant part of our lives and it is big aspect of our relationships. So, is there a healthy way to deal with money issues in a relationship?

Relationships that are build on money are also more likely to have money issues and be destroyed because of it. Many couples choose to ignore talking about money related topics. They either don’t know how to approach their partner or start the conversation. Either of these is likely to result in more problems and put the whole relationship on the line. Whether you are starting your relationship or you have been in one for a while. It is best to be open an upfront talking about money with your partner.

In this article, you will learn common money related issues couples face and different ways you can deal with them.


What Causes Money Issues in a Relationship?

First of all it’s worth differentiating between money problems and money issues. We could see money problems as difficulty in getting money e.g through a job, a business. Whereas money issues are disagreements you have with your partner regarding money.

When money issues are left unaddressed, they evolve into a more serious problem. Money problems are one of the main causes of break ups and divorces.

Money issues can be caused by because:

  • Not getting enough money to live comfortably together, or
  • There are already other problems in the relationship itself. In this case, money is only one aspect amongst many that is affected by a couple’s struggle to have a healthy relationship.

Money problems could include:

  • Not making enough money
  • One partner is unemployed
  • Losing your job
  • Retiring
  • Maternity/Paternity pay

Some causes of money issues in a relationship are:

  • Distrust (One person managing all the finances)
  • Misunderstandings.
  • Lack of good communication (Avoiding talking about money because of fear of confrontation. Also, feeling you have less of a voice in the decisions in your relationship if you earn less than your partner. Hence, not voicing your concerns.)
  • Personal insecurities (Constantly talking about money, lack of money or saving money)
  • Controlling behaviour.
  • Lack of planning (Not having common financial goals in the relationship).
  • Different relationship goals (One partner doesn’t want children because they cost too much to sustain. While the other partner wants a family).

How Money Issues Affect a Relationship

A relationship has a romantic side, but also a financial one. The more serious your relationship is, the more you will be sharing all resources with your partner.

Money issues can become a bigger problem if they are not address in time. Money issues will:

  • Increase your levels of stress and frustration
  • Create a perception of not being safe
  • Exacerbate the thought or reality of not being able to provide for your family
  • Cause growing resentment towards your partner
  • Make you drift apart from your partner
  • Cause you to distrust your partner and their decisions

How Can Money Issues Ruin a Relationship

Money issues can easily spiral into bigger problems that will involve your whole relationship.

They can affect all areas of your life as an individual and as a couple.

These issues will create annoyance at the decisions your partner makes about any other areas of your relationship, even if they are not money related.

Money issues or your inability to resolve money issues can be a sign that your relationship isn’t as healthy as it could be. For example, if you are disagreeing on the way you spend money. The issue is not about how much money you have. But rather, your ability to talk about it and understand the reasons each of you have for spending the money the way you do.


Common Money Issues in a Relationship

We can categorised all money issues in a relationship into three main areas:

  1. Making money (Who makes more money?)
  2. Sharing money (How you share the money?)
  3. Spending money (How do you spend it?)

1. Making money

Making enough money is relative to how much you are spending, which is influences by your lifestyle and your relationship goals.

  • You or your partner earns more than the other
  • Family helping financially one of you. Between and your partner are not making enough money to sustain your livelihood, as a result you may accept money from family or friends. This can become a problem when accepting this money you are letting them have a say on how you spend it. In turn, this can result on outside people being too involved into your relationship.

2. Sharing money

When we talk about money issues regarding sharing. We are referring to the way money is distributed between partners before being spent.

Couples, particularly if they are married or living together, are more likely to share their financial resources. They may choose to have joint bank accounts, or an account specifically for common expenses of living together.

  • One partner is a saver and the other one is a spender.
  • One partner is not committing financially for the future
  • One person managing all the finances
  • Taking money from your partner without telling them

3. Spending money

The way you grew up can also influence your perception of money. The value you give to money and the way you see money greatly influence the way you share, make and spend this it.

Partners spend money differently because they have their own needs, interests, preferences, and things that are important for them. Two partners may have different relationship goals, in which case they would choose to save money or spend it.

  • One partner is spending more on themselves and on things they like, while the other partner considers it’s a waste. And, instead they should be focusing on saving money for the future.
  • One partner feels restricted to buy the things they like
  • Spending too much to the point of getting into debt
  • Not being honest about the things you or your partner are spending money on
  • Debts either of you acquire without the knowledge of the other
  • Lack of freedom to spend the money on the things you want
  • Feeling that you need permission to spend your own money
  • Spending money that is influenced by unhealthy habits or people outside of your relationship (society, family, friends, etc).
  • Extended family having a say on the couples expenditures
  • You helping your extended family financially
  • Disagreeing on your spending or saving goals
  • Not having or not sticking to an agreed budget

Signs of Money Issues in a Relationship

When you have money issues in your relationship, soon enough you or your partner’s behaviour will change. These are some things that you or your partner may be doing as a result:

  • Having an avoiding behaviour
  • Hiding receipts or bills
  • Being constantly worried about not having enough money
  • Constantly looking for things to spend the money on when you don’t have a big income
  • Having constant arguments about money
  • Lack of physical or emotional intimacy
  • Having a controlling behaviour.

How to Deal with Money Issues in a Relationship

How to Avoid Money Issues in a Relationship

  • Learn more about how to manage your finances
  • Be open and honest with your partner
  • Never used money to have more control or the last word in the decisions you made in your relationship
  • Agree on common financial goals to work towards
  • Trust each other

How to Fix Money Issues in a Relationship

If your money issues aren’t too far gone:

  • Talk about your money problems
  • Avoid blaming each other
  • See real money solutions for your current circumstances
  • Discuss your financial goals and worries
  • Tell each other what you are expecting
  • Agree what money is needed to survive and what money you want to spend to enjoy and stick to it

If debt is already an issue:

  • Seek expert help from a financial advisor
  • If you have too many debts contact debt advisors

How to Solve Money Issues in a Relationship

  1. Acknowledge that you have money issues
  2. Identify what is causing these issues (your relationship problems, not enough money coming in, or your view about money)
  3. Have an open and honest discussion about the money issues and their causes with your partner.
  4. Provided you have understanding with your partner, you can find the way to resolve the core problem that causes your issues
  5. If you are struggling to find a solution you may need to get relationship advice or financial advice from respective professionals.

Ending a Relationship Because of Money Issues

If your trust have been broken in your relationship because of debts where hidden, or your partner spent too much without telling you. It is going to be quite difficult to forgive. It is not impossible, but you will have to build trust in your relationship again. Seeking help from a relationship coach can help you a lot.

The best things to do when you have money issues are:

  • Learn about the subject
  • Learn how to manage your finances better
  • Book an appointment with a financial advisor which will dissipate your doubts and give you clear options for your situation

When money issues become too much to handle, such as facing debt collection, eviction, being on the credit bureau record, or about to lose your home. You got to an extreme situation, you really need to reassess if you want to stay in this relationship.


Conclusion

When you approach the money aspect of your relationship. It’s worth knowing the difference between money problems and money issues.

It’s worth differentiating between money problems and money issues. We could see money problems as difficulty in getting money e.g through a job, a business. Whereas money issues are disagreements you have with your partner regarding money.

The three main categories of money issues are:

  1. Making money (Who makes more money?)
  2. Sharing money (How you share the money?)
  3. Spending money (How do you spend it?)

When dealing with money issues in a relationship, it’s important to understand the root cause of these issues. Depending on whether the cause is related to your relationship problems, or the financial problems. You may need to seek help from a relationship coach or a financial advisor.


Help and Advice on Money Issues in Your Relationship

Tips on Dealing with Money Issues in Your Relationship

  • Be comfortable to openly talk about your money issues and decisions with your partner.
  • Plan and manage your money in accordance with your earnings, as well as your personal and relationship goals.
  • Avoid relying on other people to give you money.

If you don’t know how to deal with doubts and you need professional help and advice, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!


Frequently Asked Questions

Does money cause problems in a relationship?

Relationship problems can come as a result of a lack of money that is enough to support your livelihood, goals and ambitions. As well as not agreeing on the way you spend the money.

Does money matter in a relationship?

In every relationship money matters to a different extend. The more the relationship is based on money, the more the money will influence your relationship.

Can a relationship survive without money?

It can survive if you have a self-sustainable life, you grow your own food and you have a way to produce your own energy.

Should relationships be 50 50 financially?

This question can relate to making money, sharing money or spending money. Everyone’s situation is different, so you need to find what works for your relationship. As long as you have trust and understanding most money issues can be easily resolved.

How important is money in a relationship?

The importance of money ranges from basic survival to fun and enjoyment.

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