According to the experts, arguments about money are one of the main causes of conflict in relationships and are also one of the key reasons why relationships end.
Differences between couples over how money is spent, saved or earned arise largely from different attitudes towards money and risk, and different money values. Very often these attitudes and values stem from childhood, but not in a predictable way. For example, someone who endured frugality in childhood may be frugal as an adult or may conversely be keen to ensure their own children have everything they want. The starting point for resolving money conflicts is to explore the differences in values and attitudes.
There are two key questions that should form the basis of discussion:
- What things were said or taught to you about money in your childhood and how have these affected your attitudes towards money?
- What is the purpose of money in your life?
Sayings from childhood, such as ‘money is the root of all evil’ can often instil a negative attitude towards money, which is a sure way to avoid attracting it into your life. The purpose of money in your life will depend on what you value. Perhaps security is important to you, or it might be helping your children with education costs. For some, the purpose of money is to be able to have fun and interesting experiences. Having a conversation with your partner about your attitudes and values will help uncover the points of conflict. The next step is to find ways of resolving the differences, which usually requires a logical analysis of the issues and some degree of compromise.
As with most other conflicts in relationships, money conflicts can generally be resolved with good communication and an understanding of each other’s perspective