Here’s how you can overcome financial stress in relationships

Talking about money isn’t romantic, passionate, or sexy. Mundane as it may be, it is essential to understand how one can handle financial stress in a relationship. “Money and finances can be a major source of emotional and mental stress and can lead to strained relationships and breakups.” The importance can be seen in the fact that in most divorces, alimony is something that is bitterly fought for. Here are five effective ways to manage the finances and the relationship, whether one or both partners earn.

Talk about financial
management early on
Relationships and financial stress can turn into a deadly combination. This is especially true because a lot of couples don’t talk about money until it’s already too late. Don’t shy away from talking about finances for self, children, parents etc. Make financial security a joint venture in your relationship early on.

Work on a budget
How do you handle financial stress in a relationship? The best thing you can do to negate financial woes–both short and long term–is to plan a budget according to your needs and your lifestyle. This budget should have three sections – I, You, and We.
If both partners earn, they should both contribute toward the running expenses while directing a portion of their earnings toward savings.
Similarly, on the expenditure front, there should be some personal amounts for each partner and one joint amount. Plan for today and tomorrow.

Keep separate bank
accounts
Keeping your money separate can be a great way to negate financial stress in a marriage or relationship. This way, your financial independence does not get compromised. And both of you retain a degree of autonomy on how to spend or save your money.
You should have a joint account in which you both deposit some amount each month so that the bills can be paid from a common source.

Work on financial
literacy
Irrespective of whether you both earn money or not, learning about investment and savings schemes and deciding which ones to adopt should be a joint effort to avoid financial stress.

Plan for the future but live for today too
Securing your financial future at the cost of your present can lead to bitterness in the relationship. Let’s say you want to splurge a little on a special occasion. Or your partner wants to take a holiday. But you have no money for it because you’ve invested it all. That is sure to lead to discontentment, bickering, and feelings of bitterness. It is critical to save a portion of your earnings. At the same time, you should be able to indulge in the occasional splurge for retail therapy.Each partner should have the space to spend a certain portion of their earnings on themselves. This helps rule out the risk of financial unfaithfulness.
Dr Chavi Bhargava Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Indic Center for Psychological Wellness and Holistic Health and Conversationists—Talking Cures.

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