Money often costs too much – most time relationships. Here’s how you can avoid dangerous money habits

5 Money arguments that can prove toxic in a relationship

Relationships are constant work, which means they are not easy to maintain. Many a times money becomes a sore thumb in relationships. Frivolous spending habits, overly miserly behaviour, secretly stashing money, etc. have been the death of many relationships. If you or your spouse are facing such challenges and do not want a similar end to your story, this article is just for you.

Know the top reasons for money clashes among partners and learn effective ways of resolving them. 

1. Overspending

Overspending is the root cause of many problems. Recklessly spending on shopping, travel, eating out to the extent that it affects the other partner is the number one reason for financial stress. According to a survey conducted by ET Wealth, 41.4% respondents shared they fought because of their own or their partner’s spending habits. If your partner’s spending habits are pushing you into debt and affecting your own savings plan, it is time to bring in change.

Remedy: Sit down with your partner and create a budget for monthly spends. Allocate funds for food, travel, shopping and any other expenditure they may be addicted to. Ensure they stick to that budget. Create an automated plan to save a large chunk of the money as soon as the salary hits the bank so that there is no temptation. Also, request them to put away their credit card if they cannot trust themselves with it.

2. Saving too much

An extremity of anything is not good. If any one partner’s entire focus is on saving, when will you both live a little? Saving at the cost of small gestures that can create happiness is also a big no. If all a person does is work and save, it can induce sadness, depression and frustration in their spouse and other family members.

Remedy: Communicate with your partner so they know how their habit is affecting them. Just saving without leading a comfortable lifestyle is no way to live. Yes, saving is important, but that cannot be the sole purpose if there aren’t too many liabilities. Going out to eat once a month, taking a holiday once a year, etc. is important to strike the right balance. 

3. Being stingy

While overspending can result in a never-ending cycle of debt, frugality can have a major effect on the mental health of the spouse and children. This normally happens with people who have the money but spending it causes them anxiety. So they try to save every penny they can at the cost of even embarrassing their spouse. It could result from having a tough childhood or ingrained from a stingy parent or just a constant fear of going broke.

Remedy: Try to understand their motivations. Run some numbers to pacify their anxiety. If there is enough money saved to ensure smooth sailing for the next 5 years or 10 years, or if money is already saved for goals such as education, wedding, etc. bring it to their notice. There is no harm in getting professional health from a financial expert or a counsellor to soother their worries.

4. Lending money

Getting money into the equation with friends and family is never a good idea – whether borrowing or lending. A partner can feel cheated when money is being lent out to one’s relatives without consulting first or they are deprived of their needs as a result. It is known to be a major cause of money arguments among couples.

Remedy: While there is nothing wrong with extending a little help, it should not be at the cost of your family’s financial health. Lending a small amount never really harmed anyone; however, the amount should not exceed 5-7% of your income. It is important for partners to be on the common ground when it comes to lending – discuss and decide together.

5. Lying about money

Marriage means being a team. If one partner goes rogue, it can have lasting effects on the marriage. Having a secret stash of money saved is like cheating your spouse. Lying about spending, hiding an addiction such as gambling are other big red flags. These have proven to be deal breakers in relationships.

Remedy: There is no white and black when it comes to having your own personal savings. If telling your partner means they would insist on taking the money to funds their own needs, it is a grey area and ok to lie by omission. But if the reasons are more selfish and about hiding money from them, then there is an issue. The only remedial measure is to come clean with your partner.

If you or your partner are facing money issues, use these tips to resolve them and come out stronger. After all, a relationship is for better or worse.