How to Quit Fighting About Money
I’ve written a little before about how to talk about money as a couple which you can check out here. Money seems like one of those things that can either make or break you. If you think about it, it’s really just a piece of paper that you’re fighting about. Or is it? Of course not. It’s about what money symbolises for you. All the things you associate with money based on how present or absent it’s been in your life. When you put two people who see money differently together and ask them to figure it out, things start to get a little tricky. You start fighting constantly. Small fights, big fights and they all seem to come back to that paper. I’m not saying that as a couple you will never ever fight about money. You will probably disagree on certain expenses but the fights shouldn’t be so big that you begin to resent each other and start thinking about the ‘D’ word. Remember, it’s just money.
Stop Being Theatrical
There’s nothing worse than looking over at your neighbour’s grass wondering why it’s so lush and green and yours is just green but not so lush. In today’s society, we spend a lot of time putting on shows for other people who have no bearing on our relationships. We buy cars, go to places and send out kids to schools we can barely afford. There’s something to be said for the frugal life because I have never met a frugal person who cared what anyone thinks. If you can downsize, do it. If you have to much stuff, get rid of some of it. Talk to your partner about the big purchases and really think them through. Life is not a show for you to prove anything to anyone. Do the things that make you happy. I’m willing to bet you can’t put a price on any of them.
Always have a ‘No Explanations’ fund
One of the traps people in relationships fall into (and I was one of them for a little while) is believing that you have to share everything and be completely honest and open about every single thing. That’s bullshit. When you were single, you spent money without being accountable to anyone but yourself. Now, suddenly you have a couple’s budget and you find yourself accounting for money you spent getting your nails done or a new pair of shoes. It’s okay to budget together (even though that in itself is not for everyone) but everyone needs a little stash of cash that they can do whatever they want with, no questions asked. Mine always ends up buying wine, getting new ink or eating out. And no one can ask me about it. Please note that there’s a difference between money you treat yourself with and large sums you hide from your spouse. That in itself is another problem entirely. The just in case fund your building secretly will always ensure that whatever you’re preparing for happens.
You don’t have to budget together
My husband and I budget together separately. What does that mean? Basically we have a spreadsheet where we both do our monthly budget and occasionally check in with each other but for the most part, every one knows what they’re responsible for and it gets done. That said, I do get that there are couples who would much rather keep money separate and that’s okay. Pooling money doesn’t work for everyone and neither does joint accounts. We still have separate accounts because not everything has to be consolidated. It goes back to the conversation about money. Are you both on the same page about it? Have you agreed on responsibilities and does it feel fair? I know if one person feels like they do more than the other, a little resentment starts to build up. Be open, be honest but you do not have to plan for your money together unless its for the big buys.
Honestly. Chill the fuck out. It’s just money. It’s never that serious. Remember that time you both stayed in and binge watched a series and ate really badly? Or that time you went for a walk and really connected about life? Those type of activities probably didn’t cost you anything right? So chill out. And don’t take money so seriously.