How to solve the 5 common financial problems faced by Couples

August 24, 2023

How to solve the 5 Most Common Financial Problems Faced by Couples

Introduction: The importance of conversation about financials in relationship

Money can be a touchy subject in relationships, and it's no wonder why. Our finances are often tied to our deepest values, beliefs, and priorities. But avoiding financial conversations or ignoring financial issues can create stress, strain, and even resentment in relationships.

In this article, we'll explore five common financial problems faced by couples and offer tips on how to solve them. Whether you're dealing with differences in spending habits or struggling with debt, our aim is to show you that these issues can be resolved through open communication, compromise, and a little bit of patience.

Regardless of the problem

The truth is, a lot of these problems can be fixed with an open conversation. Some of the following tips are reliable factors that help with finance-related issues that couples face nowadays. That being said, here’s a list of 101s that you should do, regardless of what the problem is:

  • Have open, honest and constructive discussions about what it is that is bothering you. Whether that’s financial goals, dividing the expenses by each person’s income, or priorities, you should find some common ground and set boundaries so you know what to expect from each other.
  • Create a plan for your shared expenses journey. The point is that you’re in this together, so you should collaborate and not leave the planning or the organizing on the shoulders of one person. It’s a team effort. So, make a plan. To pay off debt, to create a budget, to achieve your financial goals, to save, to track expenses… you get the point.

Problem #1: Disagreements over spending habits

Ah, the age-old debate over spending habits between couples. It's like a battle royale of "saver vs. spender". One person wants to invest in stocks, while the other wants to splurge on designer shoes. It's a recipe for disaster. Consequences can range from a minor spat to World War III. And don't even get us started on the silent treatment. Disagreements over spending habits can arise when one partner is more frugal while the other is more free-spending. This can lead to feelings of irritation, frustration, and mistrust. So, what can you do about it?

  • Set a budget together and stick to it.
  • Try to reach a consensus, or help each other snap out of the bad habits regarding spending.
  • Consider compromising by allocating a certain amount of money to each partner's discretionary spending.
  • Remember it's not about who's right or wrong. It's about finding a balance that works for both of you.

Problem #2: One partner earns significantly more than the other

Earning disparities can create a power dynamic in relationships that can be difficult to navigate. The partner earning more may feel resentful about supporting the other partner, while the lower-earning partner may feel inadequate or inferior.

One of our users shares their story regarding shared expenses with their partner, and what helped them fix the problem of one person earning more than the other:

When my boyfriend and I started talking about finances, we always ended up in a very rough mood after, which ended with both of us feeling extremely uncomfortable talking about finances again and just in a hopeless mood around the topic. What helped was allocating a shared fund for things we will be doing together and needing money for, and discussing the budget. For example, I made less money, but agreed that once a month we would treat ourselves to a nice dinner outside, then we would save on take-out. This way, I could feel comfortable about my money but didn't feel like we were limiting our lifestyles.

Some things you should consider if you find yourself in the same situation:

  • Consider dividing expenses proportionally by each partner's income.
  • Find ways to contribute to the relationship that aren't tied to financial contributions, such as taking on more household tasks or planning dates.
  • Avoid using income as a measure of worth in the relationship, and focus on supporting each other's goals and aspirations.

Problem #3: Debt and financial instability

Debt and financial instability can create stress and strain in relationships, especially if one partner feels burdened by the other's debt or poor financial decisions. It can be like a dark cloud hovering over your love life. Maybe one of you has a shopping addiction or took out one too many student loans. Whatever the cause, the consequences can be brutal. Late bills, missed payments, and a plummeting credit score can feel like a slap in the face. Even creating a joint account might be a problem but these are dead anyhow.

Here are some things you can do to solve this issue:

  • Face the problem head-on. Ignoring it won't make it go away.
  • Consider working with a financial planner or counselor if needed.
  • Avoid blaming or shaming each other for past financial mistakes, and focus on moving forward together.
  • Consider finding ways to increase your income or cut expenses to improve your financial stability.
  • Consider a side hustle or selling some of your unused stuff.

Remember, working together to pay off debts is a good way of building a stronger financial foundation for your future together.

Problem #4: Lack of financial planning and communication

Without a plan or open communication about finances, couples can quickly find themselves in financial trouble. Money talks can be a real snooze-fest for couples (for everyone, really), but ignoring them can lead to some serious problems. Maybe one of you likes to spend money like it grows on trees, while the other is a penny-pinching Scrooge. It's a recipe for disaster. Without proper financial planning and communication, the consequences can be dire. Late fees, overdraft charges, and a strained relationship can make life pretty miserable.

  • Take a look at the 101s list we presented earlier. First thing (most important): conversations. Open and honest. Lay all the cards on the table.
  • Schedule regular check-ins to discuss your finances and financial goals.
  • Create a budget together and track your spending to ensure you're on track.
  • Be transparent about your financial situation, including any debts or financial obligations.

Problem #5: Different financial priorities and goals

When it comes to money, couples can have wildly different priorities and goals. Maybe one of you dreams of retiring to a private island, while the other just wants to upgrade from a cardboard box to a cozy apartment (what a nice example of “opposites attract”). It can be a real head-scratcher. But ignoring these differences can lead to some serious consequences. Arguments, resentment, and a whole lot of stress can quickly ruin a relationship.

Here are a few ways to diffuse the tension and reach a consensus:

  • Find common ground. Be mindful of each other’s goals, and try to reach a compromise before the problem gets more difficult.
  • Consider compromising on individual goals to create shared financial goals.
  • Share your shared financial goals, don’t beat yourself up for your mistakes, and celebrate your successes along the way.
  • Take the time to understand each other's financial priorities and work together to come up with a plan that makes both of you happy. Maybe it's a dream vacation one year and a savings plan the next. Whatever it is, remember that you're a team and the only way to score a goal is to work together.

Cino: the first step with shared expenses

When working together to achieve common goals, using the same app or program is the first step toward those goals. If you want to share expenses, but don’t want to open a joint bank account, Cino is the best solution for you. Each person links their own bank account to the Cino card, and you can start splitting expenses with it, without worrying about topping up or money requests, belonging to the same bank or having to keep track of your payments. You have a lot of features you can take advantage of, like adjusting the split ratio and tracking your expenses within the app.

Cino is the best option for you if you want to make your life easier and start or improve your budgeting, tracking expenses, and sharing expenses journey. Download the app today and forget about the struggles of the past.

Cino - made for couples

Conclusion: The importance of communication and compromise in solving financial issues in relationships

Solving financial issues in relationships requires open communication and compromise. By working together to create a shared vision for your finances, you can build a stronger, more stable relationship. Remember to approach financial discussions with humor, empathy, and an open mind.

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