If spending habits are hurting your relationship, it’s time to act. Money is one of the top four causes of conflict in a relationship, according to Relationships Australia. No matter what we argue about — he spends too much, she hides the bills, there isn’t enough to go round — we do argue. And the dollars and cents may not even be the real issue.
“Most people fight about money because our families or origin impact how we regard money,” says Melbourne psychologist Meredith Fuller. “It can be an emotional issue, and no amount of financial advice can solve the problem.”
If yours was a family that did it tough, you’ll look at the world differently to a partner whose parents weren’t short of cash or believed things would always turn out for the best. Money isn’t just a stack of notes — it represents power, freedom, independence and security.
“Part of the problem is that we don’t talk about it enough,” says Melbourne financial counsellor Sheila Freeman. “It only comes up in a crisis. Ideally, you’d work through the bills together so you both know what it costs to live.”
Let’s face it, in the current climate we’re even more likely to have “heated debates” about money. Here’s how to stop those arguments turning into warfare.