How to Keep Money from Ruining Relationships

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Posted on 09/23/2009

They say money talks, but simply talking about money can cause problems in a lot of relationships. In fact, experts say money is the number one cause of divorce. But more than marriages, money can damage friendships and other relationships too. Don’t let cash cause you to split. Here are some ways to keep money from ruining relationships.

Fighting is Normal - Have a spat about savings or a quarrel about credit cards? Don’t worry—fights about money are normal. Just make sure you try to see the other person’s point of view. And remember—you’re both on the same team.

Find Out What You Owe - Keeping money secrets from your spouse or significant other is not a good idea. Be open and honest about where you stand when it comes to your debt. Lay out the situation including how much you owe and what the monthly payment is.

Talk About Goals - Where would you like to be in five years when it comes to finances? Is there something special you’d like to save for? Make sure your partner knows what’s important to you and nail down a plan together that lays out how you intend to achieve those goals.

Discuss Major Purchases - If you’re sharing your life with someone, you should probably talk over major purchases. Since the definition of “major” can mean $20 to one person and $2000 to another, discuss this beforehand. Make an agreement that neither of you will spend over a certain amount without at least consulting the other person. This will prevent a lot of problems after the money has already been spent.

Determine Responsibility - There are many ways to handle finances as a couple. You can combine all of your money into shared accounts, or you can divvy up responsibilities. Just make sure you know who is paying which bills so nothing gets left behind. The same goes with any roommate situation. Keep money from causing rifts by being up front about who is handling what.

Don’t Be a Mooch - Nobody likes a moocher. Make sure you’re paying your fair share whether you’re going out to dinner with friends or chipping in on an office birthday gift.

Hold Off on Loans - Loaning money to loved ones is usually not a good idea. It can put an unnecessary strain on the relationship. According to a recent survey, more than half of the people polled said they have seen a relationship ruined because one person didn’t pay back the other. Almost half of those surveyed have loaned $100 or more to help someone out, but 55% never saw that money again.

By Alison Storm

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