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Handling Finances in a Relationship

One of the most common causes of conflict in serious relationships is money. According to a 2023 survey, 42% of Americans say they’ve had disagreements with their partner about money. Unresolved conflicts can take a toll on your relationship if they persist. Below is a resource guide highlighting healthy ways to manage your finances with your partner. 


In committed relationships, honesty is always the best policy. This is especially true when it comes to money. While money may be a taboo topic to discuss in some relationships, breaking through that barrier is crucial to both you and your partner’s financial well-being. Being honest also means not keeping secrets about your spending habits, as that not only breaks trust but is a financial misstep. Always remember that your financial well-being is your partner’s financial well-being. 


You and your partner should be there for each other in your journey to financial success. To make sure you’re on the same page, it’s crucial to carve out time to budget together. One way of doing so is by setting aside “money dates” to discuss your finances and overall goals. To avoid getting sidetracked, make sure these get-togethers are held in a quiet setting and lock away all cell phones and other distractors. You can use this time to go over and update your financial habits, or come to an agreement on ways to consolidate debt. 


Not everyone views money the same way. You and your partner must understand how each of you views money. If someone were raised in a less affluent household, for example, they may be more frugal when it comes to their finances. Understanding and accepting how your partner views money makes it easier to reach joint financial decisions. It’s also important to discuss your and your partner’s financial goals. These goals will likely differ among each individual, but understanding them will help facilitate improved financial success. Acknowledging imbalances between you and your partner’s income is also important, as one partner will likely earn less than the other. Keep in mind that the breadwinner in the relationship will likely have to pay more in bills and other expenditures. 


While you may feel that your partner’s spending habits should change, do not blame them for financial mistakes in your relationship. Instead, use supportive language that does not come off as hostile or blaming. If a disagreement about money arises, stay calm and avoid being judgemental. When discussing financial issues, it’s important to not be dismissive of your partner’s concerns. In a committed relationship, a financial disagreement should not boil down to who's right or wrong, rather, it should be working toward a similar pathway that leads to positive outcomes. 


Sometimes, feelings of low self-esteem may arise during times of financial disagreement. Having said that, you and your partner mustn’t allow these disagreements to hinder your relationship. It helps to seek out fun, low-budget activities during times of stress. Examples include going to a park, cooking a meal together, or having a movie night. Another thing that helps is to ensure a set amount of discretionary funds is set aside for each partner every month. These funds can help partners pursue individualized hobbies, which can be beneficial for mental health and overall happiness. Just be sure you still have enough money in your budget to pay your bills and reach your financial goals. 

The bottom line is that in a committed relationship, disagreements about money are likely to occur. But, there are a number of productive ways to navigate this without putting a strain on your relationship. Financial resources are key, and Gulf Winds’ Save. Spend. Live. Blog is here to help.

Hunter Morrison

Hunter Morrison

About Hunter Morrison

Hunter has freelanced for various print and radio publications across Northwest Florida, including The Bay Beacon, Navarre Press, Inweekly, Crestview News Bulletin, and WUWF. He was also the Editor in Chief of the University of West Florida’s student newspaper, The Voyager. In 2023, Hunter moved to Kenai, Alaska to take up a news reporting position with KDLL Public Radio. For fun, Hunter enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, photography, thrifting, traveling, and looking for the best Thai food around. 

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