Business / Personal Finance
Here are the most common reasons:
Differing levels of financial education and literacy between partners can be a source of tension. It may be that one partner has a good understanding of how investments work, the dangers of debt, the power of compounding interest, the need for budgeting and daily money management, while the other partner lacks basic financial literacy and/or shows little interest in learning about it.
What to do:
The starting point is to agree that managing the household’s finances is a joint responsibility. Although one partner may have a greater inclination for finances, it doesn’t absolve the other from sharing the burden. Commit to working as a team and find a way to allocate responsibilities fairly between you.
Financial commitments to a previous spouse or children from a previous relationship can lead to resentment, bitterness and complicated financial tensions. Unreasonable maintenance demands from an ex-spouse, refusal by an ex-spouse to pay maintenance or guilt spending on children can lead to emotional financial baggage being brought into your new relationship. Having financial commitments to a previous relationship can make it difficult for you and your new partner to move forward financially.
What to do:
If you are bringing financial baggage into your new relationship, the onus is on you to be honest about the extent of these commitments. Your new partner needs to appreciate your desire to honour those commitments while at the same time feel assured that you are intent on securing a joint financial future.
Some people have an outright aversion to debt, while others are comfortable borrowing money and don’t lose much sleep at the thought of owing large amounts. Where one partner comes into the relationship with debt or incurs debt during the relationship, it is only natural for the other to feel aggrieved. Debt, especially credit card and retail debt, is burdensome and can prevent you from building financial security, which in turn can compromise the joint goals you have agreed upon.
Revisit your goals and voice your concerns about how this debt is compromising your joint financial future. Make a debt-reduction plan and a joint commitment to eliminate the debt as quickly as possible.
Power struggles can come into play where a couple earns disparate incomes, especially where one spouse tries to assume financial control because he/she earns more money. The higher-earning spouse may feel entitled to spend more or have a greater say when it comes to financial decision-making.
What to do:
Talk about financial teamwork. If you’re both working towards the same financial goals, it really shouldn’t matter who earns what. What matters more is that you both stick to the game plan and share the responsibility of managing the finances.
Craig Torr is founding director at Crue Invest
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