You certainly aren’t alone if you find yourself arguing about money with your loved ones more often than you have done in the past.
Recent financial turbulence has affected many people’s ability to live comfortably and can understandably lead to the topic of money stealing the spotlight in a lot of your conversations.
However, this is nothing to worry about – just because you don’t have identical views about how to use your finances does not mean your relationship is doomed.
In fact, according to a survey reported by the Independent, money is the most likely cause of arguments between couples.
Read on to explore the helpful techniques you could employ to stop arguing about money with your loved one.
Understanding your needs can be the first step to identifying the issue
Before getting into the nitty gritty of your relationship, it can help to first understand your own financial behaviour and what might be fuelling it.
Across your whole life – and everyone else’s for that matter – your various behaviours likely display the pursuit of intrinsic human needs.
A few examples include:
- Security – the desire to be safe and not exposed to great risk
- Connection – the need to create meaning and be accepted within society
- Autonomy – wanting to have self-control and independence over your actions.
It goes without saying, but everyone is different and each individual we cross in our lives may be more inclined to pursue one human need than another. It’s possible that such nuances may be the result of your specific upbringing, personality, or even from something you’ve experienced yourself.
So, why would you expect this to be any different between you and your loved one?
Understanding their needs and how these might be influencing their financial behaviour can be a useful first step in diagnosing where any issues may lie.
A yearning for security may, for example, drive you to adopt an aggressive strategy of saving. On the other hand, a desire for autonomy may encourage you to spend more.
Either way, taking into account how your partner’s intrinsic needs may affect their financial behaviour could open a path to constructive dialogue between you both.
Finding a compromise can help you to start working together
Arguments about money can often be some of the most impassioned there are, and you may feel as if your own needs are being threatened when faced with disagreement.
Whether you like it or not, money is a powerful tool that has the potential to realise your dreams or address your financial needs at the root.
But this doesn’t make the matter black or white – you don’t have to enter a back and forth until one party concedes their needs to the other. Ignoring this could needlessly create an ideological rift between you, only making your task harder.
By working together to listen and understand each other’s requirements, you may find that you’re able to explore a much more pragmatic course of action that incorporates all your needs in life.
A good way to start can be to sit down and brainstorm goals that you both see the value in achieving. This can help you find agreement on a set of principles that would address both of your desires.
Remember, there’s likely to be more than one way of reaching your goals. So, teamwork is necessary for creating a strategy that doesn’t cause conflict and benefits all parties.
Addressing the need instead of the act can provide a clearer picture
After considering how your psychological needs can affect your financial behaviour, adopting a constructive approach to solving any issues with your partner is usually a positive way to start.
This means, rather than criticising the action that expresses their needs, perhaps try to explore the desire that makes them act in such a way.
Instead of telling them “you’re a reckless spender”, open with: “in what way does spending money make you feel good?”
By avoiding criticism and confrontation, you may come to understand that their spending isn’t the solve-all as it seemed – there could be more appropriate ways of addressing the same need that causes excessive spending.
Also, showing you care for their needs in this way can help you both be more receptive to each other’s ideas and stand a better chance of finding common ground.
Getting advice from a financial planner could be the referee you need
Working with a financial planner could help to remove much of the pressure you may share and could be the objective voice of reason to settle your money disputes.
A financial planner could aid in moderating your discussions and providing professional insight into the problems you face.
As well as this, in the non-partisan role they take, they could help you form a better understanding of your financial position to gauge whether some of your goals are too far-fetched – or, perhaps, could be more ambitious.
Get in touch
We can help you settle arguments about money by working together to create achievable goals and a robust financial plan to assist you in reaching them.
Please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 933 8433.
This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.