Love and Money
When questioned, most families admit that they frequently argue over issues of money. Psychologists assert that within these financial quarrels lies a more serious issue – different views on life, different goals and even mutual distrust.
As the traditional family way of life becomes a thing of the past, marital relations become more complicated and knotty. Just 20-30 years ago married life of most families was much easier: the man is a hunter; the woman is a home maker. He earns the money, she takes care of the children and runs the house. He has the vote, she has the opportunity to plan the family activities around a budgeted allowance. As soon as the Soviet Union mode of living was followed by the free market lifestyle, everything changed upside down. What to do if both spouses earn equally and at the same time, each one strives to be the leader? What to do if a wife’s income is much more and than her husband’s, making him feel humiliated? And does the wife have a voice in family issues if she stays at home with the children and doesn’t earn a cent? How should a family budget be planned if there is no stability? Should a couple spend the money together or should each rely on his or her income only? Can they buy things on credit or should they save money and pay in cash only?
These are just some of the important stumbling blocks that families face. It’s hard to find a husband and wife who have never argued over money. According to the polls, couples argue over money even more often than over issues of jealousy. Issues of infidelity are the primary reason for many arguments in almost half of the polled families, but money is the reason in 75% of them. And, moreover, families argue about financial topics regularly.
Psychologists claim that the most unpleasant thing about money quarrels is not the spouses’ different views on how to spend money: after all, all rational people can come to an agreement and find a compromise irrespective of their opposite opinions. The most unpleasant thing begins when one of spouses deliberately deceives the other in questions of money. 99% of respondents think one should not mislead a their spouse when discussing one’s income or expenses. At the same time, most women say they do not always tell their husbands at what they spent on clothes, bags and shoes. These are trifles of course, but big problems start from here.
Your money ego
Couples ague on account of money, but often it is just the surface reason; behind it are deep differences in attitudes to life, values, needs and expectations. You have different views on life and, therefore, different views on how to spend money.
Opposites attract, and it’s true even in terms of money. Psychologists say, those who are likely to save money often marry spendthrifts. The women for whom money is the main anxiety marry men who live lavishly. Those who consider financial well-being to be the main constituent of happiness find those who have little interest in material values. All of these differences are the result of conflicting attitudes toward life in general. To stop these money conflicts, there should first be agreement about how each wishes to live and what each partner wants to achieve.
To spend or to save?
If under the same roof live two people, one of whom has been used to economizing and saving up for big purchases, while the other is in the habit of spending money as soon as it hits their pocket, conflict is inevitable. The problem is that one of the spouses can’t imagine a quiet life without a healthy money supply, while the other doesn’t want to burden his/her head with such boring matters like financial planning: after all, money comes and goes, so what’s the use of taking it too seriously?
The wrong way out – to argue constantly and try to convince the other that his/her way of living is correct. There is a waste of time. For an economical spouse every wasted penny will cause anxiety. For a spender, saved money will become a considerable reminder of lost pleasures.
The right way out - to compromise: to set aside a certain sum of money in a bank account every month. And the spender can have some money as well, which he/she may spend as he/she likes without constant scolding from the other spouse.
If, for instance, your husband has a frivolous attitude toward money, you can try one other method: save money secretly. Psychologists and economists agree that to feel safe, one needs a sum of money which the family can live off of for 6 months should a difficult situation arise. This is the approximate the sum of “reserve stock” one should aim to accumulate. If your husband doesn’t know about this sum, there will be no conflicts
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