Friday, February 13, 2015

For the love of money and your SO

As we approach Valentine’s Day this year, our team at Family Services wants to make sure that you and your loved one have the best V-Day possible.

One of the most detrimental stressors for couples has to deal with money.  A recent January poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) revealed that nearly half (47%) of respondents claimed disagreements about money are most likely to cause the greatest stress in their relationships.

Family Services has a few suggestions to make sure finances don’t get in the middle of you and your other half this Valentine’s Day. First of all, if you have disputes over money with your loved one, do not let them go unaddressed! Instead, hit the ‘pause’ button, and have a sit down with your partner. 

“Most people have a different approach to money management than their spouse or partner. Left unaddressed, those differences can lead to the end of the line for many couples. Understanding those differences means having honest discussions early in a relationship so the rules are mutually accepted and the financial goals are clear. No matter the differences or challenges, the best approach is to start communicating early” said Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the NFCC.

The NFCC recommends the following guidelines for couples:

  • Be honest with yourself and each other when it comes to financial matters. As financial challenges appear, work together to address them directly instead of ignoring problems and wishing they will resolve themselves.
  • Establish money rules for the relationship and hold each other accountable. Discuss what will be jointly managed and set rules for making independent spending decisions.

  • Don’t conceal debt or sources of income from each other. Financial infidelity should be taken as seriously as any other form of cheating. Adhere to a policy of financial transparency to strengthen trust in the relationship.

  • Set a time and place where financial matters can be discussed on a regular basis, free of distractions.

  • Keep the tone of the conversation casual, and remain open to what each other has to say.

  • If a disagreement should go unresolved during a conversation, take a moment to find acceptable ways to compromise or consider revisiting the issue after a short time-out.

  • If a financial mistake is made, couples should work together to find solutions without assigning blame. Be willing to accept a fair share of the responsibility for the problem and the solution.

  • When tracking joint financial goals, understand that changing circumstances require a degree of flexibility from both partners in a relationship.

  • Understand that a single financial setback impacting one person ultimately affects the entire relationship, no matter how large or small the issue.
Family Services understands that finance can be a very strenuous subject for couples, and we are here to help. Seeking assistance from Family Services can help bring your finances to good health, making it easier to focus on other aspects of the relationship. Visit our website at www.fsisc.org or call us at 843.735.7802 to find out more about our services. 

By Jeff Lewis