Many relationship experts argue that the root of all evil is the leading cause of turmoils in many relationships. Money tends to be a very touchy subject to many couples. This may be as a result of couples not verbally expressing their financial expectations to their partners or plainly because of the different upbringings. Communication is key in any relationship. However, when faced with financial conflicts, couples might not know what to say, when to say it and how to say it to their partners. Well, couples need to sit down and figure out the answers to these questions. What money should we consider as mine? What money should we consider as yours? What money should we consider as ours?
Money causes cracks in many perfectly cemented relationships. It is nothing new.
Brian and Janet tied the knot in a lavish garden wedding about three years ago. Brian grew up in a family where he learnt that it was a man's sole duty and responsibility to take care of all the family's financial needs and that the woman was not to even spend a dime. So from the onset, it was an unwritten rule between Brian and Janet that; that Brian's money was theirs and Janet's money was hers to use as she pleased.
Of course, these unwritten rules were laid out in the period when the love was still strong and fresh. However, they forgot to discuss one important thing, the limits to which the rule will be considered effective and applicable. According to Brian, he thought Janet was responsible enough to know how much to spend and how much she should save out of her monthly earnings. He was wrong!
Janet was always very willing to do the house shopping. However, she paid for the shopping with Brian's money. In the beginning, no problem ever erupted between them. However, the prices of commodities shot up, thus the bills and expenditures in the house reached an unimaginable high along with the skyrocketing prices in the market. Brian never raised any complaints, so Janet never saw a single problem in how she spent "their" money.
Whenever she went to the supermarket, she only visited the shelves with the most expensive and luxurious products. Whatever product that was advertised in the television the previous day is exactly what she would go for.
You know, when Jalang'o said, "Tissue si tissue, tissue ni..." You know how it ends. That was enough to make her switch the brand of tissue paper she would choose at the supermarket. Brian had given Janet the illusion that he had a never ending bank account balance. So she spent as much as she wanted without the slightest care in the world.
Every single time Brian checked the receipts from the supermarket, small fights would be the end result. When Brian said his money belonged to both of them, he did not give a clear and definite explanation as to what 'ours' meant. Moreover, they did not have any financial goals that they were jointly working on.
However much you have different income streams, it is important that you sit down with your partner and make financial plans and work on something together. This will enable you to have a clear savings plan and thus someone like Janet would have been pretty careful with her spending.
A man and his ego. A potent combination indeed.
The other glaring problem that used to irritate Brian was the way Janet spent her own money. She spent her money on jewellery, makeup, designer clothes and she used to go for more outings than a slay queen. Brian, on the other hand, felt weighed down by the house bills and rent. For quite a long time, his ego would not let him talk to his wife about the issue that was deeply irritating him. Instead, he channelled his frustrations through picking up little fights with Janet that did nothing to address the issue at hand.
But then comes a time that a river bursts its banks. Brian had to sit his wife down and talk about the issue at hand. They resolved this by agreeing to split the bills. Janet slowly but consistently became more financially disciplined. They had a joint savings account with a fixed amount of money that they deposit every month. It goes without saying, money issues in relationships need to be tackled head-on.