Advice from Christians Against Poverty on how to preserve your relationship through money worries

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Christians Against Poverty shares some advice for how a couple can preserve their relationship in the midst of money worries.

Money is commonly identified as one of the main reasons for conflict within relationships, and rising costs are making things even more difficult.

We spend our money on what we value, but what we value is often different to the person next to us – including our nearest and dearest. If you’ve ever experienced financial challenges and have had to change your spending habits or budgeting approach, you will most likely have experienced friction in your relationships.

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Legal firm Slater & Gordon says that family finances are cited as the main reason for relationships falling apart. With the cost of living crisis soaring into its second year, more relationships are at risk of suffering under the pressure of money worries. We’re offering some small actions you can take today to help prevent friction and foster healthier and stronger relationships to weather those storms.

Paul Bailie, CAP Debt Centre manager in LisburnPaul Bailie, CAP Debt Centre manager in Lisburn
Paul Bailie, CAP Debt Centre manager in Lisburn

Learn your differences

What do you do when you want to save but your partner likes to spend? A gentle way to open up a conversation could be through suggesting you take an online money personality quiz. These quick quizzes won’t offer expert financial advice, but can help you identify your different attitudes toward money, describe the strengths and challenges of each, and offer tips on how to best manage your money traits.

Talk about solutions

Couples often argue over money worries because there’s been a lack of communication over household finances. By having regular conversations about where you’re at financially as a couple, you can begin to consider different solutions to the problem. Try to focus less on the problem itself and laying the blame, but instead focus on practical solutions to your situation and work together to create an effective budget and maximise your income. Seek free, expert help if you’ve fallen into unmanageable debt.

Share responsibility

In many relationships, one partner may hold more responsibility or control over the household finances. Perhaps one partner earns more money, one person is more financially assertive or one person just loves creating budget spreadsheets! Whilst this isn’t a bad thing, it can create problems if the power over your shared finances leans too far towards one person. A balance of power is essential to any healthy relationship. For relationships where one partner is always making financial decisions, can you come up with a system where each person has an equal say?

Involve your children

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Lots of parents and carers will naturally want to protect their children from being exposed to the anxiety and worry that debt and money problems can create, and therefore keep every detail of their financial challenges a secret. Whilst we’re not suggesting you place every fact and issue you’re facing on the table, involving your children into some of the decision-making process, like deciding what to spend your budget on, can actually draw you together as a family through working together. In fact, parents who’ve involved their children in creating budgets have said it’s been a great way of teaching their children money management skills.

Get support

Debt help charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) reports that nearly half (43%) of their clients said they put off getting free debt help because they didn’t think anyone could help. It’s important to know that support is available and in the UK, there are several free debt help organisations. Have you shared your money worries with your partner? Having someone to talk to or check in with can really put things into perspective. CAP offers a number of free help services, like money management, developing life skills, or free expert debt help, along with personal and holistic support. Find out what free CAP services are available near you by visiting capuk.org or calling 0800 328 0006.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity with over 580 services across the country delivering debt counselling, money management education, job clubs, life skills groups and more. Visit capuk.org to find out more.