Aside from politics and religion, what is more polarizing than money?
A 2013 survey found that money is the #1 cause of stress in a relationship.
More so than in-laws or whose turn it is to do the dishes. In fact, arguing about money is easily the top predictor of divorce. Yipes.
But, a deeper understanding of how money works can affect our lives in many surprising ways.
Ways that go beyond just making more of it and can change our relationships for the better.
Jeffrey Dew, Ph.D., a professor at Utah State University, told Upworthy, "Financial literacy is important because it can help inform couples about how to handle their money on a day-to-day basis as well as inform their long-term financial goals."
Well said, Professor Dew. Now, here are five things everyone needs to know about money.
1. Proper planning will lessen your financial stress immensely.
No surprise here! No couple wants to go through the doldrums of financial stress. BUT if you’re smart about your expenses and budget accordingly, there’s peace of mind and, well, peace in general.
One way to start is by signing up for a financial app to help you budget. There are a lot of options out there that let you integrate all your accounts, provide forecasts, and fast-track the stress-relieving process to get you looking like that baby owl in no time. You and your partner can review your accounts, set savings goals, and watch your progress together!
2. Talking about money actually brings you closer together.
A romantic getaway. A candlelit dinner. Fixing your finances.
Yes, all of these can strengthen your relationship. Taking the time to assess your financial situation together not only gives you a clearer idea of where you stand, it reinforces a crucial relationship dynamic — teamwork! By figuring out each of your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing money, you can build a solid foundation for working together that you'll use again and again throughout your relationship.
Teams don’t go splurging on stuff in secret. Teams look out for the well-being of one another and do what’s best for the whole.
3. Understanding your finances will help you predict the future.
Well, kind of. For couples, a financial plan is probably the closest thing to a real crystal ball. I mean, it can help both of you figure out exactly where you want to be in five, 10, 20, or 50 years if you want to!
The perfect house? The perfect car? All of it (plus more) can be yours for the incredibly low price of putting in the work and creating a solid plan that makes sense and keeps you on the path toward your goals.
4. Creating a budget will actually save you more time in the long run.
Breaking down your finances will take time. It’s just a question of how much.
If you put in the work early, you save yourself from all the unnecessary hours rummaging through paperwork and dealing with collectors later on. That’s time you can spend going out, watching "Game of Thrones," or even actually spending your money on experiences and creating memories together.
Which leads me to my last point...
5. You can still treat yo selves, you know.
OK, so this is pretty money-related, but it’s not about having more of it. It’s about understanding that you should enjoy the fruits of your labor.
The trick is finding the middle ground so you can still splurge, just smarter. When you’re efficient with your funds, you can find ways to buy the things you want and maximize every single cent.
Now go call your significant other! Tell them you love them, and tell them you have a plan to ease all your money-related stress.
(Just don’t do it in an "I won the lottery!" kind of way.)