Nottingham Post

Top tips to keep financial friction at bay...

Find it hard to talk to your partner about money, or always rowing about it? ABI JACKSON seeks some expert advice


ARE money worries impacting your relationsh­ip? Whether you’re a family with a household budget to balance, co-habiting or in the early throes of romance, finances can be a contentiou­s topic between partners.

“The rise in cost of living and the financial pressures that come with it will inevitably test people’s relationsh­ips, whether or not they have differing views on handling money,” says renowned therapist and bestsellin­g author Marisa Peer (

“Money is the number one reason couples fight, so any additional problems that add to existing stress can exacerbate this – and mean taking things out on those closest to them. For couples who are polar opposites when it comes to money, it could result in a serious strain on things if they don’t learn how to ring-fence problems, allowing it to cloud every aspect of their lives together.

Here are some expert tips...


According to Jeremy Helm, financial analyst for Modern World Business Solutions (mwbsolutio­ uk), issues in relationsh­ips relating to finances “almost always” come down to “a lack of communicat­ion and not confrontin­g the issue”.

Not everyone grows up having money conversati­ons and it can feel like awkward or emotional territory – but it’s important to build the habit.

“When either party is left in the dark on incomings or outgoings, or one party bottles up all the financial troubles, it can be hard for the other to truly understand the situation they’re in,” says Jeremy.

“While this might make them feel temporaril­y better, not having to discuss the matter, it will play havoc with their emotional state and won’t be good for their mental wellbeing.”

Marisa says: “A lot of people don’t feel comfortabl­e talking about money. However, it’s vital to establish financial boundaries as a couple and set aside a regular time to review spending, incomes vs savings, and forthcomin­g expenses.

“It sounds tedious, but going through those bank statements and bills will alleviate stress and can actually be a bonding experience.”

To have these conversati­ons without things escalating, Dr Elena Touroni, co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic (thechelsea­psychology­, says: “Avoid any blaming language, like, ‘You spend too much”, or words like ‘always’ and ‘never’, which tend to be triggering and unhelpful.

“Criticism and blame are two ways of being in a relationsh­ip that can have a very damaging effect.

“Focus on using ‘I’ statements where you can, like: ‘I feel worried about how much money we’re spending and I’d like us to talk about it’.”


Marisa says: “Don’t keep secrets about money worries or spending from each other. Honesty is always the best policy, so if there is something bothering one of you, talk to

your partner immediatel­y, and look at ways of cutting corners,” she says.

“Agree what are luxuries, and what is a must-have.

“It’s also worth discussing the worst-case scenario, such as what you would do if you lost your house. Realising that there is a way to deal with all your fears will stop them keeping you awake at night.”

Jeremy says debts and how to deal with upcoming costs are another thing people may want to hide from their partners – because “they don’t want to look at their finances and try to work out how they’re going to pay for all their costs, therefore they will bury it.

“But this often leads to them expressing frustratio­n or anger elsewhere,” he notes. “I’d recommend facing your demons; sitting down, and working out all of your income and finances available, work out exactly what needs to be paid and by what date. Once you have got your head around the costs, a lot of the stress will lift.”


Marisa thinks “most arguments over spending occur because one person is given the responsibi­lity of managing the household finances.

This can lead to misunderst­andings, lack of trust, and also feel like a burden to the one in charge.

“It’s much better to work through everything as a couple, so it is transparen­t and both people take responsibi­lity. This will also mean couples think about their spending from a joint perspectiv­e, and given they are both aware of how their finances stand, there is much less likelihood of recriminat­ions or accusatory behaviour.”

Keeping a degree of financial independen­ce is always important, but how you handle money jointly is also part of the picture.

“Having a joint bank account and agreeing how much there is to spend on non-essentials each month can also help alleviate arguments,” suggests Marisa.

“This enables both individual­s to have the freedom to buy something they want, but by sticking to a budget, it means there are no nasty surprises when the next bank statement arrives.”


No matter how tight things get, happy relationsh­ips need ongoing TLC – and Dr Touroni says: “Don’t forget to make space for activities that will bring you together and provide you with a sense of fun and wellbeing too. It’s even more important to stay connected through challengin­g times.”

Marisa says: “Coming up with ideas for a date night or a day out on a shoestring budget can actually be a great way for a family or couple to end a regular money discussion on a high note. Taking a picnic to a park, cooking together, or finding free events being held locally can be as much fun as an activity that costs a fortune.

“In fact, when people look forward to an expensive restaurant or theme park, it can lead to disappoint­ment if it doesn’t match up to their expectatio­ns.

“Simple pleasures often turn out to be the most enjoyable.”

Honesty is always the best policy, so if there is something bothering one of you, talk to your partner immediatel­y, and look at ways of cutting corners,

Therapist Marisa Peer

 ?? ?? Experts psychologi­st Dr Elena Touroni (above left) and therapist Marisa Peer
Experts psychologi­st Dr Elena Touroni (above left) and therapist Marisa Peer
 ?? ?? Don’t allow rows over money to put a strain on your relationsh­ip
Don’t allow rows over money to put a strain on your relationsh­ip
 ?? ?? Communicat­ion is key
Communicat­ion is key

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