Your knowledge of how money works can make or break your relationship.
Not only can financial illiteracy cause soulmates to fight about money, but it can negatively impact your relationship in other ways.
Are any of the following consequences of financial illiteracy occurring with you or your significant other? Read on for some ways to avoid them.
You’re always on edge about money… and it shows. It’s no secret that money problems cause stress. And prolonged stress, no matter your mental strength, will eventually impact your mental health.
The financially illiterate are often destined for a life of struggle. How could they not be? They haven’t been taught how money works, yet they desperately need this knowledge to succeed. The results are predictable—foolish financial decisions that, over time, can generate significant money problems and subsequent stress.
Eventually, prolonged financial stress will shape your actions. That could take the form of chronic anxiety, a quick temper, or even indulging in unhealthy coping mechanisms. And those, given time and lack of attention, will erode your relationship.
Conversations about money will be tense because you don’t have a solid basis of knowledge about your finances. Too many feelings of uncertainty and worry can cause words to be exchanged with fear, anger, or blame. They are bound to hurt. And like that, financial illiteracy has caused a rift in your relationship.
You avoid talking about money with your significant other. If you have enough arguments about money, you may decide it’s no longer worth it to “go there”. And it makes sense—financial illiteracy-induced stress can make money conversations tense and unproductive, to say the least.
Financial illiteracy can directly disrupt your ability to communicate. The same underlying factor is at play—you don’t have the proper skills to talk about money in a healthy manner.
Soon, every discussion about the family budget degenerates into an argument. The topic of money becomes a lightning rod for blame and accusation. It’s easy to fall into this pattern. But it does nothing but hurt your relationship because you’re both losing. The result? You talk about your finances rarely, if at all.
You’re making financial decisions without your partner. All those failed conversations about money can leave you and your partner feeling isolated. Eventually, you may find yourself making critical financial decisions without consulting each other because it’s just too difficult when you try.
This is called financial infidelity. It represents a deep breach of trust. And it can have devastating consequences for couples. Why? Because it seems selfish and sneaky. It raises questions like, What could your partner be hiding? Why do they need a separate bank account all of a sudden? Where did half of our savings go? Secrecy could be concealing a secret life of spending that will eventually undermine your family finances.
Trust is easy to lose, but difficult to regain. It could be a long time before you trust each other with money again.
These are just some of the insidious ways that financial illiteracy can harm your relationship. In order to have a healthy partnership, both parties need to know how money works. That way, you’re more likely to fight about putting pineapple on your pizza than how you’ll afford retirement.