I’m talking about finances in relationships…
Who should provide? In the past it was considered socially appropriate for the man in our lives to provide and for some this has continued. This was predominately tied to the ideology of what made a traditional man. A construct that has more recently been connected to the stigmatised image of dependents referred to as gold diggers or lazy-other synonyms that I don’t need to repeat. The negative perspective of recipients has also been linked to the modern woman construct and the publicity surrounding the wives and girlfriends of rich men frequently (documented in reality shows).
The modernist approach looks at each person in the couple as an equal and therefore capable of sharing the responsibility of financially keeping the household afloat. However, we know that it is usually not as simple as this when we factor in egos and conditions of provision, salaries and cost of living. Single parents I don’t need to elaborate on your situation because we know you do the most.
To expand on egos and conditions; sometimes individual needs for control or self-esteem is derived from gifting to others will play a huge role in the outcome of financial discussions.
- If someone likes control as the breadwinner they will want to pay for just about everything and the kitchen sink. Should they be prevented from doing so then they may feel uncomfortable or the extreme not needed. The similar emotional reaction can be said for those who are used to providing for themselves, although they may not be the higher earner in the relationship their pride will have the same affect on their self-esteem. It may send them into a state of low mood if not addressed or worse they could look for someone else who will allow them to lead in this area.
- Others may get enjoyment out of spending their money on others. If they are comfortable with this then there should be no issues providing the gift is not given with the intention of sexual favours or covering their indiscretions.
- Assess the conditions of their spending as it may not be as negative as initial assessment might infer. Their spending could simply be the way that they express their love for you so if you like it great but if not let them know how you feel.
Salaries. I’m talking to my mature individuals if one person earns more than the other then it is quite unlikely that you will be able to split every bill straight down the middle.
- This is where communication is a must to prevent resentment caused by keeping your thoughts and feelings about finances to yourself. If you can’t talk to your partner about this what are you even doing with them? Yes, I do think that it’s quite strange that you can tell them how you like other things that go with adult relationships but you can’t elaborate on money so get over it and speak up. Maybe yourself and your spouse can pay different bills in your household, this will give each person some responsibility and acts as a theoretical high five to teamwork of course.
- Could you rein in your spending? Are there any unnecessary items that you bought that have made your spouse or bank account angry or upset with you. Yes, you should look at the overdrawn or minus balance like human eyebrows when someone is frowning. Obviously if you’ve got a shopping addiction it may not be so simple so stop the spending but try your best to slow down. You could also seek professional help, you’ll be surprised as to how many people have the same habit as you. No, don’t feel like a burden professionals are paid to listen so yap away. You may find that your habit is not the root of your issue.
- If your salary doesn’t allow your household to keep up with the joneses then work out why you even feel the need fit in or compete. It may be time for you to acquire a circle of friends or acquaintances that you don’t have to pretend with. Aren’t you exhausted?
- If your problem is social acceptance or related to images in the media of lavish lifestyles two words FORGET IT. If looking at others’ lives makes you feel bad about your own life stop looking so hard, work with what you have. More often than not affluent people don’t even know that you exist and as lovely as you are, you are probably a number to them; one of their many fans and followers. Don’t get yourself stuck on a cycle of debt; taking out loans to cover prior loans that you know you can’t afford to pay back. Especially if it’s to buy things that you really can’t afford in order to keep up appearances for posts or like online or in your community. I’m sure thieves can’t wait to visit your house (if you give the location away) or buy a gift for themselves on you (if they see you bank card).
- Instead use your energy to get that promotion or prepare yourself prior to your interview for a better paying role that you actually want.
The cost of living my gosh where to start? Okay without launching into a tirade about the issues with the economy, politics, taxes and interesting bankers…I mean white collar crime we know things are quite expensive. What can you do to help yourself?
- Start saving. I was a sceptical saver at one time in my life; as a teenager I often wondered whether there was a point in saving. I was only going to break into the savings for my next purchase. However, as an adult I’ve been able to buy bigger things in one transaction and before you even go there no I’m not rich but I have committed to saving when I can. Every pay you receive check your finances if you can afford to at least put a small sum away then do that because eventually your little figure will grow into something quite impressive. Then if you decide you want a holiday, new furniture or the latest technology then you can treat yourself without worrying about APR building up on credit accounts.
- Yes, you may have children and you don’t want them to miss out on the latest fashion because some of their peers will be very mean and tease them. Well some supermarkets will have own brands that you can purchase to help you cut costs. You could also take yourself to pound\dollar shops and get the junk and snacks at a cheaper cost than your local supermarket.
To people who dislike their job and want to leave but wouldn’t dream of waiting around for their next role with no income coming in. Take the time to plan your next move or the leaving date so that it allows you to save a sum to live off whilst you’re looking for a better role. If you’ve paid taxes in the past you can receive government help so don’t let your pride or some job centre staff put you off because you’re entitled to that money. You have worked before. If you haven’t worked before still apply for government help, as a taxpayer personally I’d rather you ate and survived instead of starving yourself because your pride got in the way.
Families that are really struggling please go to food banks and let them help you feed your household, whilst you work out a way to improve your financial circumstances. Yes, I do believe some people will have a phone or other device with internet connection to read this but no food in their cupboards. All the best.