Global stress has brought everybody to their knees. With hospital bills increasing and businesses shutting down, Kiwis are left to find better opportunities to sustain their needs and their families. Without a stable source of income, it can be challenging to deal with other matters that come along with it.
The Commission for Financial Capability found that about 20% of 3,000 Kiwis experience money problems with their partners, family members and close friends. Around 24% are 18 to 24 year-olds who were reported to develop strained relationships due to lack of funds. According to experts, this is the time where individuals become irresponsible in handling their money, not to mention poor communication with their loved ones about their financial situation.
“Stress levels may have increased this year because of lockdown and if incomes have reduced in the household, which is putting strain on spending,” Dr. Pushpa Wood, Director of Massey University’s Financial Education Centre said.
One of the main causes of arguments between partners is their own financial issues. It’s important to expect that there can be tension about money, more so in a time like this.
“COVID has also increased online spending habits that might now be more transparent,” Dr. Wood added.
It’s more likely that those who earn under $10,000 a year experience money problems in the relationship. While money can buy you happiness in the form of material things, higher income earners receiving $150,000 to $200,000 a year still find themselves in distress because of their expenses.
The key to dealing with your money issues is to be honest and clear about your spending habits. Along with this is taking accountability for your actions, and finding smart ways to keep your money intact.
Here are a few effective ways to keep you on track about your money-spending habits.
Communication is key. Discuss your monthly income and expenses with your partner. You can put them down on paper, or make use of a mobile app so you can list down all the bills at home, expenses, and spare funds in one place, and for easy access.
Living with your partner entails sharing expenses. Some couples prefer splitting everything in half, while others, with so much to spend, agree for one to shoulder most expenses. It really depends on your arrangement and how both parties can manage their own finances. You can discuss with your partner about opening a joint account where you can get money for shared bills such as electricity, water, repairs, and so on. This way, both of you can enjoy each of your individual earnings and prevent stressing over who pays for what. If it works for others, then it might work for you, too.
Sometimes, circumstances can get a little tough no matter how much you talk about responsible spending. Saving up money can only do so much. When you and your partner encounter serious money problems, you can always seek financial advice from experts to lessen your worries. You can apply for a loan to help pay off debts and hospital bills right away. Some companies offer small interest rates with adjustable repayments so you’re safe from drowning in debt again, but this will still depend on how you manage your funds. Some also use their credit cards to pay off bills and other expenses that can offer balance transfer programs, or much lower interest rates.
There’s no single way to resolve money issues within yourself and loved ones. Put your money where your pocket is, and never inside your head. You can always choose to get up and be responsible about your spending with the help of friends, family, your partner and the experts who can guide you through expenses in times of financial trouble.
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