Your relationship with your family has a bigger impact on your wallet than you may think. Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey believes relationships are a vital part of wealth building — and the better you are at navigating this, the better chance you have at winning.
“The biggest problem that most people have with their money and the biggest asset that other people have with their money is your relationships,” he said on The Ramsey Show and posted to X (formerly Twitter). “The better you navigate this, the better chance you got at winning.”
This is especially true in marriage. Money is the number one problem that most couples fight about, and it’s the second leading cause of divorce, Ramsey said in a blog post.
A survey conducted by Bread Financial earlier this year found two-thirds of couples believe they are “financially incompatible,” meaning their spending, investing and saving habits are not aligned, CNBC reported. This can lead to not wanting to talk about money or even “financial infidelity” — hiding purchases from one another.
Money conversations are difficult, but here are Ramsey-recommended steps to building bridges:
Discuss Lifestyle Choices Together
It’s okay to have lifestyle differences. One person may prefer brand-name items, while the other prefers a bargain. However, if your income doesn’t support this, then it’s going to be a big problem. Marriage is about compromise, financial expert Rachel Cruze wrote in a blog post on Ramsey Solutions, and your lifestyle needs to align with your actual income.
Keep Purchases Out in the Open
A 2017 survey conducted by Ramsey Solutions found that one in three of those who argue with their spouse about money confessed they had hidden purchases from their spouse. Couples hiding purchases from one another, secretly opening a bank account or hiding cash can quickly break down financial trust in a relationship.
Be honest about side bank accounts or secret credit cards and recommit to shared financial goals, Cruze recommended.
Unmet financial expectations can cause conflict in a relationship. Cruze claimed the quickest way to feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied with your spouse is when you expect things to go a certain way, only to find out the reality is quite the opposite. She recommended setting your expectations together, getting your money in order now and making your dreams a reality later.
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