Love and Money: Managing Finances to Avoid Relationship Stress

According to a study conducted by William C. Bailey and other researchers, financial stress and work stress can significantly put a hamper on relationships. According to this same study entitled, “The Relationship of Financial Stress to Overall Stress and Satisfaction, Personal Finances and Worker Productivity,” fifty percent of the overall stress levels can be attributed to financial problems. Couples must be aware of how to manage finances to ensure that they do not put their relationships in jeopardy.

Devise a Household Budget

Financial management of money is a solution to alleviating stress related to financial difficulty. Devise a plan or household budget to avert financial disaster and help couples manage their relationships better. Each month, couples should write out their monthly expenses to avoid any arguments with their spouses. The budget should list all of the common bills between the couple including: Rent, mortgage, utilities, cell phones, credit card payments, food and car payments. Each partner should also receive a discretionary allowance for extras. Once the budget is agreed upon, then individuals must adhere to the plan. Follow the plan to avoid arguments. Establishing a household budget will help both the thrifty and the spendthrifts of the relationship.

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Go on Inexpensive, but Creative Dates

Date nights in relationships help to keep the stress levels to a minimum. There are cheap and inexpensive ways to keep the relationship alive without compromising the budget. For instance, couples may order take out and watch their favorite movie. Some movies are available for rental for just a dollar. Alternatively, an online movie service may deliver movies directly to the home for as low as $8 per month. Couples may also play board games or invite another couple for a card game. Any of these home activities are inexpensive and easy to do.

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Back to the Basics

Move more of your spending to cash and debit cards to avoid extra expenses at the end of the month. Consider getting cutting back on the number of credit cards you have, especially those with high interest rates. Retain one or two credit cards for larger items and make regular payments to help your credit score. Credit cards are one of the most common ways that a couple’s expenses may get out of control. Minimize credit card use to avoid potential problems. Consider cutting back on luxury items that may be unnecessary. Continue to keep essential items that you cannot live without such as a cell phone and potentially a landline if needed for business or other purpose. If you only use a landline infrequently, consider eliminating the landline. Some couples chose to get rid of cable, but others may consider this a part of date night. Watching a show together on television may be an inexpensive way to unwind.

Avoid Suspicion

When financial problems arise, it is easy to look outside of the relationship for a person who is more financially stable or that offers stress relief outside of relationships. When financial problems arise, a partner is more likely to stray if there is not clear communication and thoughtfulness despite the financial difficulties. Lack of communication will lead to infidelity with another partner, because that partner does not burden the relationship with financial difficulties.


Noelle Towler is a keen blogger on a number of topics including consumer finance. Over the past year Noelle and her partner Richard have successfully combined their finances in an open and transparent way and worked together to reduce the stresses financial factors such as loss of income or debt can cause on a relationship. Noelle is a manager of Click4Credit which helps compare a wide range of credit cards from the lowest interest credit cards to the cards with the best balance transfer credit card offers.

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