Sometimes debt strains a relationship and couples never recognize it. Breakups, fights, and tension are blamed on more obvious causes instead of the underlying problem of mounting bills and dwindling financial accounts. Here are some tips to help ease the tension and open the lines of communication between couples that are faced with mounting bills.
Don’t place blame!
Playing the game of “he spent-she spent” only makes matters worse. Spouses are often firmly divided, one taking the role of over-spender and the other the role of the hoarder.
Admit there is a problem!
The first step is to admit that there is a problem. Identify the real problem and focus on solving it.
Deal with concerns in a positive way
Families tend to not sit down and discuss money and financial issues. It is important to communicate your feelings calmly and rationally. Don’t focus on the suffering, instead focus on the reason for the overspending and how to make realistic changes.
Get to the root of poor spending habits
Look for patterns. Identify strengths and weaknesses in your financial planning and management skills. Sometimes the root of the problems lies in the attitudes and practices that your parents instilled in you.
Seek advice from a certified financial counselor
Often times seeking the assistance of a neutral third party who can identify spending habits, outline areas of concern, and areas for improvement can be the best plan for success. A financial counselor can help you establish a clear spending plan and provide continued support to get couples back on track.
As a member of New Dimensions Federal Credit Union, you can take advantage of the GreenPath Financial Wellness program, a free financial education, and counseling program. GreenPath counselors are available Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST), Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To use this new service, simply call 1-877-337-3399 or visit them on the web at www.greenpathref.com. You may also choose to meet with Tanya Verzoni, Director of Financial Education, to discuss your financial challenges and opportunities. Contact Tanya at (207) 313-5924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.