Fighting Over Festive Finances

Fighting Over Festive Finances

Don’t Let Money Problems Ruin Your Relationships

Money is a common cause of conflict among many couples and unrealistic expectations around the festive season and how you might use limited finances can exacerbate this. Rising food and energy costs stemming from the Cost of Living Crisis may also be a risk factor for further fights and arguments if not considered properly.

Financial insecurity can overwhelm other aspects of the relationship, and some couples may feel like their money concerns are never-ending and they are never going to have enough. However, much of the time, money in itself isn’t the root of the problem, and therefore having more of it may not necessarily reduce conflict with your partner where finances are a theme.

The problem instead is when individuals have different financial values and behaviours than their partners. It’s not about how much or how little money there is, but instead your approaches to how you use what there is.

If you and your partner are on the same page with your financial values and behaviours, and your expectations around what you might invest into your Christmas experience, then no matter how low your account balance gets, it likely won’t lead to a fight between you. Instead, when things get difficult, you may be more likely to support one another and work together to get back on track.

 

So what can you do about frequent fighting over finances this festive period?

 

1. Talk about Money & Finances

To encourage mutual understanding of each other, it is important to discuss how you were raised around money and what your money personality is. Are you the type of person who sees a ‘bargain’ and will buy another Christmas Present that your child doesn’t really want or need because it was cheap, or do you like to ensure you have at least a few quid left at the end of the month for anything that might arise.

It doesn’t really matter how your parent’s interaction with money played a part of your money relationship; it is just important that your partner understands where you are coming from so they can be more understanding and compassionate about how you make financial decisions.

Don’t judge or attack each other’s styles – accept and learn how to work with what you both bring to the relationship in order to attain money harmony. It is also important that you share the financial load of the relationship. The unbalanced couple where one knows everything and the other is in the dark can be challenging. If this is the case, then get the balance back in the relationship by getting one partner slowly involved and getting the other partner to relinquish some control over the festive finances.

Our Conversation Prompt Cards can help you Communicate Effectively To Relieve the Pressure.

 

Care-love-emotion-support-RelateNI

 

2. Get on the Same Page With Finances

One of the key things to managing money without fighting is to be on the same page with your budget and other financial and festive goals. That means you’ll need a way to have accountability, both to your budget and to each other. One way to do that is to sit down together in November and discuss and plan your budget for December. If you are feeling emotionally activated, then take a break, and breathe deeply until you feel regulated again. No matter if your primary financial goal is just to get through it without debt, or to provide a magical experience for all the family, stick to a realistic budget no matter what.

 

3. Regular Budget & Finance Check-Ins

If either one of you is having a hard time sticking to your budget, then it may be time to sit down and figure out why the budget isn’t working for you and begin to develop a plan to stick to the budget this Christmas. There will probably be times when the two of you are at odds regarding how much you would like to budget towards gifts, socializing and meals, due to differing viewpoints on how to do things financially.

It is important to listen effectively to each other, checking understanding and summarising what they have communicated to you. Accept influence from your partner, so for example if they have ideas on how to reduce the costs surrounding Christmas & New Years, then hear them out and decide which you will give a go. If it doesn’t work out, you can try it your way the next year. Remember teamwork makes the dream work! Over time you will notice how much more easily you and your spouse can discuss all things related to money.

 

We have more advice, tips & tools to Relieve the Pressure on your Relationships this Festive Period Over Here.

Advice NI have further information to help you manage your finances over here. 

« »

“How Relate NI helps people”

“I found the Relationship MOT an excellent method of focusing on we work as a couple and just as importantly, where we need to work. It was professional, insightful and well worth the time. It has reminded us of how much we have to be proud of in our relationship and why it is so important to occasionally review it with experts.”Service Attended Relationship MOT
“I would definitely recommend using the Relationship MOT service as a bit of a check in with your partner. I thought how the counsellor was able to steer the conversation was very insightful and nuanced. The MOT reminded us about why we are great together but also the importance of communication and respect.” “Our counsellor provided an outside perspective which immediately helped us to agree that we needed to stop and think with more kindness and empathy for each other especially when stressed or pissed off. We both felt that our counsellor’s excellent and gentle facilitation was quite invigorating. So many positives!”Service Attended Relationship MOT 2
Very Interesting Content. I like the concept of preparing your relationship before you have problemsService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 4
The face to face programme has made me feel connected with others experiencing similar thingsService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 3
The workshops made me more confident to balance family life after the baby's arrivalService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 2
I now have a better understanding of myself, it is good to know that it is normal to have argumentsService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 1
I felt the weekly questionnaire, couples with the counsellor's understanding of my needs help contribute to my own understanding of my mental health and needs throughout.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
I loved every session. Our counsellor listened to what we had to say and gave us helpful wee homework - would recommend this service to everybodyService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
Our counsellor was a fantastic support - we now feel strong enough to continue working on our relationship togetherService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
I had a very good counsellor that helped me through a lot and it has made me come out the other side.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
Counselling took us from a bad place to a good one and I would return if neededService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
Been a lifeline to help us fall in love again - forever grateful!Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I would just like to say that when I first came for counselling I felt that I was drowning.  I have completed my sessions and I now feel that I can cope a lot better with everything.  Thank you for a brilliant service.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals
Thank you Relate NI for a good nights sleep.Service Attended Relate NI Kids Counselling
Really enjoyed Relate NI and I'm actually going to miss counselling.  I Found it helpful to find myself again. Very fair and equal within our relationship.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I appreciated the straightforward, helpful and informed observations about situations. It really helped me cope during Christmas which is a difficult time for usService Attended Family Counselling
The counsellor was very pleasant to meet with.  They had the necessary skills to speak and listen when appropriate.  I liked their humour and good personality.Service Attended Family Counselling
Relate NI has helped me move on as well as understand myself and situation more.  My counsellor listened to me, facilitated me and was compassionate!Service Attended Relate NI Teen Counselling
I felt the weekly questionnaire, coupled with counsellor's understanding of my needs helped contribute to my own understanding of my mental health and needs throughoutService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals
We had four funded sessions and cannot express how grateful we are for the help, guidance and knowledge. Our counsellor was incredibly professional, and her experience and obvious passion for helping couples like us was exceptional. She helped us to understand ourselves and each other like we otherwise never would have been able to.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I have tried counselling many times in the past. This time actually made a difference. I was able to complete online sessions as well as some face to face.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals

    Reach out to Relate NI





      Get relationship tips by email

      By submitting your details,you are confirming you consent to our processing of
      your personal data. Please see our privacy policy for further details