Money is the top strain on relationships, according to a survey by the charities Relate, Relationships Scotland and Marriage Care. And it’s a common cause of rift between family and friends too.
When people argue about money, it’s often because they have different attitudes to money.
Our attitudes to money are formed in early life from our home environment and experiences. But this doesn’t mean you’ll just copy your parents. If money was always tight, for example, you might become a spendthrift in later life – eager to spend money now that you have it.
And we give money meaning beyond it’s transactional facility. For some of us money provides security, for some it’s freedom, for others it’s how we show love, and for some it gives a feeling of status and power.
So our relationship with money can be complex and deeply ingrained, and that can cause misunderstandings and frustrations when we get together with someone with a different money mindset.
You might be cautious and risk averse and hate to see your partner frittering their money away on new clothes and nights out; while they might think you should stop being so miserly with your cash and splash out once in a while. When our relationship with money is so deeply entrenched, it can be hard to understand where the other one’s coming from.
With all this in mind it’s great to see that BBC Radio will be setting up a Money Clinic over the summer to help listeners who fall into any gf the categories mentioned above. Ruth Alexander, the presenter of the programme explains. “The solution to all these situations is good communication, but having an honest and open conversation about money can be easier said than done. This summer, Radio 4 is opening the BBC Money Clinic and you’re invited. It’s an opportunity to sit down with a partner, family member or friend to talk through your financial issues with a counsellor. They won’t be giving financial advice, but they will be able to help you have an honest and open conversation about your relationship with money and one another. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
If you think you would benefit from a chat about money issues then please drop Ruth a line, they’re recording this programme over the next week or so.