Financial stress is not just caused due to lack of money or work but may result from different spending styles, money management skills and ways of coping with stress and challenges in life. Illustration: Sudhir Shetty
Financial stress is not just caused due to lack of money or work but may result from different spending styles, money management skills and ways of coping with stress and challenges in life. Illustration: Sudhir Shetty

Cherish relationships with financial planning

The financial strains can lead to increased irritability, pressure, insecurity, and fear. If you don't play your cards right, relationships could pay the price. It could be financially costly if you wind up in divorce

Relationships are to be cherished. No one can undermine the importance of healthy relationships – be it with family or friends. It would be naïve to say that a man or woman with healthy relationships is more confident and happy. We all yearn for that perfect family and career. But the reality seems to be different. Do we see more broken relationships today as compared to yesterday? Maybe, yes. Several reasons could be cited. In today’s world, life is getting tougher. Time is scarce and managing relationships is getting more challenging. It needs a lot of your personal time, a lot of care, sensitivity and sacrifice to have a somewhat smooth sail.

According to a Citibank survey, 57% of divorced couples cited money problems as the primary reason for the demise of their marriage. In yet another study – A National Survey from Experian looked at 500 adults who had been divorced in the last five years. 59% of them stated that finances played a role in some way- and 20% said that finances played a major role.

Almost 60% wished they had been financially independent. If we study the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which leads to self-actualization – the lowest two rungs of physiological needs and safety needs can be addressed with the help of smart financial planning. The third and fourth rung – belongingness and love needs and self-esteem would get fulfilled when you are financially secure. The last – self-actualization would happen, for most human beings, when one need not worry about the other four. And so we see that the journey to having happy and successful relationships would start only when our basics such as finances are taken care of.

And as they say, in a lighter vein, ‘money may not buy happiness, but I’d rather cry in a Bentley than a bus’. Now, can we make your journey smoother?

I have learnt a lesson in life: nobody supports anyone with funds for a sustained period. The foundation for a happy family is based on love and understanding between spouses, but that needs to be buttressed with money to keep it going. Like they say, one can’t live on just “love and fresh air". We need to understand that in order to have better relationships with friends and family, you need to have a strong financial foundation. Having a strong financial foundation helps provide a better standard of living for your loved ones.

Every couple faces financial stress at one time or the other. Financial stress is not just caused due to lack of money or work but may result from different spending styles, money management skills and ways of coping with stress and challenges in life. It could lead to major relationship problems and even separation at times.

To put it simply, money matters are one of the most common causes of divorce. When financial crisis occur, couples are forced to cope with changes that could be uncomfortable or cause one or both partners feel resentment towards the other. The strain can lead to increased irritability, pressure, insecurity, and fear. If you don’t play your cards right, relationships could pay the price – that brings its own form of misery, as well as being financially costly if you wind up in divorce or separation. Thus, you could start by sorting out your finances, tightening your belt or getting a financial plan, whether through professional advice or more of a do-it-yourself (DIY) route guided by technology. Just make sure your goals and commitments are realistic – if the plan is too strict, it’s human nature to rebel. You’ve got to live and let live a little too. Is it not better to adopt a financial plan to take care of your basic needs like money management, so that you can devote quality time to building sound relationships? ‘Predicting rain doesn’t count. Building arks does.’ Build before it is too late.

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