This being my first time at Women's Nite after finding out about it 2 years ago, I found myself regretting why I let it slip out of my mind. I must have missed out on a lot! The topic for discussion on finances is something most people would not talk about normally, but here, it was a free sharing session, with personal experiences and perspectives aired and debated on. I learned a lot and gained a fair few insights into things I have never thought about. I'm thankful to all the participants for sharing their experiences. It gave me quite a lot to think about after the session. I think all of us definitely took home a lesson from one of the participants about the interbank transfer - a gloriously neglected tool. I definitely foresee myself attending another session.
Often a neglected subject, differences when it comes to money matters can have a huge corrosive effect on a relationship. So, how do you start talking about money with your partner?
I think it helps to first look into your own value system. For instance being the "breadwinner" may be important to some people. For others fairness may be paramount in which case you may want to consider an arrangement whereby each partner contributes to joint expenses like daily necessities, housing and holidays in proportion to her relative income. The most important thing is that both parties are happy with the arrangement. However problems arise when one or both parties are unhappy about how money is spent or their relative contributions to joint expenses.
As with any issue that arises in a relationship the most important thing is an ongoing openness to discuss about money whenever a conflict arises and a mutual willingness to make compromises if necessary.
When money as an issue of contention in a relationship, it may just be the tip of the iceberg. Differing spending habits may indicate incompatible value systems. An unyielding and backbreaking insistence on being "taken care of" financially may provide a particular insight on the person’s view regarding the relationship. A debilitating inability to discuss money issues may be an indication of much deeper personal issues regarding relationships. Whatever the real issue is, avoiding talking about it will certainly not make things better or make it go away.