Recession Proof Your Relationship

by admin
Comments are off for this post.

Share this article

Recession Proof Your Relationship

Table of Contents

Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………….………… 3

Be Honest …………………………………………………………………………………….………..3

Be Pro-Active  ……………………………………………………………………………..…………3

Be There for Each Other  ………………………………………………………………………4

Think About Good, Cheap Dates  ……………………………………………….…………5

Make a Budget  ……………………………………………………………………………..………5

Create a Routine  …………………………………………………………………………….……5

Avoid Spending on Credit  ………………………………………………………………….…6

Make Shared Savings Goals  ……………………………………………………………..…7

Don’t Take Your Money Stress Out on Your Partner  ………………………….7

Do the Do-Able  ………………………………………………………………………………….…8

How to Handle Layoffs  ……………………………………………………………………..…8

Share the Load  ………………………………………………………………………………….…9

Physical Intimacy  ………………………………………………………………………………..9

Talk & Fun  ………………………………………………………………………………………….10

Don’t Stop Giving Gifts  …………………………………………………………………..…10

He Spends, She Spends  ………………………………………………………………….…11

Secret Spending is Not Sexy  ………………………………………………………….…11

Expand Your Meaning of “Wealth” and “Security” ……………………………12

Invest “Emotional Currency” in Your Relationship  ……………………………12

Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………..13

 Recession Proof Your Relationship

Introduction

You’ve heard that money can’t buy love.  But, it can play a role in its demise.

Often hard financial times cause relationships to crumble.  And, right now things are hard for just about everyone.

If you love your significant other, you will read every word in this short report so that you can handle the upcoming financial challenges ahead.

Be Honest

Now is not the time to play “Mr. Big” to her Carrie (or vise versa).  You need to be open about your financial situation.  If you can’t afford lots of meals out and gifts, you need to let the other person know.

Times are hard.  If your girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife ever turns on the TV or opens a newspaper, they will know that the situation is the same everywhere.

Unemployment is at historic rates.  The stock market has tanked.  Homes have lost up to half of their value.

Even if you have been relatively unaffected by the current financial events, you still may be wanting to put a little bit aside for a rainy day.  It’s just not sensible to think that a rainy day won’t come for you since it has for so many others.

Relationships thrive on communication.  If you communicate honestly your standing within the current economic situation, you can head off a lot of trouble.  Much of the advice in this report begins with dealing honestly with the financial situation at hand.

If your significant other can’t handle your honesty, perhaps it is better to find out that they are too materialistic now rather than later when your bank account has been drained.

Be ProActive

It’s not enough to be honest.  You also have to be proactive.  That means that you need to start living within your means – even (especially) in your relationship.

Start by having a talk with your loved one about what you can afford.  Together reach the consensus that the material things don’t make up a relationship.  Talk about ways you can spend time together without spending money.

Don’t just start skimping on the good times without letting your significant other what you are doing.  They may get confused about what messages you are trying to send.

 

If you used to drop $100 on a bottle of wine and now you want to eat at McDonald’s, your loved one may wonder if this is a sign that you no longer care about him or her.  You need to explain up front that this is a reflection of the financial markets not a lack of commitment to them.

Be There for Each Other

The quality of a relationship does not depend on the amount of money spent but on the time you spend together.  If one or both of you are stressed out by a money situation that isn’t going away any time soon, being there for the other one is the best gift you can give.

This is a good time to practice being “present.”  That’s a skill that means that you actively listen to the other person.

Empathize with your partner.  Empathy is understanding and entering into another’s feelings.

What better gift could you give someone than to “be there” when they are stressed?

Think About Good, Cheap Dates

When the good times were rolling, you might have gone overboard trying to impress your love.  But there’s nothing that says a cheap date can’t be just as fun as an expensive one.

For instance, eating a gourmet meal at a restaurant is fun.  But cooking together and eating that meal at home can be even more fun.  Instead of shelling out the money for someone else to cook, you get to engage in it with your partner.  But, don’t expect your partner to do all the work.  That takes the fun out of it.  This is something you can do together.

Similarly, movies and popcorn can cost you $35 or more.  Rent a movie and buy a bag of Jiffy Pop and it will only put you back $5.  You will be able to substitute a similar experience for a fraction of the price.  Plus, it’s much easier to cuddle on your couch than in the theater.

Get out of the house, but keep it cheap by being active.  Going hiking or biking can be a lot of fun, and quite easy on the wallet.

Look for free or low cost venues for dates.  Book stores, college lectures, museums on their free evening, and concerts in the park all provide exciting and stimulating ways to spend an evening.

Speaking of parks, pack a picnic lunch and a Frisbee.  It’s amazing just how much fun you can have in a friendly park.

Make a Budget

When the money was flowing, you may have been able to get away with not having a budget.  In fact, you may have even used credit cards to finance a lifestyle beyond your means.

Now that the hard times have come, you no longer have the luxury of not having a budget.

Put together a list of the essential things you have to buy.  This would include your rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, car expenses, and any debt servicing.

If there’s anything left over, that, and only that, is your “play money.”

Ask your partner to make a budget as well.  Share the amount of “play money” that you have with each other.  Talk about what you want to spend yourself and what you are prepared to spend on relationship-oriented things.

[rollinglinks]Lear more and Find more Information about this topic click here[/rollinglinks]

Create a Routine

In times of uncertainty, creating a routine helps to create as much predictability in your life as you can. Set up weekly budget meetings to include not only talking about finances, but also the best ways to handle anxiety, feelings and your relationship. Don’t forget to schedule weekly meetings specifically for romance to keep the emotional aspects of your relationship strong.

One partner may shrink away during tough financial times. They may say that they just want the other one to back off.  But, one thing you can do to confront that is to create predictability by trying to formalize lines of communication.

Say “I want to help you, I want to talk to you” so they know you’re available, and try to schedule a regular time to talk, even if for just 15 minutes every Friday.

You have to tell them in a compassionate way that would help you so since you know they’re going through so much. You should also tell them it would feel so much better if you felt like you could help them.

But also make it very task-oriented — every week have a session to see the state of your finances, but also the state of your emotional health.

Topics of discussion could be:

  • How much money do we have?
  • How’s the job search going?
  • How do you feel
  • Here’s how I feel

Lay this idea of meetings out for your partner, and then take a step back because nagging doesn’t help. When your significant other feels ready, they’ll come back to you and hopefully open up.

Avoid Spending on Credit

This is not the time to be maxing out your credit cards and applying for new ones.  Even if you haven’t lost your job, you are better off paying off debt than accruing new loans.

Share with your partner that the current economic situation has made you more aware of the dangers of overextending yourself and that you will be cutting back on all purchases in the days to come.

If you can, you should also be trying to pay down debt.  If you do have extra money, consider putting yourself in a more solvent situation so if there is a downturn in your personal life, you will be able to better navigate it.

Make Shared Savings Goals

If you have some “play money” think about making some shared savings goals with your partner.  Open a joint bank account and deposit a little bit of money each month toward a “big purchase” that you wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.

This might be a trip like a weekend away or a week long cruise.  Or, it could be something tangible like a big screen television.

If you are planning on getting married, the wedding makes a great shared savings goal.

And, it’s a great time to buy a house if you have the money and credit.  So, perhaps your shared savings goal could be the money toward a down payment.

Decide whether how much each partner is going to pay into the joint savings account.  You might decide on a fixed, equal payment each month.  Or, if one person has more money, it could be a different amount.  Finally, it could be the amount of spare money you have left over each month.

But, make sure that both parties feel that the savings account goals are equitable.  Don’t let this become an additional source of stress in your relationship.

Also, you should have a clear contingency plan about how to divide the proceeds should you split up.

If you have a shared savings goal, you are likely to be able to handle the reduced spending on everyday dates.

Don’t Take Your Money Stress Out on Your Partner

If you have been recently laid off, lost your home, or lost a fortune in the stock market, it is easy to lash out at the people closest to you.  But, your financial woes are not your partner’s fault.

If you let them, partners can help you with the long climb back to solvency.

But, if you take your money stress out on them, you could be destroying the relationship.

Take a step back and analyze how you are handling your money problems.  If you have a great deal of stress, there are several ways to handle it.

First, you can talk to a counselor.  If your insurance doesn’t cover counseling (or if you’ve lost your insurance altogether), there are free and low cost community resources.

Second, talk to a credit counselor if you are at risk of declaring bankruptcy.  There are free professional services that help you develop a budget and deal with your money situation.

Finally, try to exercise every day.  Exercise is a great stress reliever.  It’s much better to pound the pavement jogging than it is to verbally lash out at your loved one.

Do the Doable

Focus on what you can do and avoid panic around what you can’t – in other words, do the doable.

Remember that fear is just a warning bell.  Worrying does not solve problems.  It just short-circuits rational thinking. Be mindful and stay in the present. It is empowering to reach out for help and also help others. Having an attitude of gratitude and humbleness makes you appreciative rather than feeling angry.

How to Handle Layoffs

If your partner has lost a job, you need to be helpful.  This may involve giving or lending money or it may entail being helpful with networking and sending out resumes.

Feel your partner out for how you can be most helpful in a job search.  But, don’t add to their pressure by nagging them.

If your partner has been laid off, but he or she won’t look for a job, you need to back off and be patient.  When someone gets laid off, there often is a grief process that he or she has to work through.  If you rush your partner, you will only make them angry at you rather than at the situation.  Remember, the layoff was a hit to his or her dignity.  You need to boost them up rather than tear them down.

This recession is different in that 82 percent of the people laid off have been men.  In past recessions, jobs traditionally held by women have been the first to go.  But this time, it’s men who are getting the “pink” slip.

That means many couples are in the difficult position where the woman makes more money than the man.  Though years of teaching has taught us that this is an okay scenario, when it is played out in a given situation, there can be a lot of stress.

Sharing the Financial Load

If one partner (man or woman) has been laid off, you need to share the load.  This can mean emotional support or it can come in the financial sphere.

If you live together, you probably already have a household budget.  The person still employed will have to take up a greater share of the expenses.  Making a budget is essential in this situation.

It’s more difficult when you aren’t living together.  Do you give your partner money?  Do you lend them money?  Remember that gifts of money and loans can cause stress in a relationship.  Sometimes, the relationship cannot survive these money issues.

Further, if you do break up, how are the money issues, particularly loans, going to be resolved?

If one of you is going to share the financial load, you need to talk, talk, talk about it before any commitments are made.

Physical Intimacy

There are a number of reasons why physical intimacy is terrific in a financial crisis.

First of all, sex is free!  There’s no strain on the budget to have a tumble between the sheets.

Secondly, sex relieves anxiety, tension and stress.  Being close to someone and knowing that they love you even when times are tough is a great healer.  You will also have the benefit of endorphins released to the brain which will improve your mood.

However don’t misinterpret a decreased libido on the part of your partner. When people feel anxious, their libido tends to go. That can cause a chasm in a relationship, and leaves so much room for misinterpretation. You have to know that it’s not them, but that stress and anxiety are libido killers. Scheduling time to be together can help keep a relationship from growing apart.

You should turn off the television (especially the news) and turn to intimacy.  You can’t control what is happening in the outside world, but you can reach for love at home.

Talk & Fun

As I said earlier, talking about financial issues is key to having your relationship survive a recession.  You need to make sure that you are on the same page about money.

But, plan your talks.  Don’t let it dominate your life.  Make some decisions and move on.

When you do schedule some time to talk about finances, also plan to have an active event afterwards.  Getting out of the house to ride bikes or take a hike can help you change gears.

Your relationship cannot be all about money, even when money is tight.  So, make sure you strike the right balance between talk and active fun when you approach a discussion about money.

Don’t Stop Giving Gifts

When the budget is tight, it’s obvious that you can’t buy two dozen roses every weekend.  The diamond earrings might not be in the works for her birthday.

But that doesn’t mean you should forgo gifts altogether.  In fact, showing token signs of appreciation may be even more important in tough times.

Take the time to write or copy a poem and put it in his lunch box.  Pick a flower out of the garden and give it to her.

By being creative, you can continue to show tokens of your love and affection throughout a budget crisis.

He Spends, She Spends

Men and women have different spending habits.

Women spend to lift their mood or reward themselves for hard work. They’re also prone to revenge spending, blowing the budget when shopping to get back at an errant husband who’s off playing golf.

Men are more likely than women to spend more on eating out and entertainment, even during a recession.  Women shop for clothes, household goods, and personal care.

Money papers over the cracks in a relationship, but if there’s nothing to spend, those cracks will only widen. Then, of course, there’s the blame game. Are the debts his fault for going to the pub three nights a week, or her fault for having a weekly manicure?

Again, talking about how money is to be budgeted is important.  Try to have some “play money” if at all possible allocated to each person.  That way there’s no trade off between the pub and the manicure.

Secret Spending is Not Sexy

Sometimes, people go “off budget” and spend money behind their partner’s back.  This only creates a crisis down the road.

If you don’t have your money issues under control, you may lose your relationship.

In good times, credit can get you past a bad shopping spree.  But, when your family was counting on that money for rent, your secret spending habits could destroy the best thing in your life.

In fact, secret spending has sometimes been called “the other adultery.”  It includes changing receipts so that your partner doesn’t know how much you really spent and buying gift cards for other stores at the supermarket so it looks like it’s coming from the “grocery budget.”

Remember that secret spending is not sexy.  You can only spend your “play money” and no more.  If there is no room in the budget for play money, you are going to have to control your spending urges entirely.

Expand Your Meaning of “Wealth” and “Security”

Money is not necessarily the deal maker when it comes to getting married, but it often is the deal breaker for when a marriage or long term relationship ends.

But, it’s possible to expand your meanings of “wealth” and “security” to encompass a broader range of options.  It is very emotionally helpful to do this, particularly in a recession.

Couples should realize what is really important to them.  Think about all the riches in your life besides money. If you are conscious of this and show appreciation of the other person in your relationship, and other members of your family, it takes away some of sting of what you have to give up when financial circumstances limit you.

We all have the problem of often thinking about losses instead of our riches, or the things that make us feel wealthy besides money. And the bottom line is that relationships are much more enriching than money. Would you ever trade your spouse for a job? Not likely. But that’s what couples are doing when they let financial problems ruin a relationship.

When you explore where your riches come from, you’ll find that what really makes your life rich is these relationships. If you have people in your life that love you and you have people to love, your life is rich. All of the rest of the stuff is great, but it is gravy, not the meat.

That’s why you need to expand your meaning of wealth. Your definition of “wealth” and “security” should include all of life’s riches including good health, hobbies, pets, friendships and, most important, spouse or lover and family. In the midst of difficult circumstances, it helps to be intentional about focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t have or have lost.

Invest “Emotional Currency” in Your Relationship

You should be aware that stress and anxiety deplete emotional resources of every kind. Everyone has less resilience these days, so everyone needs a little more support. This means that you need to be investing “emotional currency” in your relationship rather than drawing from the reserves.

Couples have to be conscious that there’s an emotional gap caused by financial problems, because when anxiety goes up, emotional resources are often depleted. So while one person may need more emotional support, the other partner may offer less because they’re stressed. Because they’re busy shaming themselves into thinking they should be able to handle everything, problems occur.

But everyone has fewer resources when they are stressed. So you have to find more ways to be flexible without being emotionally reactive. That means talking, without being defensive. If you do, that defensiveness goes away. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, think how hard it is on your partner. Vulnerability leaves the door open to communication, and that give-and-take becomes circular.

Conclusion

Times are hard these days.  Don’t kid yourself that nothing in your relationship will change if one person gets laid off, suffers a major decline in their stock portfolio, or loses their home.

Whether you are the one who is in financial trouble or your partner is, you need to practice the principles laid out in this report.

Primarily, you need to develop your financial plan and keep the lines of communication open.

A recession is also a good time to re-evaluate what your priorities in life are. You’re forced to make new decisions about where your journey is taking you.  When you are laid off and can’t find a new job in your field, you have to re-assess what your core values.  You may even be able to find a new direction.

Your relationship can survive a recession, but you may need to develop new skills to make sure that it does. Read more free eBook at love advice or visit are blog page Love advice blog

Share this article

Comments are closed.