Family

Mr Miser

They say the top five things couples argue about are money, sex, work, children and housework, in that order. But when times get tough financially, it can sometimes seem you argue constantly about money – and I have some great tips to help you through…

Dear Wendyl,oy husband was made redundant just before Christmas, which is making life a little tough this year. We have enough money at the moment and I think we can get through until he gets another job, but he is worrying about every little bit we spend and I’m feeling really picked on, even when I buy basics like bread and milk. It’s like living with Uncle Scrooge – and I know that we will get by, if only he would listen. How can I get him to relax a little and calm down?Sarah, email

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Dear Sarah,First of all, being made redundant is a horrible, stressful thing to happen, especially just before Christmas. So give your husband a bit of time to get over that. You may need to get him some help if he doesn’t. You are also going through what many relationships are struggling with at the moment – how to manage money issues. Relationship Services has some great advice on this topic and I think you and everyone reading this will get some help from their tips:

  • Be aware of different attitudes to money. Talk about how finances were dealt with in your family and previous relationships.

  • Make conscious decisions around cash. Decide how the roles and decisions will be shared.

  • Write down what’s bugging you about money in your relationship. How much of the problem is really the money, and how much is about how decisions are made? This can clarify your thinking and make a good starting point for a discussion.

Money arguments can easily become volatile so if it feels unsafe to have these discussions, seek relationship help. If you feel counselling might help, remember that Relationship Services can provide it to you free as it is funded by the Family Court. Contact them on 0800 RELATE or visit www.relate.org.nz. Counselling might also help your husband with the stress around his redundancy.Wendyl

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