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How to Fix Your Relationship with Money to Reduce Debt

What’s the best way to describe your relationship with money? If you’re looking to reduce debt, it’s probably safe to say it’s at least a bit on the dysfunctional side. You might not be able to change a dysfunctional relationship on your own in all cases, but when it comes to your finances, you have complete control of your relationship and can transform it for the better.

If you’re in a romantic relationship and sharing finances, it would be best to work on your relationship with money with your partner. But our 2018 Debt Confessions poll uncovered some interesting insights that tell us that’s not always feasible.

According to the poll, 59 per cent of Canadians in a relationship want to change at least one of their partner’s financial habits. That’s right — more than half of us are irritated by our partner’s overspending, lack of saving or other poor habits.

On the other hand, some people are keeping financial secrets from their partners. Thirty per cent of Canadians are hiding their spending habits, credit card debt, income and/or monthly expenses or bills from those they love.

So while you do want to keep having conversations about finances with your partner (and maybe come clean about your own secrets), getting them to change when you want them to may not happen.

But that’s ok.

Changing your own relationship with money is an important step. And when your partner sees you paying down debt and achieving your financial goals, they might be inspired to finally make positive changes, too.

Commit to learning

People who have a dysfunctional relationship with money may have learned toxic beliefs or behaviours regarding money earlier in life.

Or, they may not have learned the financial literacy skills that would set them up for success.

Luckily, you can still learn about financial management, as long as you’re willing to put the work in, and find a method that works for you.

Take our financial health quiz to see where you stand.

Refocus on the relationship

Countless relationships fail because the partners were focused on everything but one another. The same thing can happen with money. Just as you would with a romantic partner, schedule frequent date nights with your money and give it all of your attention.

What do you do on a money date night? Familiarize yourself with all aspects of your finances, including your personal debt. Use a debt calculator to determine your options for repaying the debt and set up a budget that will help you achieve your financial goals.

Have fun together

You don’t have to spend money to enjoy it. Use some of your date nights to set goals for non-mortgage debt repayment and saving, and celebrate when you achieve those goals.

Saving money can be fun and rewarding. To get started, check out Yummy Mummy Club’s tips on how to save $1,000 a year.

Another way to have fun is to learn new things about money and financial management. Read books, articles and blogs. Find out what the filing for bankruptcy process looks like, what debt consolidation is, and how to achieve short- and long-term financial goals.

You can reduce debt, but you need to change the dynamic you have with money. By making your relationship with money a priority and beginning to truly enjoy having it rather than spending it, paying down debt will become a priority too.

What are you going to do to change your relationship with money? Tell us on Twitter. #LeaveDebtBehind #DebtConfessions #DebtAdvice



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