Personal Finance Series: No 22 – Are You Buying Friends Or Buying Love?

Money is a major cause of divorce and depression. Or rather, it would be more accurate to assert that it is the mismanagement of personal finance, and the ensuing emotional stress which leads to the breakdown in relationships and happiness, leading to divorce and depression.

Of course, being organised financially, with a personal finance budget, a personal finance spreadsheet of a home budget worksheet might help – for example if a couple have shared personal finance online software, or shared financial goal setting session, then at least they can ‘see’ the same situation rather than invent one that’s only meaningful to themselves.

People’s attitudes to money therefore have a lasting impact on their relationships – and ultimately, their happiness.

Relationships: Lending Money To A Friend

Happy people have good solid relationships, and money is not central to those relationships. Introducing money, such as when a friend asks from a genuine need, mostly instills the automatic response of “Of course!”, yet this kindness can also become a burden, especially if expectations of what happens next are unclear and unspoken because of the friendship.

Money has the capacity to sour friendships because of that confusion. True friendships must survive many tests, and need to be worked on, so one based upon money is always on thin ice, while one which is based on connection regardless of money is on solid foundations.

Inserting a formal agreement, terms, interest rates, and contracts somehow goes against the grain of friendship trust – yet this trust can so often be abused. One common wisdom is that in the matter of lending money to friends, never lend what to can’t afford to lose, or view all lending as a gift such that the friendship is always preserved.

The Shocking Truth of Broken Relationships

The reason why relationships fracture when it comes to money is infidelity or cheating. I don’t mean cheating with another person, I mean by intercepting the mail to hide the bills, by hoarding money in secret accounts, by hiding secret purchases, and making large purchases ( usually done my men) without any consideration to the relationship. This is every bit as much cheating as sexual infidelity.

There can be many reasons for this: maybe unresolved power issues, control issues or just a plain old mismatch of styles. Happy people are respectful of each other so will have an open communication about money. More often than not, private boundaries with separate accounts are balanced with joint accounts for shared expenses and household expenses.

What Happy People Value More Than Money

They generally have strong support networks and enjoy being with and seeing their families. In disagreement, they remain respectful of the others point of view and they understand that what makes them happy might not work for everyone else. Money is a facilitator, and exchange – not the end in mind.

The Shame and Stress of Keeping Money Secrets

We live in a shame culture, so when we experience encroaching debt, losing a job, or inability to pay for financial commitments, people become shamed into silence. It’s because people are very quick to judge other peoples debts, and an inability to pay is viewed as a moral weakness. Yet more often than not, credit cards and debt devices are necessary to barely function in the same society – and underneath it all, very very few people are debt free.

Therefore, happy people introduce a level of financial transparency into their relationships, which can easily be done with the creation of a personal finance budget online, where the ins and outs of money can be tracked together.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Personal Finance Series: No 22 – Are You Buying Friends Or Buying Love?