Recession-Proof Your Relationship

There's no question that the world is experiencing a scary economic patch at the moment. In times of uncertainty, a steady relationship can be a place of solace to escape to -- or it can become another war zone waiting to be demolished by a tank in the shape of an empty piggy bank. Here's how to keep your relationship riding high through the Dow’s recent and frequent lows.

Be honest

Ever find yourself yelling at your girlfriend for expecting you to be a mind reader? In times of personal turmoil, turn that rant on yourself. The difference is that you don't withhold your struggles from your girlfriend expecting her to figure out your Rubik’s Cube of emotions all on her own. You don't want her to figure it out because you think you should shoulder the burden yourself -- and that’s often doubly true when financial issues are the root of the problem.

There is nothing better than a real man -- one who takes charge and makes a girl feel protected without all the unattractive smothering -- to recession-proof your relationship. That said, however, your girl wants to be there for you. If your job is in turmoil, talk to her about it and let her ease the pressure a bit. If you're stressed and worried about cash flow, let her into that bubble of dark thoughts and maybe she can help pop it. Helping you in the bad times is part of her job as the amazing girlfriend that you let into your life -- it's also the ideal way to recession-proof your relationship.

Stay active

Changing your financial lifestyle means cutting back -- and expensive couple outings will probably end up on the chopping block. This doesn’t have to be cause for alarm. In fact, a little extra thought and creativity can more than make up for a little less dough being spent and can recession-proof your relationship.

Used to eating out a few times a week? Recession-proof your relationship and try cooking a meal together instead. Regulars at the movies? Join Netflix, learn the art of Jiffy Pop and appreciate just how much more comfortable your ass is on your sofa than in those theater seats.

Don’t get stuck thinking that penny-pinchers are relegated to being couch potatoes. Get out there and explore! Whether it’s hiking a local trail or visiting a used bookstore, there are tons of fun, cost-efficient activities you can do together when you start thinking outside the money box to recession-proof your relationship. Plus, planning and exploring unmarked (and affordable) date territory together will definitely breathe new life into your relationship -- no credit card needed.

Make a budget

It’s likely that if you’re in a long-term relationship and/or living with your girlfriend, there are shared finances involved. That means that if you’re serious about making a financial change, you both have to be committed to it. Recession-proof your relationship and set aside some time to make a budget for both of you. Include all the essentials, but don’t forget to add in a little wiggle room if you’re able. Factoring in money for little extras beforehand will mean you won’t have blown it when you come home with that new video game or she splurges on a new pair of shoes.

Make a shared savings goal

No matter how creative you get with your “cheap dates,” it’s normal to feel a little frustrated with cutting back. Instead of denying yourselves everything when you recession-proof your relationship, come up with a mutual savings goal together -- like a weekend vacay. Keep it no-pressure and put any extra money you each have into a joint account little by little (or go old school and keep it under the mattress -- it’s probably more trustworthy than some banks right now). Watching those numbers add up gives you something to look forward to and work together toward as a couple.

Don’t take it out on her

It’s natural to unleash your frustration at uncontrollable situations on the ones you love the most. Romantic, huh? Just try your best to be aware of the real reason why you’re angry or moody at your partner at any given moment. When you recognize that the root of your anger doesn't stem from the fact that she overcooked the spaghetti but rather from the fact that you’re stressed, you’ll be better equipped to talk it out and recession-proof your relationship in the process.


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