The rise of financial dependence
With the Covid-19 pandemic causing job losses in households across the UK and beyond, many families are struggling to make ends meet.
A recent study has suggested that, in addition to the 240,000 redundancies recorded up until June, almost half a million redundancies could be announced in the autumn, although the actual figure could exceed 700,000. This means that the redundancy figure could hit 1 million this year.
As a result, many more people across the UK could find themselves relying on their partner (or even wider family) for financial support.
As well as the daily budgeting struggles caused by a drop in income, one partner losing a job can put a great deal of stress on the relationship. Feelings of guilt and hopelessness, which often go hand in hand with a job loss, can put a strain on even the most solid of couples.
Add in the additional difficulties of finding new employment in a pandemic and the outlook can seem bleak.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to deal with job loss as a couple and give you some tips on how to cope together.
Communication is key
It may sound obvious but it’s important to talk about how you’re feeling. If you’ve lost your job, it’s normal to feel guilty that you’re not contributing financially to the household anymore. Talk your feelings through with your partner, rather than keeping them all bottled up.
Set out and agree a new budget
With a drop in income comes the need to figure out a new budget. Making plans about household spending can help to ensure that you are both on the same page when it comes to finances, hopefully preventing arguments further down the line.
Work out your roles in the household
Sit down and talk about whether and how you could redistribute responsibilities, now that one of you is not working. You may decide that things should remain the same, or you may turn everything on its head.
What’s important is sitting down and agreeing a structure, so both you and your partner know how the next few weeks and months will work for you. Again, hopefully this should avoid any tensions later on.
Neil Graham, a Partner at Grayfords, comments as follows: “Relationships can be difficult at the best of times, even without the added stress of the effects of the current Covid-19 pandemic. Often, the most common causes of friction in relationships are disagreements over money and
household tasks and chores. None of us are particularly good at talking about things we would rather avoid. Relationships are particularly vulnerable at times of change, especially when that change happens as a result of something beyond our control. Talking to each other, whether informally or with the assistance of qualified individuals, about how best to deal with that change together can be invaluable. There are many well established organisations and resources available that can help with the process.”