This “ 7 Tips To Stop Couples From Fighting Over Money “ is created to provide readers some tips on how to help couples tackle their problems with money through the simple, practical steps that they can easily adopt and implement.

People say money is evil. For me it’s both a yes and a no depending on how I look at it. If you are simply being greedy, then, yes it’s an evil. But if you are giving your money to charity, then, it’s not evil for me.

People also say that money can create disagreements, arguments, or fights between couples. That, I agree completely. According to a Kansas State University study, even the healthiest marriages can be endangered by money problems. I’ve seen couples fight over money because they don’t have enough money to pay their bills or they want more. I’ve seen couples go on their separate ways because of money.

When couples fight over money, they tend to blame one another and will pinpoint who is at fault. But in reality, no one really wins and both of them loses. Why? Because you both hurt each other whether it’s related to feelings, viewpoints, principles, and others. My wife and I had our share of disagreements just like many, if not all, couples. But these agreements happened before and haven’t happened in recent years.

Ways To Stop Couples From Fighting Over Money

So, how do we exactly not go into fights and/or disagreements? Here are the ways that my wife and I have been doing to prevent us from falling into these unfortunate situations.

Talk before spending

Sounds like intuitive, right? But a lot of couples do get into fights over money because they don’t talk about what they’re going to spending before, well, making some spending sprees. This is especially true when one partner really likes to buy products and buy them anyways knowing that the other party will not approve such decision and products.

I’ve seen these scenarios all the time. I’ve seen couples fight over a $40 shirt or $5 food. These amounts may be too small but some people do fight over a few couple of dollars.

My wife and I learned that the decisions we make, whether big or small, should have a buyout from each other. It makes sense though. For example, if you agree to buy a new microwave and it breaks just a couple of months later, you cannot blame your significant other or vice-versa for buying a product that breaks so easily.

When you talk about what you’re going to buy or spend money on and both of you agreed to it, then, there are less chances that you both will argue about it when something wrong happens.

The key takeaway here is to communicate with and be financially transparent to each other.

Give respect

Sometimes, fight over money isn’t about the money itself. Sometimes, it’s about respect or consideration to your spouse. If you’re thinking about informing your loved one that you’re giving him/her a surprise gift, that’s not what I meant. What I meant by this is to inform your spouse before you make any other purchases or plans that don’t involve bad, not-so-welcome surprises.

I made a mistake when I booked a trip for me, my wife, and my daughter before telling her. She told me that she had other plans and didn’t want to go.  She said she wanted to do some general cleaning in the apartment. I told myself (not to her but just in my mind) that she should have told me she had plans so I could have changed the dates or something like that. I realized if I had said that, then, we would have been in an argument and it could include an argument about spending money, not taking her buy-in to whatever it is that I do, among others.

The example may be simple but it does show that couples can or will be in argument if respect (or consideration to tell your significant other or vice-versa about any plans or purchases).

Learn your spouse’s mindset

I have been lucky that my spouse and I have always been in the same page when it comes to money. She is a saver and so I am.

People have their own unique personalities and one of these is the money personality. You probably know what money personality you have.  It is in your best interest to find out what your spouse’s money personality is. Is your spouse a spender, saver, or in between?

If you are a saver and your spouse is a spender, you both may find yourself in a constant battle on money. You like taking your dinner leftover for lunch the next morning. Your spouse despises leftover and buys expensive lunch every day. This is just an example that couple with polar opposite money personalities can exhibit, which will cause arguments not only about money but also about something else.

But this doesn’t mean that you both can’t find a common ground and work the money situation out. Learn to understand and evaluate your spouse’s position before you argue with your spouse. The more you understand, the less conflict between both of you. The more you know about your spouse’s style, the better the lines of communication will be between the two of you. As a couple, it is best to sit down and set priorities that you both can live by. Meet half way to ensure that one party is not more deprived than the other party. Compromised if it’s needed.

Set a budget

Of course, you don’t want to keep asking your spouse if you could buy something that only cost $2 or something cheap. This is where you both need to sit down and setup a budget. You need to create a budget that has expenses built-in for your own expenses as well as your spouse’s.

My wife and I have a budget for our own miscellaneous expenses. We can buy whatever we want as long as we stay within our limit. Setting up a budget for ourselves allows to monitor where we are with our spending and how much is left.

It is so easy to spend more than what you should when you don’t have a budget. This is also applicable when you know that you have more than sufficient money in your bank accounts. A budget can be help you both keep tabs on your expenses.

The truth is it’s really easy to get into arguments or disagreements over money when you don’t have a budget in place. With a working budget, you both are less likely to argue based on emotions and are more likely to logically reason out and focus more on the actual numbers and make necessary adjustments and decisions to keep your budget on track.

Never hide your money situation

One of the most reasons that couples fight over money is that one keeps money situation hidden from the spouse.

Whether it’s a money problem or not, you should not hide your money situation from your spouse. If you borrow money from your friends and family, don’t hide such fact. Sooner or later, your spouse will know it especially when you both share the same bank accounts, investments, among others and you need to get money out of your accounts to pay the debt back.

You should never want to hide your credit card problems from your spouse. Your debt problems can or will affect your spouse. If your spouse work for an agency that requires financial background check, your debt problems may or will show and could potentially affect your spouse’s work. If you ever fall behind on your car payments and your cars are repossessed by the financing companies, you may find yourself fighting over money or the situations you are in, which you caused.

Don’t let your spouse be left in the dark. Do you want your spouse to leave you in the dark and drag you later on in so many problems? Your answer is probably a no. So, be considerate and never hide your money situation from your spouse. After all, you both should be working as a team.

Don’t blame your spouse

When you and your spouse are in the process of getting on the same page to avoid fight over money, it is possible that you or your spouse will make money mistakes along the way. One advice is to not do the blame game. Don’t blame your spouse for making bad decisions.

Instead of blaming and having fights over the money, you need to sit down and assess how your spouse can do better the next time to prevent this situation from happening. The same thing goes with you. If you and your spouse continue to fight over money while you both are in the process of getting in the same page, you both may never be able to get to that same page.

I always say to my wife and my wife also says to me every time that there’s no good thing that comes out with blaming each other of each other’s fault.

The key takeaway is focus on what you two can do better the next time to prevent mistakes from happening again.

Accept accountability

Along the lines of “don’t blame your spouse”, you need to take full responsibilities for your own mistakes and actions. The same rule should apply to your spouse. It is by taking accountability that will allow you and your spouse to lessen the fight over money.

A lot of people fight over money because nobody wants to take accountability for their actions. When neither of you take responsibilities for what has happened to your finances, you will continuously fight over money without any positive results in the foreseeable future.

The key takeaway here is if it’s your fault that causes you and your spouse to be in an unfortunate money situation, then, admit that it’s your fault. Don’t make excuses or reason out that it’s because of your spouse that put you both in that situation.

Conclusion:

There surely are ways to stop couples from fighting about money. Money has traditionally been an issue for couples, whether this issue is good or bad. To avoid fighting over money, couples need to understand that transparency, accountability, and other tips stated above can go a long way in helping couples solve their disputes about money. A step, even a small one, can make a big difference in solving the pressure and stress brought by couples’ arguments over money.


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41 thoughts on “7 Tips To Stop Couples From Fighting Over Money”

  1. Great post. I think talking about money is so critical within a relationship. Like yourself, my spouse and I have always been on the same page when it comes to discussing about our finances. Because we have our budget in place, the conversations about where will we find the money for this and that have stopped now, its all in the budget. If something new comes up, then we have a discussion. Most of our discussions now revolve around long term financial planning like investing for retirement, home ownership, where is the best place to to live in the future and raise our family from a financial standpoiint. Things like that. We still have a few money spats from time to time, but not too many.

    1. Yes, I believe you are right. Talking about money is critical. Both parties should always find the time to talk about it. I found that the more we talk about money, the better communication we have in other things other than about money.

  2. Very good post. Money is one thing that can tear a couple apart. Setting a budget for each person is huge! Then you can spend whatever you want or roll it over and save up for something big.

    1. Yes money can tear up a relationship. Setting a budget is really a must for us and should be for a lot of people. I read on one of your articles about the E-cash only budgeting method. I think it’s one of the coolest thing ever. I may give it a try one of these days.

  3. Great article and very inspiring. In my relationship, money quickly went from a massive source of stress and into a source of joy within the first 12 months of our relationship. This was a very long shift that occurred in those 12 months, and all of the tips here definetly help and probably would have made that transition happen quicker.

    The first two points are so true, especially with the $5 analogy. When it is such a small $ amount, then you know there’s a deeper issue at play. For my relationship, such an example would be my girlfriend or myself went out and bought fast food on the way home from work. The other would be upset because we made a month long pledge to eat home cooked dinners together each night.

    The extra advantage of ‘never hiding your money situation’ is that it provides extra perspective. It can be natural to be overly optimistic or overly pessimistic about your own finances. By looking at each individual piece of the pie as a team, you can get a clearer perspective on where the money is going, before you combine each piece as a couple.

    1. Yes, that is true. I believe that when it comes to money and relationship, money should always involved both parties. A lot of people I know have had conflicts just because one is not aware of what the other is doing with the money even though that person’s only using a couple of bucks.

      Money seems to be one of the major concerns of couples. So, I say that they should work out the money situation together not individually.

  4. A good reason for not getting married too fast. How people act with and around money can play a big role in relationships. It can lead to some serious incompatibilities down the line. I was lucky to marry a woman perfect in any sense and on top of that doesn’t like to spend much. We’re very much on the same page.
    That said, a former colleague of mine remarked how he could never retire early like I did because his wife spends all the money. Years later they are still happily married. As long as you are aware of your spouse’s money habits and are okay with it, I don’t see a problem either.

    It always makes good sense to talk about any upcoming big expenditures. Like you mentioned a budget can help there. Anytime something tends to bust the budget, it should be discussed prior.
    Maarten recently posted…Makerspace | Conceive, Create, Collaborate and Save!My Profile

    1. For me, there shouldn’t be a reason for couples not to talk about money. Money affects a lot of aspects within a relationship not just the money itself. Money can make or break a relationship and it’s better to just make sure that the money situation is known to all the parties involved.

  5. One thing that has helped our marriage is understanding each others financial backgrounds and talking about the aspects of each of our backgrounds that we want to bring into our marriage. Without this conversation, I believe that we would have had total blow-outs over money. Fortunately, talking about money is not even an issue for us. We focus on a solution based on the strengths from each of our backgrounds that we agreed to bring into our marriage.

    1. I like what you said at the end of your comment, that is, “focus on a solution based on the strength…”.

      I agree that understanding each other’s financial is key to resolve or mitigate the problems caused by continued conflict on money. For me, you don’t go in without really knowing what you’re getting into. This applies even to the money situation. You need to understand your partner’s financial background and vice-versa to ensure that you both know what to expect and how to solve the problems in money if or when they occur.

  6. Chalking out a financial goal is very important in life. Both partners have to make some compromises to gain financial freedom. Ideal couple share the same monetary mindset which help them to overcome financial hitch. The article is awesome and I really love the point depicted.

    1. Yes, I believe in what you stated. I believe that compromises are needed to make financial relationships work. I addition, I believe that partners need to understand the financial behavior of each other. It is through this that they learn to adjust and compromise.

    1. I agree but things happen and a lot of couples do fight. Having said that, there are ways to avoid such fighting.

  7. Great post! Really useful. I always find it hard to talk about money with my partner (I don’t want to sound greedy or something…). So I’m definitely going to try these tips! Thanks for sharing (:

    1. Money is a sensitive issue that many find uncomfortable discussing about it to other people even with your partner. Thanks for reading my post.

    1. Marriage isn’t easy. It would be nice if goals in finances are parallel but if it isn’t, then, certainly compromise is needed.

    1. Knowledge is power. You may not be able to use this for now but once you get in a relationship, this may come in handy. 🙂

  8. Great post! I think the main thing is to communicate about money! When you both are honest and forthright I think that is the way it should be.

    1. Yes. I think communication is always key to very much everything. Without it, it easy to get into conflicts with each other.

  9. There are some brilliant tips here. My husband and I have three accounts between us. Our own personal accounts and the joint account. We put a certain amount into the joint account every month and that pays for all bills and household things while we keep our own money too.

  10. I thought having a partner to share you the concept of spending is the core of having a healthy finance situation. I have learned a lot from your post. around me I see some partners rely on their significant others if they are smart with money, and their contribution to decisions aren’t huge, but I guess it is under knowing your spouse mind.

    1. Yes. I believe that’s the way it should be but it doesn’t happen like that all the time. There are couples who are arguing about money all the time. Sad but true. This is why it’s really important to be on the same page when it comes to finances. One of the ways to do is to have an open communication.

    1. Setting a budget, I believe, is necessary to avoid or even lessen conflicts between couples. I know that my wife and I have had no problems when it comes to money because we have a budget in place and exactly knows where every single expense is at.

  11. It maybe a cheap thing to fight over for me, but yeah, I saw my parents talk aggressively about budgeting household expenses. These are great points to think about.

    1. Even small things related to money can be causes to have a fight. In my opinion, it’s always best to talk about money and finances to lessen the chances of having fights or problems later on.

  12. Very nice post. I think talking before spending is the most important point. Just to avoid surprise later. Finding balance between spending and saving is difficult but it can help a lot.

    1. Communication is always a key to having a good relationship be it financial or something else. Finding balance between spending and saving may be difficult but not impossible to achieve.

  13. I am a single person but still always try to work on a budget. I do agree, honesty is the best policy and money can be quite a sensitive topic.

  14. This is something very basic that everyone should know but unfortunately people are not aware of these pointers. You have done a great job highlighting these. I hope it reaches the people who really need it.

    Fatima | http://www.blogsbyfa.com

  15. Excellent points, you really do need open communication, trust and to set up a budget when in a relationship. You rely on each other and it will not work if there is lying or hidden expenses. Great post.

  16. One thing you didn’t mention is getting out of debt and having an emergency fund of 3-6 months expenses. Debt causes a lot of fights because there is a lot of stress that goes along with it. How are we going to pay that off and when? What if jobs are lost? That’s where the emergency fund comes in. Less stress because there is a plan, and money in case it is needed. Money is spent only when it is had. There are no credit cards to be hid, because the back up plan is money in the bank, instead of credit cards.

    1. You are absolutely correct on that. Having an emergency fund is always crucial to possibly staying away from couple fights. Just to add with your statement, I believe that couples fight when someone loses a job and they don’t know how to make do with what they have. It’s really important to have this kind of safety net.

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