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.
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.
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.
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.