Before my husband and I got married, we had very few discussions about money. Prior to marriage, everything was separated by mine and his. After we got married, we decided to combine our finances, and suddenly everything was fair game.
The fights about money were relentless. I was the saver, my husband was the spender—which are classic money roles in marriage. After all, opposites attract, and it was no different when it came to our beliefs about money.
After five years of marriage, we very rarely argue about money, but it took a lot of trial and error to get to this point. Here is what worked for us, and hopefully may work for you, so we can all stop arguing about money.
Discuss Finances Together
Typically, when there is a saver and a spender in a relationship, the saver manages the bulk of the money. They pay the bills, they put the money in savings, they decide how the money gets spent.
The problem here is that too many people equate money with power, and whoever holds the money manager role tends to believe they have power over the other partner. It’s considered a parent-child relationship when this attitude is adopted.
For this reason, experts recommend setting aside time on a weekly basis to discuss finances. Bringing your partner into the decision making process can help alleviate some of the financial stress from the saver, and let the spender feel like they are more involved.
Set Goals Together
The day-to-day finances may run smoothly, but what about long-term financial goals? Do you see eye-to-eye on when to buy a house? How soon to replace vehicles? How to pay for family vacations? How much to save for an emergency? How much to save for retirement?
These are all large financial obligations that require more extensive planning. If you want to fight less about money, you need to get on the same financial page.
Setting up a meeting with a financial planner may help you both discuss your long-term goals in a neutral setting with a mediator who is capable of advising and strategizing.
Figuring out a plan and how aggressively you want to attack these goals should be a mutual decision that you can both agree on. This will strengthen your union, at least where money is concerned.Is #money a source of stress in your marriage? Here are 3 ways to get on the same page. Click To Tweet
Have Fun Money Accounts
If you both feel strongly that you can’t reach a mutual agreement on money for the time being, it may be worth keeping your spending money separate from your household checking.
A lot of couples report success with setting aside specific amounts each month for each person to spend. This allows both of you to make separate decisions on what you choose to spend money on, without getting any grief or objection from your partner.
If you find yourself arguing with your partner about money, remember to keep the lines of communication open. Like most things in marriage, it takes a lot of communication and compromise to get to the place you want to be.
Has money ever been a source of arguments in your relationship? If so, how did you resolve it?