How to Stop Fighting About Money

5183565442_ac2066889d_zImage Credit: US Army

Money is a hot button topic for couples all around the world. Arguing about spending habits can start before you’re married, but the problem often becomes even worse after you say “I do.” For one thing, married couples often have at least one joint bank account, and disagreements about how to spend money that is now shared can escalate quickly.

Fighting about finances is typically a bigger problem for couples who have inherently different money mindsets. One person may have always been taught to be a responsible and dependable saver, while the other may overspend or rack up excessive credit card balances. In marriages of very like-minded people, arguments about money may occur less frequently, but, if both partners are big spenders, the result can be catastrophic. Better to have some deal of conflict than to have no money at all.

Here are some things to try that can help you keep the peace in your home when it comes to talking about money:

  • Make a spending limit – Decide together on a dollar amount you’re both ok with the other spending without asking first. This will keep the spender in the relationship (or both of you, if that’s the case) from breaking the bank account. It will also give reassurance to the saver in the relationship. Any shopping trip that will go over your set dollar amount should be discussed first.
  • Pay bills together -Put a “Bill Pay Day” on the calendar and make it a priority to sit down together each month. This helps both of you physically see exactly how much money is needed to pay all of the bills, and it can be an effective reality check for big spenders.
  • Avoid pointing out who makes more money – Anytime there are money issues, the size of both of your respective paychecks could become a real sore spot. As tempting as it may be to keep your spouse in check by reminding him/her that she doesn’t bring home as much bacon as you do, is a really bad idea. Married couples should try to think in terms of their combined income rather than any discrepancy that may exist.
  • Set up auto-pay – In today’s ‘always connected’ world, pretty much all bills can be paid online. Set up as many auto payments as possible, so that you can both rest assured that your bills will be getting paid each month. This may also give an over-spender an easy way to stay within the monthly budget.

Lastly, if you’ve implemented some positive changes into your spending habits as a couple, and arguments are still erupting left and right, it may be time to discuss getting separate bank accounts. There is no hard and fast rule that says you must pool your money into one account after you marry. In reality, plenty of partners keep their own bank accounts; in fact, it may be just the solution that your relationship has been looking for.

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One Response to How to Stop Fighting About Money

  1. Pingback: Will My Foreclosure Hurt My Spouse’s Credit After We Marry? | Veitengruber Law

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