Money issues in marriage are a leading cause of divorce in America. This fact doesn’t surprise me since I hear about and have experienced my own money arguments in marriage. Money stresses people out, bottom line.
I will never forget the evening my husband told me he had spend hundreds of dollars on motorcycle lights. We were out with friends and he spilled the beans about how much he had spent on his neon bulbs. I was furious. I cried. We argued. Then we got on the same page and got out of debt.
It took one argument over money and we knew we never wanted to have that problem again. We cleaned up our financial mess and never looked back.
If you and your spouse argue about money, keep reading. I have some tips and advice to help solve the problem.
So, how do you handle money arguments in marriage and what can you do to solve your financial fights?
Learn about budgeting and healthy finances, together.
There are so many great resources available for budgeting your money. After my husband told me about his crazy purchase of motorcycle lights, he brought home the book The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.
My husband wasn’t even done with the book before I swiped it off of his nightstand and read it in two days.
We talked about the book and decided that we would do whatever it took to make healthy financial decisions TOGETHER.
Though we never attended Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, I have heard nothing but wonderful things about it. If you are the type of people who need to the extra accountability, then that class might be a great fit for you. The class lasts for several weeks, and you can probably find a church in your city that hosts the classes.
Related Post: How to Budget When You’re Broke and Overwhelmed
Share a bank account.
One of the first thing spouses should do when they marry is combine finances. That means one account that you both have access to.
If you’re married and still operate out of separate bank accounts, I would strongly urge you to condense your bank accounts into one account that you both can use.
Having one bank account not only makes it easier to track your household spending, but it also keeps you both accountable to each other for spending.
Marriage is all about unity, and your bank account is a great place to start!
Related Post: 12 Awesome Books on Marriage
Discuss your visions and goals for your future.
Do you want to travel the world? Do you want to leave a huge chunk of change for your kids when you die? Maybe you want to pay off your house early. Or maybe you just want to be able to live “comfortably” and do none of the above.
Whatever your life dreams are, discuss them with your spouse. Understanding your spouse’s goals and seeing how they line up with yours is important when you are constantly fighting about money.
Maybe your spouse doesn’t see the value in saving money. Or maybe they don’t understand why you spend money on things like eating out.
Whatever the differences are between you, lay them all out on the table and talk through them.
You may be surprised at how your visions and goals actually align. It’s just the journey getting there that’s the hard part!
Get out of debt.
Debt hangs over your head like a black cloud that rains on you daily. Those payments that stack up every month are added stress that cause huge problems between spouses.
Debt literally sucks the joy right out of life. Can you tell how much I dislike it?
When you team up to pay off debt, there is a sense of camaraderie that you experience with your spouse. Not only are you working toward a common goal, but your vision for your future will begin to align.
You can read more about our $26K pay off HERE.
Don’t hide purchases or money matters from your spouse.
When you got married, you agreed to be a union. Finances are not excluded from that union.
Hiding anything from your spouse is deceitful but hiding purchases or money matters from them, is just downright disrespectful.
If you feel like your purchase shouldn’t be made, you should consult with your spouse first. Sure, a lot of people argue that they shouldn’t have to “ask permission”, but to me, it’s a sign of a mature relationship when you discuss finances instead of lie about them.
Related Post: 7 Signs of an Unhealthy Marriage and What to Do About It
Consult each other on big purchases.
With your spouse, decide what purchases are considered “big”. Are you okay with consulting on purchases of anything over $100, but your spouse thinks $500 is more appropriate?
Come to a decision together and then stick to it.
If BOTH spouses do not agree on the purchase being discussed, then it doesn’t happen.
This is not a way for one spouse to control the other, but a way to have a respectful and mature discussion about how your household finances will be spent.
Stop blaming and undermining each other.
Maybe your husband went out and spent hundreds of dollars on motorcycle lights that you COMPLETELY disagreed with. But, who wants to hang on to that anger forever? Not me!
Whatever financial mistakes have been made in the past, they need to be forgiven. That doesn’t mean that a gambling problem that never stops is to be swept under the rug. No, I’m talking about the honest to goodness silly financial mistakes that have been made.
If you feel like your spouse has a spending issue, or maybe even a saving issue, then you need to bring it up to them. Discuss how their behavior with money makes you feel and try to come to an agreement.
Don’t play the blame game, there isn’t time for that.
And don’t undermine your spouse either. Don’t make them feel less than because they have made a mistake before. Trust that they can make sound financial decisions. If you don’t feel that way, then it may be time to seek the professional assistance of a marriage counselor.
Final thoughts on money arguments in marriage.
Arguing in marriage can completely suck the joy out of the relationship. When money arguments start happening, it’s an entirely new situation.
Take time to talk with your spouse and get an understanding of where he or she is coming from. It will take a lot of time and patience to get on the same page, but it will be worth it in the end!
To get started on your new money path, grab my free budgeting sheets below!