After marriage, the way you manage money will be different than pre-marriage. And if you did not discuss money with your fiancé before tying the knot, fights might happen. The good news is there are several ways to reconcile your viewpoints regarding money.
Have a Talk about Debt
It’s a good idea to be upfront with each other about how much debt each of you have. That way, you can create a plan to pay it off. If you have loans from school, you may want to discuss the best way to deal with debt. You could consider refinancing it with a private lender to get a new loan. This could come with better repayment terms or a lower interest rate.
Discussing Financial History
The things you did with your money in the past can affect you today, from levels of debt to the amount of money you currently have in the bank. Learning how each other’s families viewed money can shed some light on each other’s habits. If one hides their spending habits but the other wants everything laid out, there could be conflict. Learn about what each person considers normal. You may find your spouse was not trying to deceive you.
Being More Positive
Try to be patient with your spouse, as money is a personal thing, and conversations around this topic can be emotionally charged. Empathizing with each other allows you to admit mistakes made in the past. You can then plan for the future without shame. Being respectful of each other and giving the other person a chance to speak, uninterrupted, can lead to better conversations.
It’s a good idea to talk openly about your goals and things you hope the future holds. If money is causing you stress, other aspects of your relationship will also suffer. Once you have a plan in place, you might even enjoy talking about effective ways to reduce expenses and other financial matters in your household. That’s because you will be able to focus on the positive future.
Talking About Large Purchases
It’s important for both of you to agree about more expensive things, like vacations, cars, or other items. This can be challenging, since one person might feel that something is necessary and can’t wait. Or one person might want the more expensive option. It’s a good idea to avoid making this purchase until both of you have agreed.
The person who has objected should consider why they are doing so. Perhaps spending that amount of money prevents them from reaching another goal. Or you might just want to reduce your overall spending. It’s a good idea to help your partner feel heard and spend a bit of time listening to each other’s perspectives until you have your differences resolved.
Sometimes, couples have a spending limit for each other. Anything above this limit has to be communicated to the other spouse before it is spent. For instance, if you want to spend a couple hundred dollars at the store, you might check in with your spouse first. This is not asking for permission before spending but simply making sure no one is unpleasantly surprised at anything.
Recognize And Appreciate Your Differences
Men and women are different, as you are probably aware. But being unique isn’t a bad thing; in fact, it’s important. We often discuss the importance of understanding each other’s differences, such as those between nerd and free spirit, spender and saver, and safety and status.
To genuinely be able to accept your differences, you must first be aware of them. Use it to maintain balance throughout your financial discussions. Also, pay attention to your spouse’s worries and seek the truth in what they say rather than merely hearing them. It’s crucial to listen first and talk later because you’re not the only one having an opinion on the matter.
Share a Joint Bank Account
Over the right to maintain a separate account from their spouse, many get extremely passionate and defensive. But you guys, a couple needs to be on the same page in order to be successful both financially and emotionally in a marriage. There’s a reason the priest says “Two will become one” on your wedding day. It’s almost tough to stay “one” if you maintain separate bank accounts, dispute about money all the time, and endure chronic financial stress in your marriage.
Schedule Budget Date Nights
Effective budgeting in a marriage calls for scheduling face-to-face budget date dates each month. This has been proven to work for many couples, and the benefits go beyond the budgeting spreadsheet. Couples who jointly set financial goals tend to be closer because their level of trust is significantly higher. Both healthy and difficult marriages can be strengthened by them.
Avoid Wild Exaggerations
Never and always are two of the most hazardous phrases to use in any marriage argument, whether it involves money or something else. Although it’s simple to resort to statements like “you never do this” or “you always do that,” most of the time those allegations are motivated by feelings rather than facts. Avoid falling for that trap. Be cautious when using strong language.
Attack Your Debt Together
Debt leads to numerous financial disputes. The biggest argument-causing factor, according to nearly half of the couples with $50,000 or more in consumer debt, is money.
So, start paying off your debt as soon as possible. This will not only remove a significant stressor from your marriage—possibly the biggest one—but it will also offer you both something to strive for as a team.
Also, men, have fun while paying off your debt. In order to achieve your long-term goals, you must make some short-term sacrifices. You might even think about taking on a second job for a while. You might have to postpone dating nights.
Don’t Be Afraid of Compromise
Even if the concept of compromise may not come naturally to you, it is essential if you want to quit fighting over money. While you should never risk your morals or ruin your financial strategy, reaching a compromise can result in an excellent solution. Stay on the same page by giving yourself a little room on contentious issues because marriage is all about giving and taking.
That’s true. It will be your responsibility to apologize to everyone during the meeting. Admit your bad behavior and take responsibility for it. Make this all about you, without trying to criticize or otherwise malign others. Be aware that doing so might require you to swallow your ego, but doing so will be worthwhile if you want to restore peace. Also, your apologies and acceptance of your responsibility will probably assist in lowering the other family members’ barriers so they can truly communicate in a calm, reasoned manner. Even if they don’t apologize in return, they are more likely to be open to listening to you out.
Tell them now how much you miss them. Be sincere when you speak. Inform them of the mental and emotional harm this dispute is causing you. In addition, express your desire for them to return to your life, despite the outcome of the financial situation. Keep in mind that they are worth more than the cash. This once more communicates to them what your priorities are and reinforces your priorities for yourself. As a result, both of you will be in a much better position to negotiate.
Explain to the others why the money is needed by sharing your WHY. How are you going to use it? What meaningful additions will it make to your life? If you’re going to all this trouble, then this better be significant. Therefore, please explain why it is so important. Next, find out what each of the others plans to do with theirs. Now, keep in mind that this is not a competition to decide whose cause is more deserving of the funding. Instead, by doing this, you may all level the playing field and restore your humanity in each other’s eyes. Pay attention to what they have to say. Try to empathize with them in order to comprehend WHY they need the money, WHY it is significant to them, and WHY they think it would improve their life.
Make a sensible recommendation with an open heart based on what you heard. Make sure you are treating people fairly, or even more so: generously. After considering everything, if you still believe the other side is acting unfairly or unreasonable, give in. Take fewer. Accept nothing. Just finish. Although you might lose the money, you’ll start the process of rebuilding your family. Keep in mind your responses to the previous questions: losing the money is not worth losing your family.
Keep The End in Mind
You both know where you stand right now as a couple. Also, following a few months of low-budget date evenings, you ought to have an understanding of where you want to go. Making a life you enjoy together is a huge aspect of marriage. Simply said, money is a tool to help you achieve your goals.
Therefore, don’t allow the current conflict to undo the progress you’ve accomplished or destroy your future aspirations. Always begin a financial conversation with the end in mind, and don’t let disagreements take you away from that premise.
On the other hand, if any of these inquiries were answered with a YES, we would be dealing with a more problematic situation. You and the other family members are likely very emotionally invested in how this issue turns out. At this stage, it might be preferable to bring in an outside, impartial third party, preferably a specialist in family conflict resolution techniques. Those involved in a family quarrel will often have a lot of difficulties resolving it on their own since they have strong emotional attachments to how it will turn out. Counseling for family conflicts is necessary.
How Fighting Over Money Impacts Your Marriage
Money disputes are more than simply a minor bump for many marriages. They might turn into a significant obstacle. The truth is that battling over money prevents you from advancing financially as well. It influences every aspect of your marriage and life.
Negative effects of fighting over money:
- A lack of shared dreams – 45% of couples who say their marriage is “okay” or “in crisis” refrain from talking about their financial goals.
- Financial infidelity – One third of persons who dispute with their partner over money admit that they have kept a purchase from them because they knew they wouldn’t like it.
- Poor health – Numerous studies have shown that financial stress can have a bad effect on a variety of health conditions, including high blood pressure, back and muscle discomfort, and mental health.
- A lack of trust – When finances are a source of conflict all the time, trust in the relationship is destroyed.
- Divorce – According to Sonya Britt, a professor of family studies, disputes about finances are the main cause of divorce. Children, sex, in-laws, or anything else are not the issue. For both men and women, it’s money.
You Can Stop Arguing About Money for Good
Sitting down with your spouse and acknowledging that some work needs to be done is the single biggest move you can take to stop arguments over money.
When you put the kids to bed, turn off the TV, sit down, and have a great, lengthy conversation with your partner. Put everything on the table, including problems with money, communication, trust, all things. You may work together to find solutions to the problems once you are aware of how each of you is feeling.
How you handle money is an emotive subject that will have an impact on future generations of your family. Even though you might not be able to prevent all financial arguments in your marriage, you can learn to resolve them amicably and cooperatively.
Take my brand-new Know Yourself Money Assessment if you’re really interested in understanding why your spouse manages money the way they do. You will gain a better understanding of your spouse as a result of this assessment, which will also make talking about money easier. You’ll discover more about your experiences, dreams, fundamental financial ideas, and more! Your results will be arranged side by side in a comprehensive report that will allow you to get to know one another better.
Families can use a variety of techniques to stop fighting about finances. The above-mentioned techniques will act as your guide. Families can collaborate to establish a friendly and encouraging financial environment that fosters harmony and financial stability for all parties involved by following these steps.