One of the biggest hurdles that most marriages have to overcome is money. Fighting about money is one of the leading causes of disharmony and discontent in marriage. It is also one of the things that contribute to divorce. And in today’s world, where many couples marry after years of making all their financial decisions solo, it can be especially difficult to work out money issues.
But there are some things that you can do to help strengthen your marriage as well as reduce the amount of time you spend as a couple fighting over money. We all know that money consistently tops the charts when it comes to things couples fight about. When wallets are tighter as they most certainly are now things only get worse.
We’re stressed, we’re worried about our jobs, our investments, our bank accounts, and we take it out on each other. Here are six simple tips to stop fighting about money with your partner. Disagreements about money in a relationship creates friction, disharmony, break ups, divorce and sometimes violence.
Hire a Financial Planner:
A financial planner will assist you with setting and reaching financial goals. You’ll get to see your full financial picture and learn how to work past roadblocks that are preventing you from building wealth and achieving financial harmony.
Pay Your Bills Together:
Traditionally one spouse handles all the money and investing; it’s very rare for couples to physically sit down with all their bills and statements and write the checks together, says CFP and radio host Louis Scatigna, author of The Financial Physician. But, he stresses, “you and your honey should manage the money. These joint sessions ideally held once a month, he says prevent the less savvy partner from becoming financially oblivious.
Work on Communication:
Learning how to communicate with one another will ease tension during discussions about money. A great resource for learning how to do this is First Comes Love, Then Comes Money: A Couple’s Guide to Financial Communication.
Set Common Goals:
Each partner has individual goals regarding money, thus the fighting ensues. Discuss the family finances openly. Put the results on paper so that each partner can understand and remember the objectives being worked toward. After the family goals are obtained, individual goals can be achieved.
Sometimes individual goals will enhance the family objectives, such as higher education, relocation for better employment opportunities, etc. These goals are important and should be discussed and agreed upon by all parties involved.
Be Transparent About Accounts:
Some partners in relationships and marriages choose to establish and maintain individual accounts while the majority of families choose to pool financial resources. A study by Marilyn Coleman and Lawrence H. Ganong at the University of Missouri Columbia found that in remarried families, those who pool resources are closer and adult-child relationships are healthier.
Whether a new family or a re married family chooses to pool finances or have individual accounts, all parties must have access to the information. Secrecy breeds distrust while transparency leads to integrity.
Admit When You’re Stalled:
If your arguments start to spin out of control or, worse, never go anywhere, you might need to pull in a third person. Underlying relationship issues respect, trust, security, power, control often get triggered by (and lumped in with) conflicts over money, says Archuleta, who helped establish the newly minted Financial Therapy Association. “There are people around the country like me who specialize in couples who are experiencing financial issues.
Just bear in mind that you cannot change another person your partner has to decide to do something different and, in turn, you have to do something different, too, she says.
Assuming, that is, that you’re ready and willing to move forward. Because, she notes, if you’re a financial planner, you can make the greatest plan in the world, but that doesn’t mean that your clients will agree to follow it.