Do couples fight about money? Absolutely, and the percentage is enormously high. According to a survey by The Cashlorette, nearly half of Americans (48%) who are married or living with a partner say they argue over money. It is quite normal for couples to fight about money especially when there are no previously set plans to guide the relationship.
In truth, finances are one of the top 3 things couples fight about. But there are steps you can take to stop fighting about money. In this article, we will talk about the reasons why money is one of the things couples fight about and how to money issues.
7 reasons couples fight about money
1) Money is a sensitive topic
It’s hard to talk about money. Hence, it’s not surprising that many couples today find it very difficult to hold a healthy conversation about money. They can easily engage in discussions on other areas of life and have fun but when it comes to money talks, they begin to react indifferently. To overcome this issue, you shouldn’t blurt out questions about money. As Moneyish reports, look for cues and find the right time to talk about it. You should also begin with general conversations about money before going for the most important financial issues.
2) Financial Education
It can be agreed that we all have different levels of knowledge about finance. Some of us may not even have the slightest knowledge about what savings accounts and checks are and how to make use of them. Others get trained about credit cards and how to use them, while several others do not know anything about digital banking and how to save. Also, some know-how to invest their resources and get some profits, while others are only used to gathering and spending.
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So many couples fight about money because they have different levels of knowledge about finances. Hence, it’s an awesome idea to build your financial knowledge, to help build a solid foundation for your relationship.
3) Communication patterns
How often do couples fight about money? As said earlier, most couples fight so much about money. However, the problem may often stem from the manner in which the couple communicates with each other. This is because most people have different styles of communication and understanding your partner’s communication pattern can be key to stop fighting about your finances. Here are some ways people communicate about money:
Some people tend to take charge of the discussion, without letting the other person air their view. they are often quite powerful about how they express themselves which might seem confident to others. However, often aggressive communicators are uncertain and compensate when they are too uncertain by being more aggressive.
Some people are quite passive and often avoid sharing their feelings and thoughts. They don’t always speak up so, it’s difficult to know what’s on their mind. However, it’s important to avoid taking decisions without the passive partner because ill feelings can emerge as they always believe that someone wants to decide on their behalf since they can’t take charge.
A passive-aggressive communicator is the worst communication style. In this case, you are never sure of the message this type of communicator is trying to pass on to you.
The best communication pattern for talking about money
Assertive communicators share their feelings and thoughts respectfully. So when it comes to money talks, or other serious conversations, its better for both parties to focus on trying to get the other party to express themselves so that decisions are shared fairly.
4). Spender versus Saver
In money matters, there are usually two categories of couples that emerge; the Spender and the saver. In fact, most couples often complain about the other partner being too cheap or spending too much.
Here’s a scenario that often plays out:
Often the person denoted as the spender receives their income and spends it on whatever they choose and before long the money is gone. Their saver partner is often reluctant to save more money and would prefer to save. Hence, the spender often complains about being prevented from enjoying their funds while the saver feels frustrated about not being able to execute projects.
5) Who Should Keep the Money
Usually, there are people who have a stronger controlling personality than the other. So, they try to influence and dominate their wish in their better half.
This scenario happens a lot between couples with large differences in earning potential. Usually, the couple that earns a lot more wants to control the entire fund. However, this attitude isn’t always intentional and may stem from past experiences with money. Nevertheless, a couple can reach a better compromise where both parties are well compensated without any feeling cheated or being taken advantage of.
6) Secrets and broken trust
When couples have secret spending or saving habits, it can derail their ability to communicate very well. However, it’s important to realize that secrets can be welcome when one couple is gambling as exposing the gambling partner to too much financial information can actually be hurting the relationship. In this case, setting boundaries helps protect the financial integrity of the relationship as the gambler has limited access to the family’s financial resources. Nevertheless, open and honest communication about money is often the best approach.
6) Financial history
People have several historical backgrounds regarding the style of upbringing and exposure to money. If your family struggled to earn every dime, you may have stronger value for money and would always want to save; while someone who has a rich financial background, of course, the person may have a different perception about money. This is because, some were raised to learn how to manage money and invest, while others learned the art of what I will term “financial mismanagement”. Now, when a couple comes from both sides of the experience, it is possible they will have a clash of interest on why they should save or the reason why they should lavishly spend.
7) When in Debt
Everyone has been in debt at one time or the other. It can come in form of vehicle payments, student loans, mortgages, or even business loans. This issue is one of the biggest reasons why couples engage in fierce fights.
Though some debts can be fair enough, especially for your credit, some very pressing debts can cause confusion, arguments, blame games, and lots of quarrels among couples.
How Couples Can Stop Fighting About Money
No doubt, prosperity comes when there is peace between couples. In truth, money fights can lead to stress, blood pressure issues, lack of shared dreams, financial infidelity, and divorce. Studies even show that arguments about money is the top predictor of divorce. Hence it’s important to become intentional about the steps you take as a couple to stop fighting about money.
1) Money Conversations
Talking about money from the onset is important. It’s also important to have money conversations even when you aren’t planning for a goal. Having those money conversations ensure that no tensions come to play when you get to serious financial discussions that would influence your financial life. Money conversations. This is so because the more you discuss, the more your financial pressures are reduced and couples begin to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses regarding money. At this point, couples will bring in creative ideas on how to manage resources and still maintain their lifestyle.
Read more: 10 popular communication and business books you need to read
2) Appreciate each other’s differences
Whether you are a spender or saver, you have unique differences that can be merged together to create a strong front. Be aware of your partner’s differences, appreciate them and focus on how you can use those differences to strengthen your financial situation. For instance, a spender may often be more open to making purchases that may not seem necessary at the time, but after being bought, it becomes obvious that it was one of those purchases we often term as a necessary evil. On the other hand, a saver might make it easier to gain clarity about the family’s financial goals.
2) Create a Budget and schedule date nights for it
One of the biggest solutions to ending a fight over money is when couples create a budget for their spending. Having a well-structured budget will make each partner feel in charge of their money, thereby ensuring that trust and confidence that their money is secure.
Creating a budget will eliminate any form of competition and enable both parties to develop a spending plan together so you can be on the same page.
This step will serve as a guide on what to spend money on, as well as how you can successfully achieve your goals. That said, you shouldn’t do this all the time. It’s better to have a specific day or night every week, where you discuss and set money goals.
Read more: 10 budget apps for couples.
3) Avoid wild exaggerations
Avoid using words that belittle your partner. Words like ‘always’ and ‘never’ should be avoided completely. It’s so easy to fall back on them, leading to a never-ending blame game, where no one is the winner. Avoid that trap by speaking with kindness.
4) Attack your debts together
Being in debt is frustrating and it comes with the feeling of insecurity in your life. Couples who find themselves in this mess can work together in tackling it. At first, understanding and cooperation will help synergize your efforts toward reaching a collective agreement. Afterward, abiding by the rules in your budget will curtail the habit of spending too much, and make you save more in order to offset your debts.
As a couple, it’s important to see yourselves as a team. Sure the world compromise may not always come naturally, but it can help you make headway in everything. You should avoid scenarios where it seems as though there’s a competition between the both of you. You can stop fighting so much about money by focusing on ensuring everyone wins all the time.
Overall, money and relationships can flow in sync. But it begins by understanding the reasons couples fight about money to take the necessary steps to overcome that hurdle. That said, fights are actually part of the equation but you can prevent financial stress from killing your relationship by developing better money conversation habits.