It’s happening again. You and your partner are slipping into an argument about money.
This has happened before, so you can see it coming. This time it’s because he made a really big purchase without consulting with you first.
What’s wrong with him?! You’d think he came from a different planet when it comes to money and finances.
Ramsey Solutions found that “one-third of people who say they argued with their spouse about money say they hid a purchase from their spouse because they knew their partner would not approve.” What?! Yep, this money stuff is hard, and you’re not alone if you have money fights in your relationship. But this doesn’t have to be you and your partner. Here are 3 keys to help you avoid them:
1. Know Each Other’s Beliefs about Money
This is an important conversation you should have not just once, but many times over the course of your relationship. Mostly because how you each grew up and had initial experiences with money will influence your decisions now.
For example, if you grew up in a household where money was tight but your partner had a different background, then you will both approach finances very differently. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing or a relationship deal-breaker. But it does require frequent and meaningful communication.
Here are some questions to get your started:
- What are your beliefs with both spending and saving money?
- Are there purchases you each consider crucial (a new refrigerator) or frivolous (a fancy and expensive car)?
- Which purchases do you both make consistently month-to-month?
- Are there expenses that you could live without (such as cable TV)?
Keep a journal or log of these discussions so that you both have something to refer back to later.
2. Communicate with Each Other about Spending Money
Nobody likes getting blind-sided with a spontaneous and impulsive purchase. This is especially true if both you and your partner share a joint account. That’s because when your partner makes a big purchase without telling you, it can feel like a betrayal.
Even if she’s spending the same amount of money she put into the account, the feeling of betrayal is still the same. After all, it’s now collectively your money, not individual anymore.
Even if you both have separate accounts, financial communication still needs to take place. Naturally, there will still be issues such as expenses and savings that will need to be discussed.
Don’t like sitting down at the kitchen table to have a financial meeting? Take it on the road and go for a walk or even a hike. Just make sure to communicate!
3. Reassess Your Future Goals
Part of avoiding money fights also includes revisiting what your future financial goals are as a couple and planning for those potential curves ahead.
Do you both want to travel when you retire or stay closer to home? Will one of you want to still work part-time while the other focuses on volunteer work? Or does one of you want to open their own business?
Remember, it’s perfectly fine if your financial goals change. After all, how you approach life will vary greatly as you get older, so it’s only makes sense that how you handle money will evolve, too.
What is crucial, though, is that both of you take the time to reassess and talk to one another about those goals. Otherwise, you each might find yourselves on different pages.
What to Do When Money Fights Continue
What happens if you try these ideas but continue to have money fights? Then it’s time to get professional help because this is no longer strictly about money.
There are most likely deeper issues affecting your relationship. Couples and marriage counseling can help you work through this so you don’t have to let stress about money wreck your relationship.
Counseling in Columbus, Ohio
Many couples have disagreements about money and finances, but if it seems like money fights with your partner have escalated and you decide you’re in need of marriage counseling at a practice in the Columbus, Ohio area, please reach out and contact Blue Boat Counseling today. Our skilled couples therapists can help you get back on track with your relationship.