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fighting over moneyFighting over money is not healthy for any marriage!

Did you know that married couples who have learned how to prevent, or stop arguing over their finances are also able to communicate better?

They are also able to talk about how to spend their money; when, how, and where.

By being on the same financial page and not fighting over money with your spouse, you will both be able to focus on your financial goals.

More importantly, you will be on your way to a healthy marriage. Plus you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Some of the causes of money fights in marriages.

There are many reasons why money issues can cause arguments in marriages. Some of these issues can cause couples to fight over their money, not talk for days, and get angry.

It could be the smallest issue that you might not consider important. But, you should never underestimate the ability of any money issue to ruin your marriage.

Examples of the causes of money fights in marriages are:

Couples having different views of money. e.g is money good or evil, how much is enough, etc

Not having enough income to support your monthly expenses and financial goals. This might be the big reason behind money fights in most marriages.

Different views about needs and wants. What do you really consider to be a need or a want? Do you and your spouse share the same views about needs and wants?

Even when the bills are not paid on time, it could lead to married couples fighting over money. Who loves late payment fees?

Different financial goals e.g. should we buy the house or pay off the debt?  What about retirement? Should we start now or in 5 years?

 Lying, or “forgetting to tell” about purchases. Sometimes these purchases are for secret items.

Large amounts of debt such as student loans, car loans, credit card payments, etc.

Different upbringing on money. Does your upbringing cause you to fight over money? Do you believe or think arguing over money is “normal”?

Fights about money in marriage if unresolved will negatively impact your marriage.

Some of which include:

  • Leading to divorce.
  • Lack of trust towards your spouse.
  • Frequent money fights can lead to communication problems.
  • Children learn from parents, therefore fighting over money regularly does not help in the upbringing of your children.

Should you combine your money as a married couple?

You get to decide what you both want. After being married for over 3 years, we highly recommend married couples combine their money; there is no his and hers, only ours. 

The only time we do not recommend couples combining their finances is when one spouse has a gambling addiction or similar problem.

By combining your money together, you are guaranteed to butt heads, but this is good for your marriage. It will force you and your spouse to have hard conversations about money. And to learn how to communicate well with each other.

In addition, it will help you to become one with your spouse not just on paper, but also on your finances.

When creating your monthly budget, don’t forget that you should individually have personal “blow money” that you can spend on whatever you want. You should also have a say on what gets spent where, when, and how much.

As newlyweds, sitting down for the first time to talk about your money and how it is spent can be exciting and frustrating.

You may even be surprised at how different you both think when it comes to how much to budget for food for the month, whether to continue paying for cable TV, which car to buy etc.

Combining your money will work best if you create a budget each month.

Stick to it and set financial goals!

For us, we talked about money before we got married, but actually being married and discussing it was very different.

We used to budget $80 per month for food during the early months of our marriage due to money being TIGHT. That amount increased as our income grew.

After having our daughter, our food expense went up, and what we ate changed dramatically as well. The reason was due to becoming more educated on what was really healthy food, as well as the importance we placed on what we put into our bodies.

Your budget will change over time as a result of life situations, education, career changes, and of course as you earn more money.

The point is, that you won’t agree on everything at first, but you have to find a compromise.

An emergency fund can help you to stop arguing over money.

Besides the importance of budgeting together, saving is just as important, if not more. We have an emergency fund we never touch unless it’s an emergency.

This emergency fund has helped us from going into debt countless times and also brought a sense of security for us as our income is not steady.nIt relieved us of the money stress many couples have.

For example, when our washer broke, we simply went shopping for a great used one because we had an emergency fund.

Just because you can afford the payment doesn’t mean you can afford the item!

Use cash instead of a credit card! This was not the norm for me when we got married.

I was used to everyone buying cars on credit, getting your degree with loans you pay back for the next thirty years, and even buying furniture on credit.

As a result of this “normal” borrowing money lifestyle, I had the “I want it now” mentality; we can just use credit, instead of save up for it.

Marcus did not like the idea of borrowing money; it is not the norm in his culture. I am so thankful he introduced me to Dave Ramsey, and this new world view of money and debt. – Ashley

When our washer broke, instead of buying a custom color brand new set, we used cash for an older used one that was still in great condition.

By using cash, we felt every dollar that we spent which helped us spend as little as we could for the best value we could get. Having a credit card is a decision you and your spouse will have to make together.

If you can’t pay cash for it, you can’t …..

We are currently saving up for a family car due to the increase in our family size. We could easily trade in our car today, get a car payment and have it now.

But we don’t want the stress of the monthly payment or the debt hanging over our head in addition to our student loans.

It’s so worth it to save and sacrifice now than to pay extra in interest and have a monthly payment. Plus you can usually get a better deal when you pay cash.

Agreeing together on money may not happen overnight. It took me a while to come to my senses and agree with this way of thinking. Marcus was patient and compromised with me through this learning curve.

Once I saw it working, paying off our small debts, having that security of an emergency fund instead of a credit card, I was sold!

3 1/2 years into our marriage I am still struggling to stay in the budget. The important thing is I make it a priority, and try my hardest; because it’s important to both of us. –Ashley

10 Simple things you can do to stop fighting over money with your spouse.

1) After you tie the knot, we highly recommend getting a checking and savings account together.

The two become ONE so why don’t you want a bank account together?

2) Set up a budget for each month, and make sure you both agree to sticking to this budget.

It will be a good idea to have a base budget which can be adjusted to suit the needs of each month.

If this is your first time budgeting, trust us, it will not go smoothly.

You and your spouse will have some heated arguments, but let it make your marriage stronger, instead of ruining it. Just remember to have an open mind.

3) Follow your budget, and do not overspend. We are sometimes guilty of this too. This one is not easy, but with practice and determination it is very possible.

$5 here and there adds up pretty quickly so be careful about your spending 😉

4) Pay your bills on time, and spend money you have, not money you wish you had (credit). You might be thinking this is easier said than done, but it is definitely possible.

5) Be very honest and reveal all your financial history such as credit history, car loans, school loans etc that you have to each other.

This will help your spouse to truly understand and contribute towards the financial goals you have set together as a married couple or family.

Discuss your past financial history and plan on how to attack them. Be completely honest.

6) Be on the same page with your money or finances. You two are now ONE and must work together to achieve your marriage goals.

7) Have personal spending money allocated for each other. You need this so you do not have to call your spouse each time you want to make a purchase for you.

That will be more like asking your mom or dad for money.

8) Find out who is the spender or saver, then find ways to balance your spending habits.

You will both have to make sacrifices in order to stop fighting over money.

9) You and your spouse MUST have EQUAL control over how, when, and where your money is spent. (and you both will probably have very different opinions on it.)

Don’t miss this, learn from your money fights and arguments.

We have certainly had money fights before but we worked through them, and in the process learned how to prevent ourselves from arguing over money again.

It was not easy but it made us a better couple.

In the second year of our marriage, I  remember using some of our money to buy items to flip on Amazon without the 100% consent of Ashley.

I thought I was doing the right thing since all the profits I made came right into our account and was used to pay bills. I continued doing this for a while until I had to disclose it to Ashley.

She was not happy at all and felt cheated on( talk about financial infidelity).  

I was really saddened to know how she felt. I learned my lesson, and from then on, I always communicate with her before I spend any money we have even if I will make 1000X profit margin. – Marcus

Talking about money can sometimes be even harder than talking about sex.

But do not let money be the reason why your marriage ends. Patience is key when talking about money together.

Trying to understand where your spouse is coming from, and finding a way to compromise where you can both be happy is the way to go.

Always remember, money fights and money problems is one of the biggest reasons why marriages end in divorce. It shows how important being on the same page financially is critical to the success of your marriage.

No matter how much money you have or earn, you need to handle your money well to prevent being referred to as the couple that is always arguing over their money.

Money plays a big role in almost everything we do. Therefore as married couples especially newlyweds, find a way to compromise and be on the same page with your money.

Your turn:

Have you fought over money in your marriage before?

How did you resolve money fights with your spouse?

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