Have you and your honey been fighting a lot lately?
Chances are it’s because of money. According to a nationwide study done by Money Magazine, 70% of all couples fight about money more than snoring, household chores or sex.Clearly, money is a huge source of conflict and tension for most couples.
While it’s easy to handle your money however you want when you’re single and independently making all the financial decisions in your life. It takes a whole new approach to money to get on the same financial page with your partner and stay there.
This is because when two people, from two different upbringings, usually with two different ways of doing things come together, getting on the same page is no easy task. But it’s not impossible. Others have done it, I’ve done it and I’m still doing it and so can you.
So what will it take to get on the same page with your partner about your finances?
In this post, we are going to look at 5 things you can do starting today to stop fighting about money with your honey all the time and get on the same financial page instead.And who knows, these things can bring you two closer together and strengthen your relationship.
Open up and talk about your finances regularly
Couples who talk regularly about their money are happier in their relationship than couples who don’t. This is because every decision you make as a couple whether big or small comes back to money.
In my book, I explain three reasons why opening up and talking about money can be hard for women. We weren’t taught how, it’s a taboo and we’re waiting for someone to come and save us. Because of this, we attach very complex emotions to our money which could be the source of money fights and arguments.
Avoiding the money talk with your partner to prevent conflict isn’t the solution.
The solution is to understand your negative emotional money triggers, overcome them and improve your financial communication skills. This doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and work which is why you have to open up about money and get used to talking about finances with your honey regularly.
Commit to working as a team ON A COMMON GOAL
If you’re anything like I was when my husband and I first started dating, you may have been used to doing things your way, for yourself and by yourself. Working as a team may be a very new concept especially when it comes to money. And besides, remember how everyone says you can’t trust a man, you probably have that going somewhere in your mind as well.
The truth is, healthy relationships are based on trust, commitment and love. And you can accomplish a lot of what you want to accomplish faster as a team than if you’re working independently.
Before you can commit to working together as a team though, find out what may be holding you back from trusting your man especially around money.
Are there any red flags, concerns or fears you have about how he handles his money that make you not trust him around money?
Once you’ve worked through these concerns together and agreed on a way forward. Come up with a common goal as a couple and divert your energy to working together to accomplish this goal as a team. It will not only strengthen your trust for each other, it will allow you to grow together.
Check your spending habits
When it comes to couples and spending habits, usually, opposites tend to attract. For example, naturally I’m a risk taker and a great at saving money. I’m not afraid to spend money to make money. My husband on the other hand is not a big risk taker. But he enjoys shopping and spending when we have the money. In short we have very different spending habits.
The way to get on the same page is not by trying to change your partner, it is by doing your best to understand where they are coming from and their perspective on spending.
In our case, my husband grew up in a family where there was always plenty to go around which is where his spending habits come from. While for me, in my teenage years, my family went through a lot of financial struggle which is what makes me enjoy saving and investing more than spending.
Understanding your different perspectives on spending and where they come from is very important as it allows you to come up with a spending plan that works for both of you.
Talk about how you grew up around money. And how your parents handled money together. Then come up with ideas on how you want to handle money differently than your parents did. Make your own principles and rules about spending as a couple.
You’ll be surprised how understanding and embracing each other’s different spending habits and perspectives can allow you to leverage each other’s money strengths and work together to accomplish a lot and do it faster.
Join your finances
Notice, I started with talking regularly about your finances, committing to working together and checking your spending habits before I recommended joining your finances. This is because if you skip the above steps, joining your finances won’t work really well for you.
The number one reason to join your finances is so that you can reduce and avoid financial infidelity. Financial infidelity is when someone in the relationship is hiding or keeping financial secrets including debt, purchases or accounts mainly because they don’t trust their partner to handle the finances right.
Joining your finances allows for accountability about your spending habits and builds your trust for each other. When you’re both on the same page about where your money is coming from and where it is going, if you’re both sticking to the agreed upon spending plan, there will be less fights, tension and arguments about money in your relationship.
Ask for help
If you’ve done all the above and are still finding it hard to communicate well about money without arguing, it’s time to ask for help. Most divorced couples say that the top reason why their marriage came to an end is because of money.
That doesn’t have to be your story if you value the relationship you have. Know that no one was born knowing how to handle money and so both of you can learn.
Help can come in form of a book that can help you improve your money management and communication skills. Help can come in form of a couples seminar or finding a relationship mentor. Couples who have been married longer than you have and are happy in their marriage can share their advice with you on how they make their money work.
Help can come from working with a financial professional who will be on the look out for your best interests and can help you both work together. There is so much help out there today that it is ridiculous to continue struggling when the solution could be right at your fingertips.
Be sure to first know what the challenge is when it comes to getting on the same financial page with your spouse and then, find the help and resources you need to overcome this challenge and restore the passion back in your relationship.
Most couples have conflict about money every once in awhile. The solution isn’t avoiding the conflict. The solution is understanding your negative emotional money triggers and overcoming them so you can stop fighting about money all the time.
When you overcome the negative emotional money triggers that usually make you feel worried, insecure, unsure and afraid to talk about money, you are able to:
- Open up and talk about money with your spouse regularly
- Commit to working with your spouse on one financial goal
- Get on the same page about your spending
- Be comfortable joining finances
- Ask for help when you need it
In my book Overcome & Thrive, I help you discover some of your biggest negative money triggers so you can start mastering your money and transforming your life including your relationships.
OVER TO YOU
Are you married or in a serious committed relationship? How did you get on the same financial page with your honey? How do you deal with money arguments and conflicts in your relationship? Share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions in the comment section below.