Q: My husband and I are always fighting over money, and now that the holidays are here, I am dreading the conversation about buying gifts. Life Coach Laura help me get through this!
Dear Messy Money,
Marital arguments about money have been going on since the invention of money. While all arguments can take their toll, disagreements over finances can be incredibly stressful. Studies show that money issues are among the leading causes of divorce! This is a worthwhile subject to get under control. Not only will your finances improve, but your marriage will strengthen, too. These steps can keep money arguments to a minimum.
1. Agree on a budget. Many couples don’t have one, but a budget is useful for everyone, even billionaires. If you can both agree on a spending plan and keep to it, then what’s to argue about?
2. Be completely open. Many couples are oblivious about their partner’s debt and credit history. It’s not always easy, but a full financial disclosure can build trust for a long-lasting relationship around money.
3. Set financial goals together. If you’re both working toward the same things, it will bring you closer together.
4. Deal with discrepancies in pay. In most cases, one spouse makes more money than the other. Splitting the bills 50:50 might be fair in one context, but it can also create resentment. One option is to pay the bills relative to the salaries. If one person is making $100k, and the other is making $50k, the bills would be split 2/3 and 1/3.
5. Handle disagreements healthily. Disputes will happen, no matter how good the intentions. It’s important to keep the discussion centered on behaviors and not people. There’s a difference between “This purchase wasn’t within our budget” and “You ruined our budget.”
6. Deal with discrepancies in expenses and debt. If one spouse has child support payments to make or a large amount of student loan debt, the other might want to consider making adjustments for this when dealing with the bills. Partners help each other out. If you’re going to share in the blessings, it’s only fair to share with the less agreeable things, too.
Laura Reichert, PCC, CALC – Laura genuinely and compassionately inspires and empowers all types of people with clarity, hope, and leadership, to overcome their limiting beliefs and obstacles so you can excel in life. To learn more about Laura The Life Coach’s philosophy, go to TrianglLlifeCoaching.com