My wife Angie and I used to have a ton of fights about money. In fact, those money fights were just one issue that almost cost us our marriage early on. But we learned how to overcome our differences financially and started working together, and we haven’t had a fight about money in well over a decade now!
So how did we do it?
Well, there were a lot of things we had to work on. But the 3 main things we had to do were:
- Find out what we needed to do to solve our problem with money fights.
- Commit to working together toward a solution.
- Then, do the hard work necessary to overcome our problems.
It definitely took some time and effort on our part.
These things are not always an easy fix.
How We Started
Angie and I attended a popular financial course and eventually got marriage counseling to tackle other problems we needed help with. But in the end we did everything we could to work together to overcome our problems and can’t remember the last time we fought about money!
Using the seven steps below, you can achieve this in your own marriage too!
In this article, I’ll show you 7 things that we did to overcome our money fights. I’ll also throw in a couple of awesome resources that we used that helped us out tremendously and still refer back to from time to time.
7 Steps to Stop Money Fights With Your Spouse
Here are the 7 easy steps to stop money fights for good. If you have any you would like to add to the list, leave a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
1. Get Organized
One of the biggest problems I’ve seen with my readers when it comes to money fights, is that they are financially disorganized. When there is no plan, as in a written budget along with a plan for getting out of debt, then chaos reigns.
And when there is chaos in a marriage, there will be fights.
To eliminate the chaos, both spouses should agree to sit down and make a plan for their money. Learn how to make a budget, talk things out, and come to an agreement on how the money should be used. When there is a good plan in place, there is less chaos that can potentially cause a money fight.
2. Learn to Live Within Your Means
Living with a lot of debt can be very stressful. Believe me, I’ve been there! Constant stress from worrying about credit card bills, car payments, and other consumer debt can take a serious toll on your marriage if you let it. When you’re always worried there’s not enough money, it’s easy to take out that stress on your spouse.
Living within your means is all about learning to get rid of the credit cards, pay off the consumer debt, and never spending more than you make. I can tell you from firsthand experience, this one tip eliminates a ton of stress.
3. Everything in a Joint Account
When you got married, you became one, so act like it! Each spouse’s paycheck should go into one central account and be distributed from there. This allows each spouse to know where the money is going and stay accountable.
There is no “his” money and “her” money.
There is no “her” bills and “his” bills.
When you’re married, all the money belongs to both of you. Combining your finances means you have to communicate about where the money is going and why it’s going there. Keeping a joint account, along with a plan like I talked about above, opens the lines of communication and helps eliminate mistrust and money fights.
4. Each Spouse Should Get Their Own Spending Money
It’s ok to have a little fun money of your own. Each spouse should have an allowance to spend as they please without having to talk to the other spouse.
Of course the allowance should be part of the budget, and should come out of the joint account that all money is distributed from.
You can distribute it as cash to each spouse if you use an envelope system (which I highly recommend), or you could even deposit it into a separate bank account if you like. This helps eliminate money fights because each spouse gets a set amount, which does 3 things:
- Since there is a budgeted amount, it helps eliminate overspending.
- It ensures that each spouse is treated fairly, instead of one spouse doing all the spending and the other ending up with very little.
- It helps each spouse spend in their own way. For instance, I usually save most of my spending money toward an item that I want. On the other hand, my wife spends much of hers immediately on smaller items and eating out with friends. Both ways of spending our allowance are perfectly ok.
5. Don’t Keep Secrets
This can be a hard one for some couples to overcome. But when it comes down to it, you have to be able to trust your spouse.
Both spouses should have password access to all bank accounts and know what’s going on in each one. If your spouse can’t get on board with that, then they are either hiding something or have serious trust issues that need to be addressed.
Counseling may be necessary.
This also comes down to accountability. Keeping financial secrets is never good, and can lead to a spouse keeping a secret credit card, hiding an illicit relationship, running up tens of thousands in secret debt, and of course, money fights. I’ve seen it happen more than once, and it’s never pretty when the secrets finally come out.
6. Set Financial Goals
Just the same as preparing a monthly budget and a get out of debt plan, it’s also wise to set financial goals together.
You may have a totally different view than your spouse does about what you want your later years to look like. You’ll never know unless you discuss what you want your future to look like and work together to set goals accordingly. You should set goals for short term and long term items, such as:
- A long term emergency fund
- Retirement savings
- Education for your kids
- Weddings for your kids
- Anything else you want to plan for
7. Give Generously
There is something about giving that brings forth unity in a marriage. When you’re both on the same page about giving, it shows that you can agree about other areas of your financial situation as well.
Giving helps you understand that it’s not all about you and what you want. It takes the focus off of “me” and puts it on others. It fosters cooperation between you and your spouse that can translate into working together closely on your finances as a whole. The more unified you are in your giving, the closer you will be in other aspects of your marriage as well, and money fights will eventually cease. Here are a couple of great books on giving:
You Can Eliminate Money Fights Forever
As Angie and I learned to use these seven tips in our own marriage over the years, we eventually got to a place where money fights just don’t exist anymore.
It’s a great place to be!
In fact, I believe these 7 tips work so well, I teach them in my online course.
Honestly, it really wasn’t hard to eliminate our money fights at all. It just took two people who were willing to work together, figure out what was missing, and correct the problem before it got out of hand.
Using these seven steps, you can eliminate money fights too!
Just be diligent, be willing to work together and you will see your marriage and your financial situation grow in ways you never thought were possible only a short time before!
Question: Do you have any tips of your own for eliminating money fights in your marriage? Leave a comment and tell me your favorite tips!
By the way, one of the best resources we used to heal our marriage and get on the same page was an incredible book that I credit with saving our marriage. Click the link and check it out for yourself: