Stop Fighting About Money in Your Relationship
Having a different money style to your partner can cause a lot of fighting about money. I’m a saver. My first instinct is to not spend any money at all. The only clothes I own are the ones my wife gives to me at Christmas, that she buys at Target because she knows if she buys me anything fancy I won’t wear it, for fear of damaging it. My wife does not have the same attitude as me. I’m not saying she’s a compulsive spender she’s just not as frugal. At the start of our relationship this was a cause of conflict but we’ve learned to manage it.
Money is the number one thing that couples fight about, especially if money is tight. Generally though, you’re not arguing about money you’re arguing about some unmet need. If you’re arguing because your husband wants to go on an overseas holiday and you think you can’t afford it, what you’re really arguing about is that your husband wants you to spend time together as a family, not the actual holiday.
How stop fighting about money in your relationship:
Everyone gets splurge money. This is money that you can spend that the other person can’t question. It might not be much, $15 per week, but if you want to spend it on a giant chocolate bar, the other person can’t complain, even if they think it’s stupid and wasteful.
Have a spending limit that your partner can spend without talking to you. For us it’s about $200. If you want to spend more than $200 you need to other partners permission.
Compromise and Discussion
We were arguing because my wife wanted to go on and overseas holiday every year. When we were talking about it we both agreed that we really couldn’t afford it at the moment but what was actually important was making memories with our kids while they were little. So we bought some camping gear and we go camping once a month for a weekend.
Find me the Money
We can’t afford it is sometimes a bad way to frame an argument. You’re telling your partner no which is a great way to escalate a situation. A better way is to say “show me how we can afford it” and actually be open to them showing you. If you truly can’t afford it then they will show themselves that it is unaffordable and you don’t have to be the bad guy. My wife wanted to go to an expensive dinner every couple of months as a date night. I said we couldn’t afford it. However my wife showed me that if we cut back our take away spending, we could afford it!
Be on the Same Page
If you’re fighting about money and you don’t have a budget, you don’t know the balance of your accounts or how much you owe, you are arguing about nothing. If you have a budget, you can have a reasoned discussion about where you spend your money.