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Managing Financial Conflicts as a Couple

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There are several challenges when it comes to love and money.  Most couples would probably agree that even if the two of you are perfect for each other, it does not mean that you always on the same wavelength. Each couple has their own rhythm and many times the tricky part is getting the two of you to sync up on the important matters.

With money, conflicts can come up easily and how you two deal with it can matter a great deal. You can either utilize each of your strengths or you two can tear each other down. Since disagreements will come up with finances, I wanted to share some tips on how to get on the same page instead of fighting with your spouse.

Be Upfront with Each Other

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to finances in a marriage. That means sharing all the relevant numbers and information with one another. Financial infidelity can be emotionally devastating  to a marriage.

Though not the most pleasant of activities, both of you will need to review the debts you have on a regular basis. From college loans to car loans, credit cards and any other debt you have, it’s important that both of you know how much you owe.

This helps you create a realistic budget that will get you out of debt rather than having you two spin your financial wheels.

Create Goals Together

When creating financial goals, start off with dreams. After all, money is simply a tool. You can use it to achieve your dreams or you can waste it. What do you two want?

You can start off by creating a list of goals you two wish to achieve in 1, 5, and 10 years. You two really need to think about what you value as individuals and as a couple.

  • Do you want to eventually own a house in the country or do you want a condo in the city?
  • Do you want to not lay roots and travel?
  • Do you like to have some gadgets or do you want to save to go have unique experiences?
  • Do either one of you want to start a business?
  • Do you guys want kids down the road?

Asking these questions can allow you to build something together instead of making it up as you go. You also learn about each of your money personalities. Use this opportunity as a way to talk about the differences up front.

Play to Your Financial Strengths

There are many aspects to managing your money: spending, investing, debt reduction, savings, budgeting, and more. Mostly you and your spouse will excel in a couple of those areas.

As a couple, determine what those areas are, assign roles and responsibilities, and encourage your spouse in his or her respective duties.

My husband is great at finding the best deals on electronics. He does the research and stays alert for when the price is lower than expected. After we discuss the monthly budget, I take care of the execution of it. We review everything on a monthly basis.

Thoughts on Talking about Money as a Couple

Every couple has their own way of doing things; I’d loved to hear what has worked for you two through the years? What has helped you to get on the same page with finances?

Photo Credit: giumaiolini

by Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  1. Something is for sure, managing money as a couple is tough. It requires open discussions and as you point out, playing to each party’s financial strengths.
    What I know works for many couples: Compromise! Things will not always go your way. One needs to compromise and chose whats best for the couple’s ultimate financial success.

    1. I totally agree Simon – compromise is key when working as a couple. While things may not go completely our way, usually we’re both happy with the decision we come up with.

  2. I think we’ve tried just about every method possible to manage our money together. I trust my husband to manage certain portions of our budget and he trusts me to manage others. If something comes up we let each other know as soon as we can. It works for us and we just communicate as much as possible when we feel we need to. Trust is key.

    1. I like how you two play to your strengths. Since you work on your own specialties, how do you keep one another in the loop?

      1. We basically just bring up if there is an unexpected expense or in my case a change in income. I’m self employed so I will let him know if I expect my income to swing wildly either way. We’ve been married 21 years on Thursday, so after a while it just got easier to talk about money. Trust really is important if you plan to work it this way, though.

  3. I’m generally left in control of our budget and he generally is in control of our stock market investments and his own Roth IRA. We get together every few months to make sure we still have the same main goals, and that usually keeps us on track. Our main disagreements have actually been how to save more than anything else, so we consider ourselves lucky. We usually end up compromising even when we do disagree vehemently.

    1. So happy to hear that you push each other to save more, definitely a good disagreement ;)

  4. It certainly is difficult to manage money after marriage but if you do it the right way then there will be no conflicts among yourselves. Me and my wife had issues when we started managing our finances but now everything seems to work perfectly fine, we have worked on few things like we openly discuss how we will save money and we come up with a saving plan that this percentage of our salary will go into our saving account so we can save it for our retirement.