One of the most fought about things in marriages is money. The primary point of contention is when one thinks the other partner overspends. In a global economy that pushes us to be frugal, it is understandable to see why this point raises tension. In divorce cases, some of the top mentioned causes for the disillusionment are money. While arguing about money is not uncommon, there are productive ways to discuss finances that provide practical solutions.
Marriage is often viewed as an ultimate goal instead of the beginning of a journey. If you and your spouse are arguing about money, we invite you to look at it differently. We are all raised with individual sets of beliefs about money. Therefore, how you view money is not necessarily how your partner does. For that reason, it is better to learn about their opinion and values about spending and find ways to reach a middle ground that satisfies you both.
Getting to this middle ground could allow you to play off each other’s strengths. That will make weakness workable. If one spouse overspends, the other spouse can, lovingly, bring it up and ask what they can do to help curb the problem. If you find that you’re arguing a lot about other things in your marriage, often money could be an underlying issue.
Top problems and their solutions
We will look into two main areas of conflict and how to mitigate them.
His and hers accounts
Some couples opt to have separate checking accounts and pay bills separately. While this looks like a good idea, it will be a source of conflict at a later time. What happens if one person loses their job? What happens if one person’s salary cannot pay for a specific expense and they need the other to chip in?
Solutions: Marriage is a partnership. It may be hard at the beginning especially if the difference in income is substantial, but it’s workable. When you begin looking at money as ‘ours’ without separation, then paying bills and decision making becomes easier. Whether it has to do with buying a home, raising kids or going on holiday, you’re able to agree because there’s equal ownership of the finances.
As mentioned before, people are raised differently. Furthermore, before getting together, there was a particular lifestyle that each person lived. If one person is content with grabbing a hotdog from a street vendor and the other prefers an expensive Panini for lunch, then they’ll be a problem.
Solution: In marriage, compromise is inevitable. That said, a couple’s lifestyle should reflect couple’s total income. You don’t want to be hiding taxable revenue from Fiscal Arbitrators just to finance a way of life you can’t afford. It requires seeing the bigger picture of life and how short-term pleasures can affect you in the long term.
Don’t assume that a partner shares the same financial values as you do. The best time to talk about and plan your money is before signing the line on your marriage certificate.
Financial solutions in marriage