How To Stop Fighting About Money: 5 Things To Start Doing Today

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Have you ever…..

Fought with your spouse over money?

Have you ever had a verbal brawl with your partner over finances that would drag on for hours with no end in sight?

Sounds familiar?

It does to me…. been there and done that. Boy have we been there and done that!

Fighting over money can leave the two of you exhausted, drained, and quite frankly, become hateful and bitter towards each other.

Money can be a very combustible topic especially when left unaddressed in relationships (again, I know from experience! Lol 😊).

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.

According to this Insider article, finances is one of the top causes of divorce in the U.S.

The negative effects of fighting over money can lead couples to have financial infidelity (i.e. hidden purchases), stress-related health issues, and an overall lack of trust in each other.

Let’s face facts, discussing how we will handle finances with our spouse BEFORE we married them is not high on most people’s priority list.

Each of us have our own way we handle finances and have differing viewpoints on money.

If you are one of these people struggling to talk about money with your loved one, today’s article is just for you! 😊

How To Stop Fighting About Money

Below are 5 things to start doing to get on the same financial page with your spouse without it becoming a tussle that would make a WWE wrestling match look tame in comparison.

Here goes…..

Understanding Your Partner’s Spending Style

This was one of the most difficult things for me to detect and adjust to.

I grew up in a household with a scarcity mindset and my wife grew up in a household with more relaxed and prioritized spending habits

My parents hardly ever took vacations, never had hobbies, and always struggled to financially get ahead. My wife’s parents were much more strategic which enabled them to enjoy life a little more than my parents did.

For her, discretionary spending was acceptable and even a little encouraged. For me, we never had enough to scrape 2 nickels together.

These 2 styles clashed and when they did…… oh boy did they clash!

What we had to learn to overcome this gap in spending “language” was that there were both merits and disadvantages to each style.

My style, while good for savings, led to hoarding cash for a “rainy day” and having a miser mentality.

Her style was good for prioritizing things that added joy to our life but also lent itself to spending sprees when, quite frankly, we did not have the cash to cover it.

How To Get Your Partner To Stop Fighting About Money

What we had to learn was to blend the style together and use the best of both worlds. She learned to save more and quit using credit cards. I learned that it was ok to enjoy the money we earned and treat ourselves once in awhile.

Our differences weren’t causing the problem, the lack of accepting the differences and playing to each of our strengths was the cause.

Owning Budget Gaffes (aka “Oopses”)

Raise your hand if you NEVER made a spending mistake ……… I’m waiting! (lol)

Seriously, we have ALL made a dumb spending decision at some point in our life.

One thing that is important to understand is you cannot change your partner no matter how much you want to.

If you want financial change, you need to focus on YOUR financial behavior and hold yourself accountable.

The best way to do that is to hold your hand up when you make a mistake and admit to it (aka “My Bad”) ……… out loud.

It’s ok to tell your partner you made the mistake and are sorry for what happened.

It’s ok to admit you were wrong.

How To Own Budgeting Gaffes

It NOT ok to hold past gaffes over your partner’s head (I was a BIG culprit for doing this).

Once you show the courage to admit your mistakes, change becomes easier for both people.

Compromising On Purchases (Or Lack Of)

One of the best ways to stop fighting over money is to learn to compromise.

While this doesn’t mean you subjugate you wants and needs, it does mean learning to live in the middle more.

Marriage isn’t easy and talking about purchases can sometimes be harder.

Purchases can be a very emotional topic and how you deal with it does have a direct effect on your relationship with your partner.

For example, early in our marriage, we were HORRIBLE at compromise. It felt like it always had to be each other’s way and that was it.

Over time and with some help, we learned that the marriage is its own separate entity. When purchases are being made, it really isn’t your purchase or her purchase, it’s the MARRIAGE’S purchase.

Think of a marriage as an LLC. An LLC is its own separate entity where you have an ownership stake in the LLC, but the LLC owns everything instead of you.

A marriage is the same thing. A marriage needs love and nurturing where BOTH of you own a stake in the marriage.

How To Take Care Of The Marriage        

When things go well, both of you accept praise.

When things go bad, both of you need to also accept responsibility for it.

Learning how to compromise is also learning how to communicate with each other and learning to do what is best for “the marriage”.

I talk a lot about this concept here…. check it out!

How to Get You and Your Partner On The Same Financial Page

While you never want to compromise your integrity or ruin your financial plan, meeting in the middle can lead to a great solution.

Marriage is about give and take. Stay on the same page by allowing a little compromise and wiggle room on tough financial topics.

Attack Debt TOGETHER

Having a mountain of debt can create ALOT of money fights.

Do yourself a favor and create a plan to work your way out of your financial hole…. together.

Doing this together not only eliminates a huge marital stressor, but it gives the two of you something to rally around and work towards together.

It might mean some short-term sacrifices for awhile or picking up a second job to generate extra money. That’s ok. As long as you do it together, you can use the experience to actually strengthen your marriage.

Take us for example.

I wrote a lot about the stress of raising 3 special needs children and the financial burden it put on us. Check out the article below for more details.

Where My Journey Starts

After the girls overcame a lot of their struggles, it was time to get real with our finances and figure out how big of a hole we dug ourselves.

To say we accrued “a lot of debt” is an understatement. It’s akin to saying the Pope is “kind of Catholic” (lol! 😊).

After figuring out our mess, we decided that we needed to not only cut out some expenses but also generate more income.

We both decided to take part-time jobs in retail because we would have flexible hours and take turns caring for the girls. 

How To Attack Debt Together  

It took us 4+ years, but we overcame that mountain of debt, and our marriage has been better because of it.

Debt is stressful for anyone but can be especially stressful for a marriage. The best thing you can do to save yourself from this grief is to team up and make it a priority to pay off as fast as possible.

There will be sacrifices but worth it in the end. 😊

Not Ignoring The Positives

During conversations about money, emotions can flare up and exaggerations occur.

“You ALWAYS buy that expensive shampoo when we don’t need it.”

“You NEVER buy ground beef; it HAS to be porterhouse steaks every time, doesn’t it?”.

What people forget (including me) is that we are naturally inclined to measure the gap between where we are and what we want.

Instead, you need to measure the gain.

It’s human nature to measure against what you don’t have (the gap).

What you need to measure against is where you have come from to where you are right now (the gain).

Progress takes time and hiccups are bound to occur along the way.

Practice patience with your partner and praise them for the progress that is being made (the gain).

When you regularly affirm what you see your spouse doing well with money, it makes them more open to talking to you about money especially things you may not be happy about.

I know the past can cloud your judgment. As they say, “old habits die hard”.

Blaming your loved one for their past indiscretions doesn’t do you or the marriage any good in the present.

Leave the past where it belongs…. in the past.

Instead, focus on the present and the gains your spouse is making towards the end goals.

When a squabble comes up, and it will come up, you’ll already have positive footing to lean on.


Your partnership with your spouse didn’t materialize out of thin air.

Odds on, you have shared roots, values, and interests.

Your personal money relationship was derived from your parents, economic and cultural upbringing, and even deep-seated fears.

This is where the two of you may differ……. but it doesn’t have to be a disadvantage.

In fact, this is where the strength of your relationship comes from.

How To Learn To Quit Fighting About Money

Don’t let the past dictate where your future may take you.

Working together, understanding each other’s spending styles, owning mistakes, and appreciating the gain each of you is making will go a long way toward developing the relationship you both want.

Until next time……

Live The Life You Love, Want, And Deserve! 😊


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