Argue Less About Money with Your Spouse
Want to learn to argue less with your spouse about money? I’m not an expert, but I found six tips from Parenting Magazine:
Remember that your relationship is about more than the bottom line. It’s easy, when caught up in a money discussion, to focus on the differences between you and your spouse. Try and step back from the situation and see the entirety of your relationship. There’s likely so many good things that outweigh your disagreements with money.
Share your history. Knowing your spouse’s history with money will help you understand where they are coming from. You’ll have more empathy and respect for his or her side of the argument.
Give a little credit. If your spouse is a saver, tell them how much you appreciate their frugality. If your spouse is a spender, tell them how much you appreciate their spontaneity and care-free attitude. Weighting the conversation with these positive statements can help to reach the middle ground.
Forget budgets; create a spending plan instead. I referenced using this method in the past here on Prime Time Money. Basically focus on the spending you can control (needs) versus the necessities included in a full-blown budget. Bottom line: each spouse needs to understand the ins and outs of your family financial scene before your qualified to talk about it.
Schedule “the talk”. Establish a regular time to meet and talk about finances with your spouse. This will ensure you’re both heading towards your shared end goals. It will also ensure no one person gets left holding all the financial knowledge. Like the spending plan, having a regular talk leaves both spouses fully informed and able to discuss the finances properly.
Divide your stash. Keeping separate accounts entirely may be a good solution for some. But even if you have a joint account, a couple of extra “allowance” accounts might be a good idea. Each month, you take a specified amount of money from the joint account and place it into individual accounts. This allowance can then be used without discussion, in anyway each spouse chooses.
Bonus tip (by PT): Set a “let’s discuss” spending limit. Some couples I know have an unwritten rule to discuss only those purchases over a certain amount, say $50. That way, no big purchases get made without the couple agreeing that it’s best. Anything under that amount isn’t questioned.
Have any other tips to argue less about money? Share them in the comments below…
A shout-out to the carnivals I was all up in last week:
Money Hacks Carnival #39 at Moolanomy.
Carnival of Personal Finance – Smile Edition at MoneyNing.