6 Ways to Argue Less About Money

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…

Source: Parenting Magazine
Photo: by Steve Wampler


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.

Last Edited: July 21, 2014 @ 10:41 pm The content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, FinCon CEO, and husband and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.


  1. If a married couple completely integrates their finances (which I recommend) it is very important that each couple have access to and knowledge of all aspects of investments, assets, current balances, and transactions. Sometimes one spouse engages in poor spending habits because they do not have current knowledge of their collective financial situation.

  2. A key thing for us has been common goals. We save as much as possible because we both want a house, we both want kids, and we both hate our jobs (long story on why that makes a house so important). Outside of necessaties, we agree that dinners out and shopping sprees would hampen our efforts towards what we want; with that in mind, money arguements are rare at best.

  3. Oh man do I ever absolutely dislike discussing finances with my girlfriend. She will get mad at me and call me “cheap” for not wanting to fall for many sale traps. She gets mad when I give her advice claiming that I am talking down to her. We are going on vacation next month and it took her forever to pay off her part. The thing that would upset me the most was that she would give me $100 of her balance and say she had nothing else left. Then I see her go shopping, buy stuff off ebay, and go for dinners with her friends.

  4. Ahhhh reading this post must have been destiny for me this morning. This is the story of my life, trying to ease the discourse between myself and my lady. On the verge of getting hitched but it has been quite the journey. Thanks for the inspiration this morning PT Money to get me back blogging!

  5. For us, it’s been crucial that we trust each other’s spending decisions. When we were first married I questioned everything She spent money on. This led to a number of heated discussions. However, after setting a budget and sticking to it, I was forced to trust her. From then on, our conflicts over her coffee habits ended. Whatever it takes to develop financial trust, do it…FAST!

  6. Money is among the major reasons couples argue. Different salaries, spending habits, and attitudes about money make it a controversial topic. However, starting a family always involves money. In fact, it is an obvious topic for newlyweds. But it does not have to be a menacing problem to a happy marriage. Once you discover to understand and appreciate each other’s perspectives, you’ll be able to communicate wisely and reach agreements about your finances.