Marriage and finances: How to Resolve Financial Disagreements With Your Spouse
Marriage and finances are a hot topic for any couple. You may have heard that conflicts regarding money sometimes lead to divorce for married couples. These conflicts may arise due to opposing views on spending and saving, credit card debt, mismatched financial priorities, overextended budgets, impulse buys, and more.
Do you often fight with your spouse over your shared finances? If so, you may be looking for ways to settle these arguments quickly, so you can both get on the same page and reach your financial goals together. In this article, we’ll share our favorite tips for resolving money-related disagreements while keeping your relationship intact.
Listen more than you talk
One of the easiest ways to diffuse a fight, whether it’s about your finances or about some other issue, is to keep your lips sealed. It’s possible that you’re not taking the time to truly understand your partner’s perspective. You want to be right, but your goal should be to preserve the relationship and find a compromise. You’ll only be able to do that if you take the time to truly listen.
Here are tips for how to be a better listener for your partner:
- Put yourself in your partner’s shoes
- Listen for the emotion in their voice
- Put your opinion aside
- Be generous with your listening
When it comes to marriage and finances you need to have shared goals
Do you have a shared goal for your future? When it comes to marriage and finances, discussing your 5-year, 10-year, and longer-term plans with your partner is essential. Stop assuming that you know what your partner wants. Instead, start asking questions and being honest about your own hopes and dreams. If you can mutually decide on your goals, then you’ll understand the importance of aligning your financial values. The one thing you want to make sure of is that your goals are actionable. An easy method to use to create your goals is the SMART method. Here is what’s entailed:
- Specific: You have to be very specific with the goal you are looking to achieve. You should be thinking of not just what you are looking to achieve but how you will achieve it and what it will take to make that goal happen.
- Measurable: You must be able to measure the goal as you go along. This looks like “I will save $500 by October” not just a broad statement like “I want to save more money”.
- Attainable: Make sure you set realistic goals. Do not choose goals that are tied to something that may change. For example, don’t create a goal that is contingent upon a raise that may or may not happen.
- Relevant: Come up with a goal that supports the vision you have for you and your spouse’s life plans.
- Timely: Your goals need to have deadlines and time-frames attached to them. This will help keep you on track and also help with measuring progress.
Using the SMART method creates a road map for your financial goals that will help make them more easily achievable.
Be each other’s accountability partners
First and foremost, you need to stop hiding purchases from each other. Not only will you want to be transparent with each other, but you’ll also want to help, encourage, and support each other. Sticking to a budget can be hard, but you can be your partner’s cheerleader, not his or her biggest critic. If your partner temporarily fails to stick to the budget, consider how you can help him or her succeed in the future instead of being harshly critical.
Celebrate your wins together
Reaching your financial goals is more fun when you’re doing them together. When you achieve a financial milestone, celebrate it together by treating yourselves to a nice meal or a weekend getaway. Once you realize that you can reach your dreams together, you’ll feel closer and more bonded as a couple.
Have you successfully conquered money conflicts with your spouse? Which tactics worked best for you?