5 ways to avoid money arguments

May 10th, 2013 Tina Hummel

Arguments about money can hamper marriages and can often lead to divorce.  In fact, a Utah State University study revealed that couples who reported disagreeing about finances once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.

Whether you’re a “Spender” or a “Saver”, many people are blinded by their own views on spending and saving, and often can’t see or understand their partner’s perspective. This can quickly create tension in any relationship.

Here are some tips to help you avoid fighting with your significant other about money:

1. Understand each other’s money personalities.

There are essentially two types of positions people take towards money – spenders and savers. The saver wants to make dinner at home; the spender wants to eat out. The spender buys himself a nice bike and the saver resents it each morning when she sees it in the garage.

The root of most couples’ arguments about money lies in this fundamental opposition. As a result, it’s crucial couples learn each other’s personalities and how to amicably agree to disagree on money matters.

2. Keep an open mind.

Remember, this isn’t about “winning” or “losing.” It’s about recognizing that your partner’s outlook on money may have just as much truth to it as your own. The two of you possess different inborn tendencies, temperaments, and experiential histories. After all – you both grew up having received different messages about money. Keeping an open mind about financial issues may help you realize that what earlier struck you as simply a “wrong” idea, now makes a lot more sense or is a legitimate opinion.

3. Be willing to work on your issues.

Both you and your partner have to be willing to adopt a positive mindset about your financial challenges. Search for common ground and identify ways to find a mutually acceptable compromise if you can’t come to an agreement. Both of your belief systems – and emotions – about money must be taken into account to successfully negotiate your monetary conflicts and resolve them.

4. Be transparent.

If you’re not truthful with your partner about your finances, it’s very hard to find common ground. Be honest about any debt you may be carrying and any other issues you’ve had with money in the past. Also, don’t spend money and try to hide it from your partner. This type of “money infidelity” can undermine your relationship.

5. Set mutual goals.

Talk about your future and identify what goals you have. Next, look at your finances – is the money there or do you need to alter the amount of income and outgoings? Then draw up a household spending plan and stick to it. By setting up a financial plan for your future, you and your partner can be on the same page financially and this will avoid any hard feelings or disappointments.

It’s unrealistic to expect to avoid all arguments about money. It’s also not likely that you or your partner can completely transform your well-entrenched feelings towards money. However, by taking the tips above into consideration, you’ll be able to put an end to money arguments and begin to have honest conversations that will help you resolve your issues.

Tina Hummel

About the author

Tina Hummel is Retail Manager at MidWestOne Bank. She works in the retail department, specializing in checking and savings accounts, consumer loans, auto loans and home equity loans.

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