Budgeting for Couples and Common Money Fights

Brent Pittman —  01/12/2012


Do you fight over pennies with your spouse?

If you’ve been married longer than 1 minutes, you’ll realize that your significant other views money differently.

You like to pick pennies off the ground and your spouse doesn’t even notice them. We use our money on what we value.

When your values are being violated you stand up for them, especially when the topic is money. A fight over money ensues.

Common Money Fights

  • Saver Versus Spender- When a saver doesn’t get to save, their sense of security is threatened. When a spender doesn’t get to spend their sense of freedom is endanger.
  • Mistrust- This can result in many forms and sometimes for good reason. Trust has been previously broken. When mistrust is present, suspicion, micromanaging, and control issues arise. This is not a happy relationships for either party.
  • Stress and Anxiety- When money is tight and bills are due, paying bills can get a little eh…tense. Have you been there? Also, many of your fights will occur when you are hungary, angry, lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T)
  • One Horse is Faster than the Other– When one of you is onboard the budgeting train and the other is left at the station disharmony will ensue. The spouse not onboard will fight and sabotage the budget (with a smile). The train conductor feels frustrated and alone.
  • “You Bought What?!”-Miscommunication is a huge contributer to money fights. When you don’t talk about decisions surrounding purchases, hurt and more mistrust ensues, especially when you overspend your budget.
  • Control Freak- One spouse just can’t let go control and allow the other make decisions about money. Eventually the controlled will burst or bolt.

Budgeting for Married Couples

1. Get on the Same Page- Communication and agreement about the values behind budgeting and money must occur. If you are having serious money problems you might need marriage counseling from clergy or another professional. Remember money issues are the number #1 reason for divorce, but they are also the #1 opportunity for in your marriage (Larry Burkett)

2. Do a Budget Together- Together is the key word here. See how my wife and I have a budget party each month and learn about budgeting nuts and bolts.

3. Decide Roles and Systems- Who is going to pay the bills each month? Who will track expenses? Where do we put our receipts? Basically decide who is going to do what and when.

Action: Discuss with your spouse any lingering money issues and start working together. 

(Photo by pfala)

[This is part of my How to Budget Like a Pro blog series]

Related posts:

Brent Pittman

Posts Twitter Google+

Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.