Having said that, there is also a school of thought that money is the root of all evil. While I might not go that far, I would also acknowledge that money is one of the biggest sources of stress that couples have. It’s something that can make people’s lives better, but because of its perceived importance there is often disagreement on issues related to it.
The following are 5 money fights that commonly occur:
- How to combine finances. When people marry, conversations inevitably arise as to how to merge money after marriage. Some people want money jointly combined, some want it totally separate, and some want a hybrid of the two. Whatever the case is, this is an area offering the potential to provide some fireworks. Best to have discussions ahead of time about this, as in before getting married.
- Saving or spending. Some people seem to be natural savers, and the other extreme might be shopaholic. Regardless, it seems as if opposites often attract for whatever reason, so this might be a subject that comes up for people. He might like to spend, she might like to save. What to do? Again, why not discuss ahead of time, but also be willing and able to compromise and meet your partner halfway.
- Kids. This can take on many forms. One is the notion of how many kids to have. They’re expensive, while of course being the greatest gift simultaneously. Additionally, kids activities can cost quite a bit too, and parents can have different ideas than one another over how much to spend. After all, there are opportunity costs and one of those can be retirement. I think it’s important to put kids first, but in terms of their needs and not necessarily wants. If you’re worried about being able to retire, it might be time to make tough choices on their extracurriculars.
- Hiding. If there is hiding of money in marriage, there are probably bigger issues that need to be figured out. If you’re secretly spending without telling your spouse because he/she hates spending, the other person’s preferences aren’t valid reasons for hiding. Just the same, if the other person loves to spend, but you privately set aside money, you may think you’re doing the right thing but it’s also hiding. Best to be up front, and take care of underlying reasons why two people can’t be straightforward!
- Debt. This might go along with the saving/spending debate, but I suspect that debt can impact relationships. On the one hand, it could simply be the stress of having it that causes tension. On the other hand, it could be one person incurring the debt – either during marriage or bringing it in – while the other quietly resents it. This could range from student loans to child support, and other obligations in between. I would say that when marrying someone, you marry them for the totality of who they are, so be cognizant of these factors and accepting of the total package.
My Questions for You
- Which of these reasons for money fights do you think is most common?
- Can you think of any other topics that might be frequent cause of money fights?
- What advice do you have for getting people to come to happy resolution when it comes to these types of issues?