Tired of fighting about money? Well, you’re not alone. One 2007 poll found that 37% of couples fight more about money than they do about chores or sex (I think that number is waaaaaay too low!).
Another study found that money was a source of tension between 85% of couples (now that I can believe) and yet another found that 70% of couples have the “money talk” at least once a week (though I suspect, too often, they end up saying something like, “Okay, let’s go out for pizza and talk about it!”).
One thing is certain: Money is the most common reason for arguments, what couples fight about the most, and the number one reason divorcing couples say is the cause.
When couples cannot agree on money – when to save it, how to spend it – their life and their home can turn into a domestic battleground. The result is spite spending (sometimes referred to as marital guerrilla warfare), secret accounts and stashes of funds, secret spending (supposedly, 82% of married individuals have hidden a purchase from their spouse), and a destruction of the all-important element of trust.
Fortunately, many couples are refusing to let money rule their lives and ruin their marriages.
Here are just some of the things they are learning … and some of the things I write about in my latest book, The Back to Basics Book of Money!
A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace
A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace:
- Marriage is an economic relationship … a personal business partnership. You must actively manage your family’s financial affairs…not leave them to chance. Most of all, by “joining forces” in a cooperative partnership, you and your spouse can achieve common goals.
- Analyze and attempt to understand each other’s attitude toward money. Does one of you like to blow a windfall … the other sock it away? Does one of you feel comfortable with a full debt load … the other nervous about a $100 credit card charge? Exchange points of view. The better you understand each other’s thinking, the more effectively you can work together to build a financially solid relationship.
- Share money decisions and responsibilities. Studies have shown that couples are more likely to remain happy and together when they both take an active role in managing the family’s finances. This requires both of you to come to grips with the financial facts, which in turn leads to increased understanding and cooperation on money matters.
- Identify mutual goals … and then write them down. This imposes order on all other financial decisions and helps you map out a strategic game plan for achieving them. Where do you both want to be one year, two years, and ten years from now? In a nicer home? With children who are debt-free college grads? Retired in comfort at age 60? If you have trouble reaching agreement, look for compromises. Example: One likes to flash the cash … the other likes to stash it. Solution: Save and invest X dollars each month; then blow the rest … go out and have fun, and do it TOGETHER.
Want to learn more? Remember, money is a tool. When you work together, you can strengthen your financial security, and you can bring balance and stability into your relationship. It’s a win-win situation.
For more information, check out The Back to Basics Book of Money! A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace. The book contains 10 valuable Couple Money Skills. Plus, the Back to Basics Book of Money Workbook (which dovetails with the main text) offers 31 practical, hands-on Wealth Builder activities that can help you and your partner build financial and domestic stability. Both the book and workbook, which retail for $31.98 plus S & H, are available at the Family Finances Conference Center website for $27.99 total.
The Family Finances Conference Center tailors programs to the unique and individual needs of client organizations and their members and employees, based on the principles of the book and workbook set, The Back to Basics Book of Money! A Couple’s Guide to Financial Peace.
Family Finances Conference Center