Five Steps to Stop Fighting with Your Spouse About Money

Five Steps to Stop Fighting with Your Spouse About Money

June 20, 2017

If you are in a relationship, I bet you’ve had your fair share of arguments about money. Money is the primary reason for arguments between couples, with many couples averaging three fights per month over financial issues. Furthermore, 3 in 10 married adults admit to potentially deceitful behavior about money, and arguments about finances are the most common predictors of a future divorce.

Why is it so difficult for money and love to peacefully coexist? Finances tend to be a personal and emotional topic for many and they cause plenty of stress in everyday life. As a result, couples often avoid these conversations at all costs. Not only does everyone have their own opinion on how to manage money, but most of us also have a unique financial personality. Some of us are savers, some are spenders. Some of us may be conservative, while others are free spirits. These differences can cause friction and discord, which then affects all other aspects of the relationship.

But you don’t have to be a statistic. Here are a few simple strategies that can help you and your spouse put an end to money fights.

1. Honesty Always Wins

There’s a reason why honesty is the best policy. It’s important for both partners to offer full disclosure of their finances and be open about expenses, regardless of whether you’re married or you live together, have joint accounts or separate bank accounts. You and your spouse should be aware of how you spend your money, especially when it comes to significant expenses, loans, or ongoing fees.Studies show that around 49% of financial arguments center around unexpected expenses. By maintaining an open line of communication regarding upcoming bills, you may be able to avoid such confrontations.

2. Use A Budget

It’s important for a couple to be on the same page regarding their finances. How much can be spent per month on non-essentials? How much is too much for a new pair of shoes? Establish and agree upon a few basic guidelines and create a structure for how you will spend and save money. If one of you is more disciplined than the other, you might consider having the disciplined spouse manage the monthly budget and spending.

3. Be A Team

Most often, one spouse acts as the Chief Financial Officer of the household, managing all bills, budgets, savings, investments, and insurance policies. Regardless of how the division of labor falls, it can be helpful for both partners to understand their spending versus their saving. If time allows, sit down together once a month to review credit card statements, account transactions, and other bills and check for any possible errors. Ongoing input from both partners will strengthen your relationship, create a true partnership, and help you avoid the stress should the Chief Financial Officer unexpectedly pass away.

4. Reward Yourself

Set aside a portion of pocket money that you and your spouse can each spend every month on something you love, whether it’s a massage, a round of golf, or a steak dinner. Along with saving for long-term goals, set small objectives you can reasonably accomplish each month and celebrate your success.

5. Enlist the Help of an Unbiased Third-Party

Sometimes the best way to ease money tensions is to work with an objective third-party, whether that’s a financial advisor, a marriage counselor, or both. A financial advisor can work with you and your spouse to review your financial landscape, identify any gaps in your coverage, assist you in establishing short and long-term goals, help you stay on track, and provide professional and knowledgeable advice. Some couples seek guidance from a marriage counselor for assistance with building stronger lines of communication and compromise. 

Although the topic of finance can occasionally cause tension, money doesn’t have to become a constant source of concern in a relationship. Invest the time to address spending habits and savings goals, uphold transparency regarding purchases, and communicate effectively.

As an independent financial planner, I enjoy working closely with couples and helping them identify and pursue their lifelong objectives. I want to help you make educated decisions and build a strong financial foundation. If you want to get on the same page with your spouse, contact me at (949) 221-8105 x 2128, or email me at to set up a meeting.

About Mike Loo

Mike Loo is an independent financial advisor with more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. His mission is to provide a meaningful impact on the lives of clients and the people they care most about, help them make educated decisions with their money, and build a strong financial foundation for both themselves and their next generation. Mike is committed to meeting a high standard of excellence, taking the time to listen to clients’ needs, and designing strategies that aim to help clients save money and reduce debt. He seeks to fit a client’s investments into their life and educate them so they’ll understand their investments. To learn more about how Mike may be able to help, connect with him on LinkedIn, call his office at (949) 221-8105 x 2128, or email him at

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Trilogy Capital, a registered investment advisor. Trilogy Capital and Trilogy Financial are separate entities from LPL Financial.