We all want to have harmony in our homes. Unfortunately, disagreements about money often get in the way. This makes you feel tense and you often find your stomach in a knot. This makes you feel angry and defensive and you might even find yourself starting arguments you later regret.
Disagreements over finances are commonly cited as the primary cause of divorce. Even the kids can get in on the argument when it comes to clothes, video games, and toys. Avoiding money-related fights can enhance the level of harmony within the home.
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to minimize disagreements.
Discover how to get a handle on financial disputes in the home:
- Understand your attitudes regarding money. It’s possible you grew up in a wealthy home, and your spouse didn’t. You might value saving overspending, and your spouse is the exact opposite. If your wife grew up wearing the clothes her older sister outgrew, she might place a high priority on buying new clothes regularly.
- Your husband might value having a brand new car because his family could only afford cars that were over 10 years old.
- Understanding your differing views can help you find a middle ground regarding finances. Those new clothes or cars might mean more to your spouse than you realize.
- Include everyone in the budgeting process. There aren’t many of us that enjoy being told what to do. Creating, imposing, and enforcing a budget without input or explanation inevitably causes animosity.
- Have a meeting with the entire family and go over the budget. Provide an opportunity for everyone to give their opinion and ask questions. Everyone will be more likely to stick to the budget if they’re involved in the process.
- Discuss major purchases with your spouse. Coming home with a pair of $50 shoes is one thing. Towing a new boat home without a discussion is an entirely different situation.
- Have an agreement that all major purchases will be discussed beforehand.
- Minimizing surprises helps to keep the peace.
- Schedule regular family budget meetings. A 10-minute meeting once a week should be sufficient. Go over the spending for the week and compare it with your current budget plan.
- Discuss how the spending is matching up with the plan. Any corrections or adjustments can also be addressed.
- It can also be a convenient time to see if anyone has any unbudgeted expenses coming up.
- Give everyone an allowance, including you. Many financial disputes come down to someone feeling a lack of freedom or control. Providing everyone in the household a few dollars to spend any way they desire can be helpful.
- Having to get permission before every little purchase can create resentment.
- Have some common financial goals. Everyone in the house is likely to be more agreeable to a reduction in spending if it’s being done to reach a desirable goal, such as a vacation. Saving for a dream house, retirement, or college can put everyone on the same page. Set, pursue, and achieve goals together.
- Think before you speak. If your spouse has run up the credit card again, take some time to get your emotions under control. Share your displeasure with them, but leave your emotions out of it.
- If you focus on the behavior rather than the person, you’re less likely to make someone defensive.
Money is, unfortunately, a common source of contention in many relationships. The problem with fighting about money all the time is that it can contribute to an overall sense of resentment and lead people to feel like they are never getting what they deserve or need. It’s important for couples to find ways to talk about their finances without arguing so much – and one way you can do this might be by giving each person a monthly allowance that has no strings attached (you know your own needs better than anyone else). You could also have conversations before buying something new together as well as think about how things may affect other family members when making purchase decisions. Have any thoughts on these ideas?
We know you want to stop fighting over money and have harmony in your house. Set a time to talk with us about what you can do to make sure money isn’t a sore spot in your relationship. We can help. We’ve been there and done that and helped hundreds of people just like you.
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