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Managing Money Arguments With Your Spouse

December 12, 2015

The Save Money Dammit Podcast is back! Our recent move to California put a hold on our podcasts, so we’ll be continuing on with regular shows going forward. You can expect a new show next week. We’ll be taking a short two week break during the Christmas holidays, and we’ll be resuming the podcast starting in January.

Money is one of the most common pain points in many people’s marriage. We’ve seen it among couples around us, but we’ve been fortunate to build habits in our relationship that lead to overall money harmony (har-money? See what I did there?). In this episode, we discuss those habits and steps we’ve taken over the course of our marriage thus far.

Define your goals

These goals should be:

Sustainable. Just like most new lifestyle changes, you should probably start small in order to build strong habits that lead to long term sustainability. Life events can often impact a financial plan, so it’s important to set a goal that’s less likely to be derailed by an event such as a temporary income loss.

Relatable. Marriage is all about compromise, and that extends to your goals, as well. It’s important that you both agree on the goals you’re establishing. Whether you totally on the same page or need some convincing, you’ll sidestep plenty of arguments if your money’s purpose suits you both.

Positive. Making sure you keep working towards beneficial monetary endeavors will keep you both happy and putting your money to a supportive use.

Utilize “blow money”

We dedicated a small amount of money from our budget for individual “blow money” allowances. This money is judgment-free, do-whatever-you-want funds. It allows us both to spend money on things that might cause strife, otherwise, in the marriage.

Set roles and expectations

In our marriage, we’ve set roles for each other based on our personalities. Mr. Saver prefers to save, and Mrs. Saver prefers to spend. He likes to approach our finances from an analytical point-of-view, while she is more likely to look at the budget, money goals from a higher, more objective level.

As long as you’re in a relationship and sharing bills, expenses, and incomes, money will be a part of the dialogue. If you can define your collective goals, find a system that allows you both to enjoy “guilty pleasures” (like a Starbucks coffee once a week or a daily Diet Coke) without judgment, and establish roles for each partner dependent on their skills and interests, you’ll be in a better place to discuss your finances together, argument-free.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork.

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