Data released in 2018 by financial firm TD Ameritrade found that 41% of divorced Gen Xers and 29% of Boomers say they ended their marriage due to disagreements about money. Money discussions can be very emotional and stress created by financial hardships can wear on a relationship. The saying, “money can’t buy you happiness” is true. However, having enough of it to meet your basic needs sure does eliminate stress and money-related arguments. Here are 10 reasons why couples usually fight about money.
- Differing Money Personalities – When two people come together in a relationship it doesn’t mean they have the same money personalities. Some people are spenders, and other people are savers. Some people never even give money a thought and like to live minimally. While others love to shop and find bargains. Everyone is different, and it’s important to know how you’re different so that you can make allowances for the other person’s needs.
- The Need for Control – Some of us have more controlling personalities than others. We like to oversee our financial futures and can’t even think of giving that control over to someone else. If you’re in a relationship where both people want to be in control of the finances but have different ideas of how that looks, problems can ensue.
- Dissimilar Communication Styles – Sometimes it just comes down to how you communicate about money. If talking about money makes you emotional, you may seem defensive. When one person is defensive, it can make the other person also get defensive. That’s usually when things escalate and can get blown out of proportion.
- Varied Money Histories – Our money habits are formed by what we observe in others when we’re young. If money was a problem growing up between your parents, it could affect your relationship with money in a way that causes problems in your current relationship. Are you repeating what your parents did?
- Secretive About Money & Spending – If one party is often secretive and even lies about how and where they spent money, it can make it hard to stick to a budget, which can end up causing problems eventually. If you or your spouse is being secretive about money, this is something that must be dealt with immediately.
- Different Money Values – One person’s value is not always another’s. Each person values money differently. One person may love fine jewelry while the other likes to save money and spend on experiences.
- Conflicting Spending Habits – You like to spend money on eating out and he likes to eat at home; the two of you don’t see eye to eye on how to spend that money. It requires a discussion so you can find a middle ground.
- Incompatible Saving Habits – One of you is a saver and the other is a spender and can’t stick to the budget, which means that savings goals aren’t met. This can cause conflicts in the relationship. In this case, finding middle ground might look like the saver understanding they can’t be miserly and the spender reigning in their spending.
- Income Earing Disparities – If one person earns substantially more than the other, it can be very difficult to get along, moneywise. One of the best solutions for this situation, if it’s realistic in your circumstance, is to let each person pay for bills based on the percentage of total income they earn. It’s very important that each person has some money allotted for their own spending needs, even if one person earns far less.
- Conflicting Ideas About Where It’s Important to Spend Money – One person likes to decorate the house with new things while the other likes buying second hand. One likes to recycle the other doesn’t. One likes to buy experiences while the other would prefer to spend money on their home. These problems can arise in any relationship resulting in fights over money.
Most of these reasons that couples argue about money can be resolved with some conversation, a spending plan, and a little compromise. There are also marriage counselors who can help you deal with these issues and others if you feel your relationship is in need of professional help.