I googled how to stop arguing about money with my partner, perhaps you did too.
Money is one of the biggest causes of conflict within a relationship so I was surprised that almost all of the answers in my Google search revolved around budgeting, spending, saving, compromising.
This is not the solution. Why? Because your are not really arguing about money. The arguments are really about dreams, emotions, goals and the disparity you have between them. In short we argue when we act differently with money.
Money is emotional, it is personal.
Your own money relationship has been shaped over a lifetime of experience, emotions, thoughts & interpretation. This money relationship uniquely reflects you. Your partner has their own unique money experience and relationship too.
And yours and theirs are often very different. That’s where the arguments are born.
You are each simply responding to all that has already happened in the past from a different perspective, and the key is to get onboard together.
5 Steps to Conflict-Free Money Conversations
- Accept Differences
- Explore Money Mindset
- Talk Openly
- Dream Big
- Plan Small
1. Accept your Differences
Take time to understand your relationship with money. Accept it is different from your partners. They are not over-spending or accumulating debt to cause an argument, they are doing it because of their money experience, in the same way you are doing what you do because. of yours.
Acceptance of these differences means its easier not to lose your cool when their Amazon parcels arrive, again, whilst you squirreled everything you had to spare, or vice versa.
2. Explore your Money Mindset
Make time to understand why you do what you do with money first. Who has influenced you? Where have your own habits evolved from? Consider how your partners may have been different.
Download our free Family Money Tree to identify who and how you’ve been influenced, this is the start to your change. If your partner is open to exploring theirs too then encourage that, but don’t force the issue. Lead by example.
3. Talk Openly and Without Accusation
Money Conversations can feel challenging to start, even I found this hard with my husband given the very different backgrounds and experiences we had had.
Start without accusation and focus on why you want to change, where you’d both like to be. Be open and honest about you and your habits and how important it is to you that you share. Money habits are fuelled by emotion and your partner may already be feeling negative about their own, and vice versa, perceived criticism from a partner may lead to defensiveness and another argument.
Even though your money habits are different doesn’t mean all of each others are good or bad. Money habits can be helping you without you realising.
4. Dream Big, Dream Together
Find time to talk about your bigger dreams. Rather than starting the conversation about money, start about the dreams you’ve had, have or could have. What do you both want, what are you working toward, what’s important to each of you, what’s valuable, what are your values.
By taking money out of the initial part this frees you to create your family dreams and goals together rather than look backwards on past behaviours.
5. Plan Small and Money Date
This is where the budgeting, spending, saving and investing plans come into action. Once you are in tune with shared family big dreams then you plan in detail how you could achieve them, how much will you need, by when, how can you both make this happen.
This starts with facing and knowing where you are today, so you can then map the journey between today and your shared goals.
If you are not ready to do this alone join us for our free monthly Money Dates.
You are shaping your family too
One last thing to remember, if your relationship with money has been influenced by your experience, in particular your childhood memories then, if you have children they are being shaped by what they hear, feel and see about money too. So resolving yours and your partners relationship with money will have a positive impact on theirs too.
Money Arguments verses Financial Abuse.
Arguments in and around money in relationships are perfectly normal. Financial abuse however, when a partner controls finances as part of controlling you, your choices, freedom or more far reaching abuse, is a crime and none of the above will apply. More information here on identifying financial abuse.
Be Better with your Money, Fearlessly
Join our Free Money Date