Earlier this year we ran a series on personal finance tips for couples, however no matter what tips you follow you are bound to have fights over money. Fighting about money is one of the leading causes of disharmony and discontent in marriage, however if you have followed some of our earlier tips you are well on your way to reduce fights over money. But what if the occasional fight occurs? Hopefully these situations will be rare in your marriage, but in case you do find your self fighting with your partner over financial issues I hope these guidelines can help you to get things back to normal.

Money Fights
Money Fights

Understand Your Money Attitude
I have discussed money attitudes earlier and how important it is for each partner to have a good understanding of their partner’s money attitude and believe. Each of you have a different view and attitude towards money and when you start ignoring each other’s money attitude things will go downhill. Take time to review and understand each other’s money attitude, once you have identified those believes you will be able to work on a solution.

Remain Calm
When emotions fly and tempers burst bad things are bound to happen. Often when you try to talk about a fight you will end up in another fight, the trick is to stay calm. Take a hold of yourself and try not to get emotional; this can be a stressful task so stress management techniques would be helpful. You both need to keep each other calm this will help you resolve the fight and hopefully your money issues.

No Blame Game
If you truly want to resolve the matter than stop the blaming game! Blaming will never help the situation, in fact blaming will only make things worse. Both parties need to take responsibility for their share; blaming and pointing fingers will only make things worse.

Back To The Basics
If things are not being solved just get back to the basics. Re-work your budget and financial goals, maybe things have changed so an update maybe in order. Go over your most recent statements and find things where you can make changes, update your networth and see if you are on track with your long-term goals. As I mentioned earlier your financial plans have to be dynamic and change as your situation changes.

Put It In Writing
If you need to make changes and set new goals ensure that you both agree on things and put it all in writing. Put all of it in writing and revisit it on regular bases to see if you are staying on track, do this more frequently than the past to ensure things don’t get out of hand.

Look Past The Obvious
Sometimes things are not what they seem, although you may be fighting over money you may not really be fighting over money. Confused? Money may just be the obvious reason for the fight but not the real reason, there maybe other underlying issues that may cause the tension such as not enough time spent together, control, independence and so on. This may not always be easy to pinpoint and professional may be needed to help uncover the issue.

Get Help
Sometimes no matter how much you try the problem may not be resolved, in those situations seek help. If you truly care about your marriage then do not be passive about it, go out and seek help. Maybe a money coach or a financial planner can help you, if the problem is deeper seek a marriage counselor.

Marriage is not always easy and finance is the number one cause for divorce, however if both partners are willing to work on things and have a good understanding of their money attitudes things will work out.

What are your tips for handling money issues? How do you handle your financial fights?


Ray is an ex-financial adviser and the founder of Financial Highway. Currently working in the financial industry and working towards completing his Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA, designation.