4 Tips to Avoid Money Fights
Sometimes budgeting in a marriage can feel like a game of tug-of-war.
You want one thing and your spouse wants another. If you pull against each other, both of you—and your money—could end up in a tangled pile. And that won’t get you anywhere financially. In order to succeed with money, you both need to get on the same side of that rope.
It starts with you and your spouse understanding each other’s views about money. When you know what the other person wants and work together toward those goals, your money conversations change. You fight less. You smile more. You trust each other on a new level.
1. Talk it out. The best way to get on the same page with your spouse is communication. Plan a time to sit down and discuss what you each want out of your lives and money. Turn off the TV, put the kids to bed early, and have an open money conversation—nothing is off limits. The point is for both of you to speak honestly.
When you know how your spouse thinks about money and what is important to them, it becomes much easier to make a plan for it.
2. Cooperate on goals. Do you want enough money in the emergency fund to cover six months of expenses, but your spouse wants to start investing before you get there? Finding out which one to pursue can be tricky. So who wins? The answer is both of you—through compromise. Find middle ground to agree on, such as agreeing to a five-month emergency fund or hosting a yard sale to round out that six-month fund. When you share your goals, it brings you closer as a couple.
3. Set a “big money” spending limit. If you are both new to budgeting, then set a spending limit on big purchases. Determine the total that you don’t go over without talking it through with your spouse. For example, if the determined amount is $300, then you must discuss any purchase over that amount first. Weigh the pros and cons of why you should buy the item or not. Wait overnight before making the call. Then you make a decision together. That way, both of you know your votes count. Once you get used to budgeting together, you’ll know when big purchases are coming up and you can work them into your monthly budget or create a fund to save up for it.
4. Sync your spending. Improve communication and awareness of family spending by tracking your expenses within EveryDollar. When you’re both keeping track of your spending, you can easily see how your budget is progressing through the month. And, try EveryDollar Plus to stream transactions right from your bank. That way you never miss or forget a transaction, and all you have to do is drag and drop them to your preferred budget group.
Whatever you and your spouse do to get on the same page with money, make sure there’s a lot of communication. The more you talk, the better you’ll understand each other and the quicker you’ll reach your goals. That’s how you accomplish amazing things like getting out of debt, saving enough money for your kids’ college, and being able to live out your dream retirement. When you get on the same page, you win with money.
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