Week 12: Couples and Money
MONEY SMART CHALLENGE
Money Smart Weekly Conversation Fact: Couples typically argue about money because of 4 reasons; different experiences with money; different communication styles; secrets about their spending, savings or debt; and different values about money.
4 Reasons Why Couples Argue About Money
by Julie Jaggernath from http://www.mymoneycoach.ca/blog
Many couples find it hard to talk about money. Some try, but it often turns into an argument. Others have given up trying or avoid the topic altogether, which sadly, hasn’t solved their problems either.
There are many reasons why couples have trouble communicating about money. Here are 4 you might recognize:
1. Different Experiences with Money
How financial matters and money were discussed and handled in previous relationships will influence how someone handles money in their current relationship. Everyone has a past – the way-back past to when they were a child growing up, as well as the more recent, adult past. Some people had an opportunity to learn money management skills growing up; many didn’t. In some households, money was tight, so as an adult, someone may try to take steps to avoid the consequences of not having enough money. For other families, having enough money was never the issue; so as an adult, learning how to make wise choices is important.
2. Different Communication Styles
Most people don’t choose to talk about money. And when they do, it can bring out the worst in some. People typically communicate in certain ways:
Some people are quite passive and avoid expressing their thoughts and feelings. By not asserting themselves, they often feel resentful, anxious or even hopeless. When it comes to money, someone else might then make the decisions about spending, saving and taking on debt for them, making them feel like they have no say or no control.
Other people are overly assertive and express themselves in a powerful, “my way or the highway” manner. These types of aggressive communicators can be seen as taking over. They are often uncertain but try to dominate conversations to compensate. In a spousal relationship where both people want to work together to achieve goals, it’s important that financial decisions are shared fairly.
With a passive-aggressive communicator, what you see is not necessarily what you get. It is hard to trust someone when they don’t send clear messages about what they want or what their intentions are. A lack of trust in a relationship can bring out the worst in people, making someone think that their partner is being sneaky. Revenge spending or financial infidelity are ways people sneak around with money.
Assertive communicators share their thoughts and feelings respectfully. They are up front and honest without putting someone else down. They also know how to listen and reflect on what they are hearing from the other person.
Secrets about spending, saving or debt get in the way of open and honest communication and can be detrimental to personal relationships. And secrets have a way of coming out when we least expect them: at the bank when a joint loan application reveals more than someone expected; a credit card bill that the other person knew nothing about; purchased items stashed in a closet rather than proudly displayed.
4. Differing Values About Money
Differing values can make it hard to communicate with a spouse about money because each person has different ideas about what is important and what they want to do with their money.
Simply put, values are what is important to us. That’s why when a couple argues about money, the real issue they’re arguing about is much deeper and harder to see. We decide what our values are through experience, which means they could change throughout our lives. Some factors that influence our values include: our level of education, culture, age, gender, family makeup, medical and socio-economic conditions, marital status, as well as societal influences and expectations.
When it comes to our finances, we tend to spend money on things we value. For example, when someone values safety and security, they may want to keep their savings account at a certain level, stick to a budget and avoid excessive debt. If someone values freedom and excitement, they may throw caution to the wind with their money and spend more recklessly.
What Can You Do If You and Your Spouse Argue About Money?
Don’t let these four reasons why couples fight about money become obstacles that get in the way of your relationship. If you and your spouse fight rather than talk about your finances, take steps to create a Money Action Plan (MAP) so that you’ve got a budget you can work with together. There are webinars to help you get started.
Online Workshop & Webinar: Ending the Financial Feud – Couples and Money | How to Resolve Relationship & Marriage Money Problems & Issues
Love and relationships can bring us tremendous joy in our lives. However, combining love and money adds a layer of complication that most of don’t expect when we fall in love. In fact, the frequency of money-related fights in a marriage or relationship is one of the biggest predictors of divorce.
Does it seem like you and your spouse / partner are constantly fighting about money and financial problems? Do you find it hard to even get onto the same page with your finances without it turning into a fight? The good news is there’s hope! Your spouse / partner isn’t trying to make your life difficult financially and create issues; they’re just different than you.
This webinar is free. It’s 1 hour long, interactive, and even fun! We take a “grab and go” approach – grab an idea or two and go try it. All participants will walk away with ideas, resources and the full curriculum upon request.
In the Ending the Financial Feud webinar, you and your person will learn how to:
• Identify your money histories – more specifically, how money was handled in each of your households
• Recognize the money messages you heard growing up and how those shaped your perceptions of money
• Identify your own relationship to money
• Name your money values and how these guide our spending
• Identify your money triggers (what makes you feel angry) and learn how to communicate this with your person
• Set goals as a couple and understand why and how the goals meet each partner’s values and needs
• Decide who has the desire, skill, and ability to create and implement a household money management plan in your marriage or relationship (e.g. budgeting, savings, planning for the future, etc.);
• Identify the 3 ways couples can handle their money to prevent issues (everything together, everything separate, or a hybrid version)
• Consider if this is a second time around relationship and the things to think about to ensure success and avoid problems
• Implement various financial systems to make life easier
• Create a financial agreement where no “thing” is more important than the relationship
Click here to access the webinar Ending the Financial Feud
Another article you might want to read: How to Start Talking with Your Spouse About Money
START the MONEY SMART CHALLENGE TODAY by ANSWERING this QUESTION:
Money Smart Week 12 Question: Which of the reasons listed under “4 Reasons Why Couples Argue about Money” apply to you and your partner? What might be a strategy, for you and your partner, towards reducing money related arguments?
Now, What Do I do?
Email your answer to the Money Smart Week 12 Question and your full name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Your name will automatically be entered into a draw for a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. (a $300 Value!)
You can enter your name once each week for a total of 17 chances to win!
Answer the question anytime before the end of the Challenge on May 28, 2017 and your name will be entered into the draw for a Samsung Tablet.
So, If you missed answering any of the questions for the previous weeks, go to those weeks and answer the question(s) now.
(NOTE! Only residents of City of Camrose and Camrose County are eligible for the draw for the Samsung Galaxy Tablet.)