Exposing your finances to another person is a scary thing. When you’re in a committed relationship and you start to share income and expenses, it’s usually quite an adjustment. If you’ve found that money has become your main topic of conversation, you’re not alone. Today I’m going to explain 5 proven tips to finally stop fighting about money.
5 TIPS TO STOP FIGHTING ABOUT MONEY
My husband and I used to fight about money all the time.
It was actually before he was my husband, as our relationship was getting more serious and we were thinking about the terrifying idea of combining our finances.
And it is a really scary thing. Sharing your money with someone else. Being accountable to them. And letting that person see each and every purchase that you make.
Especially when you’re a spender and your to-be spouse is a responsible saver.
If you’re new here, it might surprise you to know that I used to be terrible with money.
And my husband was basically the opposite.
You can read more about this in my post A Spender and A Saver Fall in Love.
It was clear that I was going to have to change my ways if I wanted to make our relationship work.
As you might imagine, there were many disagreements as I was learning to be better with money and we were both learning to share our finances.
Over the years we’ve learned to calm the conversation.
Now, I honestly can’t even remember the last time we had a money fight. We are a solid team working together for a common goal.
And let me tell you, this is so much better than fighting!
I’m excited to share these 5 tips to finally stop fighting about money. These have helped my husband and I and I know they can help you too.
HAVE A TEAM MINDSET
This is really challenging when you’ve been on your own for a while.
When you’re combining households and finances, it’s important to start thinking as a team.
Instead of thinking about how you can get more of what you want, you need to change your mindset and start thinking about how you can move your family in the direction you mutually want it to go.
When all of the incomes are going into the same pot, and all of the expenses are coming from that pot, a team mindset is essential.
No one will be 100% perfect all of the time. So, it’s vital that you eliminate blame from the conversation.
You are a team, when one of you succeeds, you both succeed.
Of course, success is easy. In times of failure, or even small missteps, it may be hard to keep from pointing the finger.
It’s our natural reaction because blaming our partner means that our responsibility and guilt can be less.
But nothing good ever comes from that.
Instead, offer help. Empower each other to make better decisions. Work to boost each other up. You’ll get a lot further in the long run.
THINK BEFORE YOU TALK
This is probably good advice in all areas of your life – but especially in money talks with your spouse.
I’ve learned to pick my battles and the ones I pick are few and far between.
Just taking a few seconds to consider what I’m about to say has saved us many fights.
So, instead of rushing into a heated conversation when you’re feeling upset, take some time to calm down and think about what you really want to say.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has said things I didn’t mean because I said what I was feeling without taking any time to think about it. You have probably experienced this too.
If you have a clear idea of what you want to say before you open the conversation, you’ll skip the fight and be more likely to accomplish something.
This is another big shift in thinking. You have probably been used to deciding for yourself what you want to do with your money.
But now you are a team and you need to make decisions as a team.
All important financial decisions should be decided together. As should spending and savings goals and anything else that affects your group finances.
You should also decide how you are going to reach those goals and make a plan for success.
Listen to each others thoughts and opinions. Then, make a decide on what is best for your team together, with both voices being heard.
STICK TO THE PLAN
After you’ve had the conversations and made the big decisions, you have to hold up your end of the bargain and stick to the plan.
So if your team decided to give up Starbucks to have extra money to put towards paying off debt, you have to actually follow through and pack your own coffee.
Do your part to help your team achieve your goals. If you do veer off track, as we all will at some point or other, be honest with your teammate and tell them what happened and why.
Then get back on track as soon as you can.
STOP FIGHTING ABOUT MONEY
Now it’s time for you to put these tips into action and actually stop fighting about money.
Start by cultivating a team mindset. Eliminate blame from the conversation. Take a second to think before you speak to one another. Decide together on goals, and work together to make a plan to reach them. Then, be sure to follow through and actually stick to the plan.
These all seem like pretty small things, but they have made such a difference in my relationship and I think they can have a powerful impact for you too.
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