5 ways to prevent money from ruining your relationship



It’s hardly the best kept secret that money (and fights over money) may be the number one cause of marital discord and, sadly one of the leading causes of divorce.

But money doesn’t have to ruin your relationship. In fact, you can’t have a great relationship until you can communicate and agree about money.

Here are five simple strategies you can apply to successfully tame your financial conflicts.

1. Communicate

Solid relationships that endure begin with trust and trust begins with open, honest communication. Oddly enough, even though couples these days can openly talk about some of the most sensitive subjects.

Learn how to talk about money. Choosing to facilitate open and honest communication around money is the most important financial decision couples can make for a successful future.

2. “Budget” is not a curse word

There’s no sexy way to say it: you need to have a household budget. It’s the most effective way to keep track of your money.

However a large majority of people do not prepare a budget. Only about “one in three prepare a detailed written or computerized household budget each month that tracks their income and expenses.

3. Have an emergency fund

The only certain thing about life is that it is filled with uncertain events. You lose your job, someone in the family gets sick, the transmission of your usually reliable car blows up or any of thousands of events can set you back financially.

There is a simple solution: an ‘emergency fund. This simply means setting aside cash in a bank account for a rainy day. How much is appropriate? Whilst it will vary based on circumstances, a rough rule of thumb is six months of living expenses.

4. Don’t maintain separate accounts

Many couples keep separate checking or credit card accounts because they are reluctant to give up the control they had as a single person.

But separate accounts provoke ongoing bickering about who is paying for what and inevitably lead to resentment about what is your fair share of the expenses and what is your partner’s fair share.

5. The issues may not be about money at all

A lot of the fights between spouses that seem as though they’re about money aren’t about [money] at all. It’s actually a clash of temperaments.

Temperament is a huge potential source of conflict, one person may be upset that their spouse is spending too much, but the issue may not be just that they can’t afford it but may be something deeper, such as a real fear of not being able to pay their bills some day.

Recommended for you