Many times couples draw a line in the sand and claim their territory when it comes to discussing financial matters whether engaged or married.  What do I mean?  Either the conversation happens through osmosis or not at all.  Money fights happen due to ineffective communication.  Numerous studies shows that 50% of marriages end in divorce due to money arguments.

Smart Money Magazine (2004) says that some of the most common types of arguments happen due to 1) Merging Money 2) Keeping money secrets 3) Dealing with debt and 4) Emergency planning.

Merging money can cause stress on a relationship.  However,couples that work their way through the stress of merging accounts and facing the lack of trust have a better chance of staying together.  The mode of communication prior to marriage will more than likely be a tell-all of how it will be after couples say I do.

Keeping money secrets is a recipe for disastrous fights.  Be honest with yourself and your spouse.  Openly discuss money matters; tracking lies can become exhausting.  There are many things that people lie about for example, the amount of money spent on clothes, entertaining, eating out, and partying with friends and so on.  Lying about money could create a greater divide and mistrust between couples.  Relieve yourself of the shame, guilt, “pride” and talk to your spouse.

 Deal with your debt!  Do not allow your debt to control you.  Avoid keeping score; no one is perfect.  Some people go into marriages with debt and others enter in debt free; understand that their debt or wealth alike becomes yours.  Tim and Sharon are a very young couple.  Tim worked diligently on cleaning up his debt and saving for an emergency fund prior to marrying Sharon.  He has continued to work the money management principles after marriage; therefore this couple is able to have critical conversations about money.  Two thumbs up for Tim and Sharon; they are growing together as a young couple.  They have identified their strengths and weaknesses and are working on them both, realizing that managing well is a life-long journey.

Emergency planning is vital to the household.  An emergency can and will happen at any given moment.  You must plan ahead and save.  Johnathan has a family of four; he experienced mechanical issues with the family vehicle and was able to withdraw money from their emergency fund to cover the cost of the repairs.  Many times American families use credit cards for those kind of emergencies; paying higher interest rates for many years after the life of the product purchased has ended.

I challenge you to be open and honest with yourself and in your relationships to avoid “money fights”.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Share how you overcome money fights or post a question.

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