Should You Go to Couples Financial Counseling to Avoid Common Money Fights

by Chonce Maddox

avoiding money fights, couples management, marriage talk

It’s common for couples to disagree about money from time to time. However, you shouldn’t accept money fights as the norm. My husband and I used to fight about money before we got married and occasionally, things can get slightly intense when we go over our finances but it’s not nearly as bad as it was before.

Here are just some common money fights couples tend to have.

1. Financial Infedility

It’s hard to be completely honest and vulnerable with someone else about your finances but when it comes to your relationship, you must do this. Financial infidelity involves not telling your partner the whole story when it comes to your finances. Maybe you don’t disclose how much debt you have, betrayed the fact that your student loans are in default, or that you have a spending problem.

Regardless of what information you withhold, when your partner finds out, their reaction can be explosive because they’ll feel betrayed and left in the dark when you could have been honest from the start.

2. The Financially ‘Savvy vs. the Impulse Spender’

Sometimes they say opposites attract which is why you shouldn’t be surprised if you and your partner manage or mismanage your money in different ways. When I first met my husband, I definitely felt like the frugal, more financially conscious one as he spent his money recklessly.

Needless to say, it led to quite a few money fights.

3. Having Different Priorities

This is probably one of my most difficult situations to be in with your partner. If you both want different things and have your own set of goals, you’re bound to clash sooner or later if neither one of you is willing to bend a little.

Do any of these circumstances sound familiar? If you love your partner but have no idea how you’ll find common ground on the financial front, you might want to consider couple’s financial counseling.

What is Couples Financial Counseling?

Couples financial counseling is similar to couples counseling or any other type of counseling only the main focus in on helping you and your partner work through your financial issues. An unbiased (sometimes financial) counselor will sit down with both of you and allow you to express your concerns and issues from your point of view, then they will recognize exercises and actions to take that will provide you with a solution.

How Can It Help?

Couples financial counseling can help in a number of ways. It can:

  • Define your money values as a couple
  • Have a safe and non-judgemental place to express your thoughts and feelings
  • Identify constructive ways to compromise and see the other person’s point of view
  • Help you get on the same page financially
  • Avoid costly consequences of financial infidelity and money fights like filing for bankruptcy, having debt go into collections, owing the IRS money, not having enough to makes ends meet, etc.)
  • Restore financial confidence and harmony to your relationship


How Much Does It Typically Cost?

While the value of couples financial counseling is clearly there, you’ll also have to consider the cost of these services. Financial counseling is often priced similarly to marriage counseling and either has a flat rate ranging anywhere from $75 to $200 a session or more, or it’s offered on a sliding fee scale based on your income.

If you’re looking to save money and maximize value, you may need to sign up for counseling at a place that will work with you financially. Non-profits are a great place to start looking or you can ask if private practices have a payment plan.

Also, check with your local church and see if they provide any similar services. My husband and I were able to get per-marital counseling for free from our church and there was a big chapter on financials so we had some financial counseling as well which really helped us smooth out our issues.

Disease Called Debt


Sarah - Enrichmentality March 13, 2017 - 3:36 am

Fantastic post. I agree that it’s really important to discuss these issues before getting married – being on the same page from the outset can save a lot of heartache later on. But it’s never too late to learn to communicate about money differently with your partner. I posted a little about that here: https://www.enrichmentality.com/are-we-speaking-the-same-language/ with tips for couples. Your suggestion of checking with local churches (and even non-religious community centres) is excellent. Charities often provide so many underutilised, fantastic resources – and without a vested financial interest.

Tyler February 19, 2017 - 2:09 pm

My wife and I probably could have used this a few years ago well building the debt we have now. We have however worked things out and are really partners in our finances which took a lot of time and effort.

Gary Weiner February 18, 2017 - 12:36 pm

Your marriage and your finances are critical parts of your life and if you and your spouse aren’t on the same page, it’s absolutely worthwhile to get some help. Even if you seem to be fairly compatible money-wise, I think counselling can help to clarify how you’re feeling, what your goals are, and how you’ll interact as a couple when it comes to managing money.

brokegirlrich@gmail.com February 18, 2017 - 8:02 am

Good advice – especially the info on how much it might cost.

RAnn February 18, 2017 - 7:05 am

YOu definitely need to be on the same page financially if you are going to be married. For one thing, it is a reflection of your values in life. Do you want to spend like there is no tomorrow, or save for the future? Are kids on the horizon, and if so, what do we want for them as far as house, car, daycare, school, college?

James February 17, 2017 - 6:26 pm

Nice advice. More couples are using this option to , and I think checking out local churches for possible services is a good option as it may come cheaper than others.


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