How Does The Average Couple Argue About Money?

by Tamila McDonald
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how does the average couple argue about money

From time to time, all couples disagree. But few topics are as contentious as money, leading some couples to end up in full-blown arguments over the subject. When it comes to how couples argue, certain issues tend to be the focus. So how does the average couple argue about money? Well, for your review, here’s not only how they argue, but many of the common reasons why they argue over money.

Spending and Saving

When a couple’s spending or savings preferences aren’t aligned, disagreements are common. This is especially true if one spouse is a “spender,” while the other is a “saver,” as each person’s actions may frustrate their partner.

In this situation, it’s the mismatch that causes the fight more than anything else. One spouse may feel that the other is disrespecting them by continuing with their preferred approach, especially if there have been discussions about the topic previously.

If one spouse is a saver, they may feel that the spender is putting their financial future in jeopardy. However, the spender might think the saver isn’t allowing them to enjoy life, leading to resentment.

Income Disparities

Unless both members of a couple make more-or-less the same amount, income disparities can lead to arguments. When one spouse makes more than another, they may feel entitled to make more of the financial decisions, something that their partner may disagree with completely. Similarly, determining who should handle what expenses may be a contentious topic.

Dealing with this situation isn’t easy. At its core is an issue of fairness and equity, both of which are subjective. As a result, arguments can easily ensue if both partners don’t have the same perspective.

Matters of Control

While many couples find it easier to have one of them handle the budget and bill paying, issues can arise if someone crosses a line and assumes too much control over the other person’s financial life. For example, expectations that the spouse hand over all of their income without question could breed suspicion and resentment. Blocking a partner’s access to joint financial accounts, not allowing them to use the credit cards, or other actions could have similar effects.

This can be one of the most daunting situations, as a person who enjoys this level of control may not give it up easily. Major arguments over it may quickly become common, especially if one partner feels unfairly limited.

Dealing with Debt

Debt is always a tricky topic. If each partner brought debt into the relationship, there could be different attitudes about how to handle it. At times, resentment that one person introduced such a significant financial burden into their lives could also occur.

In many cases, debt feels like a dark, looming cloud. It’s inherently stressful to deal with, even when a person is shouldering it alone. As a result, when disagreements occur, they can escalate quickly, especially if one partner blames another for the difficulties caused by the obligations.

How to Avoid Money Arguments

Usually, the best approach couples can take is to talk about money calmly, using a fact-based, non-accusatory approach. By concentrating on data and the impact the situation is causing, the conversation can stay respectful. It’s crucial to avoid placing blame or insulting each other, as that will nearly always lead to a fight.

Additionally, don’t aim to be “right.” Instead, the goal should be to reach an acceptable middle ground, creating a give and take. That way, both parties get a bit of what they want and only have to sacrifice some, making it more likely that the solution will stick.


Did the information on how does the average couple argue about money help you? Do you try to make sure your disagreements are, at least, productive? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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