Many couples have disagreements about money from time to time. While some are able to calmly work through the issues, many others struggle to see eye-to-eye. As a result, money is often cited as one of the leading causes of divorce. As newlyweds, finding ways to avoid money conflicts now is a wise move. If you want to ensure that you are your spouse can navigate financial disagreements with ease. Here’s how newlyweds can avoid conflict.
Lay It All Out on the Table
If you’re recently married and haven’t had the big money talk yet, now is the time. Schedule a time with your spouse to lay it all out on the table. Discuss your income, financially-oriented benefits through your employer, debts, spending habits, credit histories, and saving goals.
Learn about how the other person views money, and share details that help them see your perspective. Mindsets about money are often rooted in a range of past experiences. By having each spouse talk about their proverbial demons and why they feel as they do about money, it lets you avoid arguments stemming from misunderstanding the other’s perspective.
While being open and honest about your successes and struggles with money isn’t always easy, it is a necessity. Once you’re both well-informed, it’s easier to come up with a plan for managing joint financial responsibilities.
Make the Decision to Be a Team
Some money conflicts arise because couples aren’t working as a team. For example, if both spouses aren’t fully involved in the household’s finances or decision-making isn’t equal, missteps or frustration is far more common.
If you want to avoid money conflicts as newlyweds, it’s critical to work together as a team. Make sure you’re both fully aware of your joint financial situation and that each spouse has a say when it’s time to make decisions. One easy way to support this concept is with biweekly or monthly money meetings. It allows you both to check-in and discuss what’s on the horizon, ensuring everyone’s in the know and can contribute to the decision-making process.
Have Goals in Common
When it comes to savings goals, getting on the same page makes a difference. If your priorities are aligned, you’ll have an easier time working together. Essentially, you’ll limit money conflicts because you’re ensuring that your goals aren’t contradicting your spouse’s and vice versa.
Ideally, you want to sit down and discuss financial goals. Each spouse needs a chance to express their opinions, and both partners need to focus on what their spouse is sharing when their moment arrives. By using active listening and fully giving your partner the floor, you ensure you see the whole picture. Then, by them doing the same, they understand your perspective. Once that’s done, you can start the discussion, identifying commonalities that can serve as your core goals.
Give Each Other Some Financial Autonomy
Following a budget can feel incredibly restrictive. This is particularly true if each spouse has different spending priorities and they believe they’re hindered from doing something that makes them happy because it doesn’t seem to fit into the plan or their partner doesn’t support it. As a result, conflict can arise.
If you want to avoid these kinds of money fights, give each other a degree of financial autonomy. For example, each spouse could have an equal amount of “fun money” that they can use as they please. Whether they choose to save toward a personal goal, splurge on non-necessities, or anything in between is their decision. As long as they don’t go over their limit (and the activities are safe), their spouse shouldn’t comment or intervene.
While having an allowance may feel odd as an adult, it can be an effective solution for navigating spending areas where you don’t disagree. Plus, it can help you stay on target otherwise, ensuring there’s room for autonomy without derailing your joint spending plan.
Get Help If You Need It
In some cases, having a professional available to assist with financial planning or disagreement mediation is a smart move. If you’re already having money conflicts in your relationship, consider enlisting support from a financial planner, marriage counselor, or financial therapist, depending on your needs. That way, you can work together with a neutral third party to find a workable solution, ensuring you and your new spouse can get on the same page and avoid money conflicts in the future.
Have you used any of the tips above to avoid money conflicts in your marriage? Do you have any other insights that can help newlyweds avoid money conflicts? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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