Money fights are just different.
There are a million and one things that could spark a fight between you and your SO: sex, not spending enough time together, half not doing their part of their chores, the list goes on and on. But when it comes to the main things couples fight over that lead to splitsville, money ranks at the top.
I spoke with Elle Martinez, host of the Couple money podcast and Megan McCoy, Financial Therapist, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Director of the Master’s Program in Personal Financial Planning at Kansas State University, to discuss some of the common reasons couples argue over money and how to overcome these obstacles and work to build a life together:
Money is a taboo subject. Money issues can be so quiet in our culture that we just don’t know how to navigate financial conversations, McCoy explains.
When it comes to money, arguing with your partner is just different from other types of fights, McCoy says. For one thing, they tend to heat up faster and last longer than other problems.
Opposites attract (as evidenced by Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat). It’s one of those strange phenomena, but spenders can tend to be romantically attracted to savers and vice versa.
We all have different money stories that influence our behavior. In short, a money story is the set of beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes we have about the mighty dollar.
Money is a finite resource. Unlike knowledge, creativity, and cat memes (which are endless), we might be more likely to fight over money in a relationship because it’s a limited resource, McCoy explains.
And ironically, while money can create so much stress in a relationship and lead to breakups, couples tend to downplay money fights, McCoy notes.
Plus, money fights are really about other things. Peel off the layers of that fight you just had over how much to spend at parties and you’ll find that the money arguments are really about what everyone values and prioritizes, Martinez says.
So now that we’ve gotten to the bottom of why couples can fight so much over money, let’s talk about how to overcome these arguments and strike a balance:
Start by having regular money conventions. Because we tend to avoid talking about money in general, we often only talk to our SOs about finances when there is a 911 situation, McCoy explains. “Because we are under pressure, it tends to be a very little funny discussion about sacrifice.”
And create a spending plan together so you’re both on the same page.
You’ll definitely want to tie your goals to your values and priorities and then give them a specific time frame, Martinez adds. “Start small with a set of three-year goals,” says Martinez. “That gives you a framework to start aligning your budget.”
Money apps can be your friends. Just like money splitting payment apps like Venmo and Splitwise can make it a lot easier to ask your friends and family for your money back, make the most of money apps that let you keep track of expenses. together and create shared goals.
And if these convos don’t go as planned or you’ve hit a wall, consider working with a financial therapist, a mental health professional or financial professional who has experience working with couples.
Stay up to date with the latest daily news with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!
- All Hail Zendaya, Who’s Going To Be The Youngest Recipient Of The CFDA Fashion Icon Award October 20, 2021
- Bengals’ Uzomah offers new phone, tickets to fan who took famous video October 20, 2021
- Amahud Arbery’s father says he prays for the “right jury” as the selection continues October 20, 2021
- Y’all Aren’t Ready For All Of The Awesomeness Coming To Netflix In November 2021 October 20, 2021
- Samsung now lets you design your own flip smartphone October 20, 2021