People argue about money. It’s no secret.
But are you having the same arguments over and over again?
Do you wish your relationship with your partner were more harmonious?
Check out this list of common money arguments among couples.
Here’s a list of common money arguments among couples
There’s no getting around it: how much you make is a big part of your relationship, and more often than not, couples will be making different salaries.
There are bound to be times when this causes tension.
If one partner is unhappy with their current job situation or feels underpaid for the work they do, it can add an extra layer of complexity to this dynamic.
One way to alleviate these issues, if you’re in a position where you have the time and energy to do so, is to try and create another source of income by starting a side hustle.
This way you aren’t relying solely on your main source of income—whether that’s from your job or from your partner’s—to support the needs of both people in the relationship.
2. Credit card debt
Credit card debt is one of the most common issues couples have with money, and it can be a major source of conflict.
It also happens to be one of the top reasons why couples fight in general.
A number of studies have shown that credit card debt is a significant contributor to divorce.
In addition, couples are more likely to divorce when they’re drowning in debt than those who aren’t.
The reason why credit card debt causes so many fights and relationship problems is that it often shows up gradually over time.
As a result, one or both partners find themselves in financial trouble without ever really meaning to get there.
And because it’s hard to know what’s going on with your partner’s finances if you haven’t discussed them before.
Credit card debt can sneak up on you before you know it.
And then suddenly you’re fighting about how much money you owe and not paying attention to the other pressures in your life.
Or relationship that might actually be causing your tension.
3. Future financial planning
It’s important to plan for the future, whether that’s planning for retirement, planning for children or planning for your next vacation.
A lot of couples struggle with spending vs. saving and that can lead to arguments and disagreements in a relationship.
You can avoid these problems by talking about the importance of setting goals together and coming up with a plan to reach those goals.
Your first step should be setting up a budget and creating an emergency fund.
If you don’t have one yet:
Open separate checking accounts as well as savings accounts so you can start stashing cash away in each account every month.
4. Spending habits
Spending habits can be a major issue for couples, resulting in money arguments. But it is possible to manage your money together.
One good idea is to establish a common financial goal and work towards it as a team.
This can be saving for a home, paying off student debt or planning for retirement.
Talking about your finances not only helps you get on the same page, but also offers an opportunity to examine your personal spending habits and talk about ways you can manage them.
Consider sitting down together to create a budget that works for both of you.
If one person spends more than the other on certain things, this will help sort things out so neither partner feels taken advantage of.
It also helps partners determine how much they’re able to contribute towards shared expenses like rent or utilities without going over budget with their own needs.
Everyone handles money differently—and that’s okay!
But when two people are in a relationship together.
It’s SUPER important you find common ground around spending habits that work well for both of you and learn how you want to handle your shared expenses moving forward.
5. Bank charges
Bank charges can be a source of stress for couples and money arguments. You know that you only have $100 left in your checking account and the bank still hits you with an overdraft fee.
Your partner wants to get a cashier’s check, but you think it’s pointless when you can use your debit card for free.
It can be difficult in these situations to determine what is worth paying for and what isn’t, especially when different people may have different ideas of what constitutes value.
But there are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
Some bank charges may make sense.
If a bank makes a mistake and it costs them money, they’re within their rights to ask for compensation from their customers.
In other cases, banks may offer services that require significant resources, like safe deposit boxes or wire transfers.
They could even offer lucrative interest rates on certificates of deposit (CDs) or checking accounts that pay dividends if certain criteria are met each month (like having at least one direct deposit).
Be aware of the fees associated with these services before signing up for them;
If the deal seems worth it, then paying fees shouldn’t cause friction between partners as long as both agree to sign up together!*
While many fees are unavoidable—like ATM withdrawals or foreign transaction surcharges—some aren’t necessary if both parties work together towards financial goals such as saving money on check-cashing services by opening joint accounts at their respective banks
6. Big purchases
- Create a budget to fully cover the cost of large purchases. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Simple as that.
- Save up for big purchases in advance.
- Don’t drain your emergency fund for non-emergencies. Your emergency fund is strictly for emergencies only (imagine that!). You’d be wise to leave it alone until there’s an actual emergency, or else you might find yourself in real trouble when an unexpected expense comes up.
- Pay off large purchases quickly if you can afford them at all. The quicker you pay off a big purchase the better—if you pay 3% interest on something and save 6% on investments, well, do the math! If you can pay off a bigger purchase within a year or two, do it! If not, look into investing and saving instead so that you can earn more than what the interest rates are costing you.
- Consider buying used instead of new if possible (this also applies to smaller purchases).
Did you know that even small, day-to-day expenses can cause tension in a relationship? It’s true! Research shows 1 out of 3 arguments between couples is about money.
7. Day to day “gotcha” expenses
In fact, it’s the #1 reason couples fight — even more than fights about children.
Arguments about something as obvious as big purchases are common knowledge, but there are also everyday expenses that can put a strain on a relationship.
- Let’s say your significant other pays $50 for their haircut. You pay the same price for your cut, so you assume theirs is the same quality as yours (even though they’re obviously getting ripped off). You then get mad when they ask to borrow $50 to go get another haircut because they don’t want to look like ~~a homeless person~~ or someone with unkempt hair.
- Fancy meals
- The two of you go out to eat at an expensive restaurant and have multiple courses, including appetizers and drinks. One of you has a bigger appetite and orders more food, but doesn’t feel like paying more just because they ate more than their partner… who didn’t order dessert (what?!?) When it comes time to split the bill down the middle, one person feels cheated and shortchanged by having to pay for the food they didn’t consume (and maybe weren’t hungry enough for in the first place).
Working through money arguments as a team can help your finances and relationship.
Money can be a sticky topic for a couple. For many, it’s the source of heated arguments and resentment.
But with some honest communication, can also be the foundation of deep trust, understanding, and security.
If you’re looking to minimize conflict and maximize peace when it comes to your finances, here are seven money arguments many couples have—and how you can get past them.
- “You haven’t paid our bills.”
- “Why did you just buy that?”
- “I don’t want to talk about this right now.”
- “Stop bragging about your savings account.”
The most important thing to remember is that these types of discussions don’t always have to be so serious or sentimental.
The point is simply: if you need someone on your side, and you’ve found someone who cares about you enough to put in the time and effort, then consider yourself extremely lucky.
Understanding each others’ financial perspectives helps in finding solutions to disagreements. Financial worries are one of the primary causes of stress and concern in relationships. If couples work hard to communicate with each other, they can resolve the issues and prevent long-term problems.