We have all heard the standard answers to preventing money fights: Get a budget, talk about it, stop spending! If these were working we would see couples with blissful day-to-day money talk. Those ideas aren’t bad, they just don’t work. We are done, we mean done, with money fights hurting our relationships, marriages and kids. Come on, everyone, let’s stop the money fights this year! (tweet this)
This means being totally upfront and honest. Many times we aren’t transparent because we don’t want to be told “NO” from our spouse or significant other. Many of us would rather endure the fight, instead of being transparent and share what we spent or how we broke a money promise, because we think of our spouse as our “mother” or “father”. Let’s not think of our spouse as our parent; let’s think of them as our partner and friend! Here is a way to start the conversation: “I blew it. I said I wasn’t going to spend any money on ‘X’ but I did. I want you to know that I care about you and our relationship and I broke a promise and I am sorry.” Being transparent will help the money fights go away because you are cutting off the fight at the pass. Everyone hates money surprises and appreciates a sincere apology!!
Timing is everything! This is really true when it comes to money. The other week Bethany and I had a minor bump in the road with our finances. Our car broke down and cost more to fix than it was worth. It was no ones fault; it just was one of those things that happens. I misunderstood what it was going to cost and there was no money in the budget for what she spent. However, I came home and went off and it sent us into a tailspin. All sorts of stuff came up in that “conversation”/fight. Bottom line was that my timing could not have been worse. I should have waited until we were both ready for the conversation and the kids were down. My bad. The conversation needed to happen but my timing was terrible. Should have taken our own advice on that one! Sorry, Hon!
We have all heard “think before you speak.” The reality is, we hardly ever do it. When you feel your blood boiling and you are about to lose it, just walk away or take a break. Think about the other person’s Money Personality, think about the situation and how it is really going to effect your money, and think about how you are going to position your concern to your significant other. Just think it through and save yourself from a major fight!! (Learn more about how to fight fair in our book The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking The Same Love and Money Language)
With these three “T’s” you can have the best year ever and be the happy couple you have always dreamed of being. If you haven’t already, be sure to take the Money Personality Assessment) and know both of your Money Personalities before you read our book). Here is to a great, fight-free year.
Scott & Bethany Palmer