Tired of Fighting About Money?

Tired of fighting about money?

Money fights can cause huge issues in a marriage — especially if they’re an ongoing thing. The fights come in many different forms: how much one person spends, what they buy, where the money is going to come from, employment status, and of course the biggie: debt. So if you’re tired of fighting about money, what do you do?

Is it situational?

Start by taking a step back (ideally sometime when you’re not fighting.) Are they situational or an on-going thing?

For example, if they’re due to a job loss, it’s natural to be stressed out and prone to sniping. Chances are those types of fights will pass as soon as you find a job, but in the meantime you can make an effort to be supportive. Money fights related to a temporary situation are the easiest to resolve, but they’re still no fun. Try to be kind to each other, and remember that they will pass.

Is it something that you’ve been avoiding?

If the fights are caused by something that you’ve been avoiding (such as fear or worry about a specific scenario that might happen in the future) sit down and discuss what’s going on in a non-confrontational way.

An example of a non-confrontational discussion starter might be, “I’m worried about how we’ll pay for college for our kids. Let’s brainstorm some ideas that might work.”

If you sense the discussion itself leading to a fight, arrange to continue it at another time.

If they’re long-standing fights

If your fights about money are an ongoing thing, that’s a different story — one that can even lead to divorce. Try to identify what triggers them, and what actions keep getting repeated that you’d like to see changed.

Those are the types of fights that can really only be positively resolved by getting on the same page, which will probably require one or both of you to make compromises and changes.

It can be very hard to get on the same page about money if you and your spouse are constantly fighting. It’s especially frustrating when you don’t have shared goals, or when one person seems to be sabotaging the other.

For example, the two of you might have a stated goal of saving up a certain amount of money for a down payment on a car, but one person may be spending money on other things that aren’t in the budget instead. In a case like that, it’s natural for the other person to feel betrayed, or even to give up eventually and join in on the spending.

Getting on the same page

But playing the blame game and having the same arguments over and over again don’t help. If this describes you, you could probably benefit from outside help. Counseling can help you get to the root of the problem, especially when both parties want to see things improve.

So don’t just continue to have the same fights over and over again. Get on the same page financially if you possibly can. It makes all the difference.

This post is a part of Women’s Money Week 2013. Visit the site for more articles about today’s topic of Family & Money.


  • Hi Jackie!

    I’ve been lucky that even through the money challenges we’ve had along the way our fights have been over and done quickly. It’s good when we remember that we both have the same goals in mind, to provide for our family, and that when we differ, it’s usually about what is the best way to do that. My husband is a worrier and tends to think worst case scenario which frustrates me at times, since it feels pessimistic. However, I’ve come to learn that his way of planning for the future compliments mine well and has helped us avoid some potential pitfalls. Great post with great tips!


  • I think getting everything out in the open before marriage or a relationship is your insurance for having things go smoothly. Otherwise it will lead to strife.

  • Money is indeed one of the most common reasons why couples fight or misunderstands each other. In my case, we do have misunderstanding when it comes to money, but we try to settle things right away. Money can be found easily, but a broken relationship due to money is so hard to mend.

  • My husband and I are very lucky that, although we were raised with entirely different financial philosophies by our parents, that we see eye to eye on our finances. When we were first married and learning to navigate joint finances, there were some rocky times, but since we’ve been married a few years, we really are on the same page.