Mental Notes Psychology Blog

Couples & Money: 4 Things You Can Do to Stop Fighting About Finances

The idea that opposites attract may work in a romantic comedy, but when it comes to marriage and money management, opposing opinions can lead to serious conflict. A 2010 study by American Express found that 30 percent of couples cited finances as the greatest cause of stress in their relationship, and another study out of Utah State University found that couples are 30 percent more likely to divorce if they disagree about finances at least once a week. So, if hubby likes to spend and you like to save (or vice-versa), what can you do to stop fighting about money?

The Big Talk

Talk about money, preferably before you get married. Sure, conversation about credit card debt, spending habits and savings goals isn’t exactly romantic, but not having these conversations will come back to haunt you. The AmEx study found that only 43 percent of couples talk about their financial situation before they walk down the aisle.

If one of you is coming into the marriage with a lot of debt, make sure you both agree on a strategy to pay down that debt in the years to come. Which will be more important—getting that paid off or buying your first home? Do you agree on the amount you’ll put toward the debt each month? If one of you receives regular payments from an annuity or structured settlement, you may be able to sell your future payments to a company that buys annuities for a lump sum of cash that you can use to pay down your debt.

Create a Budget Together

When it comes to managing household finances, neither you nor your spouse should feel excluded. Exclusion leads to resentment. Resentment leads to hostility. And the next thing you know you’re in the midst of a fight. Budgeting software is not only a good way to manage your finances, but it also keeps those finances transparent. These programs and tools keep tabs on your spending habits and savings goals and automatically update with your checking, savings and credit card accounts.

Understand Your Money Differences

Believe it or not, spendthrift and tightwad are academic terms used to describe people’s relationship with money. Needless to say, don’t resort to name calling, no matter how psychologically astute it might be. More importantly, if you understand that you and your spouse are coming from opposite ends of the money spectrum, then you will have a better chance of meeting somewhere in the middle.

The Allowance

One of the easiest ways to avoid bickering and nitpicking over finances is for each spouse to have his and her own spending money. Let’s call it an allowance. This way, if he wants to go golfing at an absurdly expensive (in her opinion) country club, it won’t be cause for an argument. The same holds true if she wants to go shopping for clothes she doesn’t really need (in his opinion), but really, really wants. People spend money differently and on different things. Once you and your spouse accept this, there’s no reason to climb into the ring for another round of money fights.

Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on December 16, 2013 at 06:00 AM

How to Help Friends Who Are Grieving During the Holidays

If you are someone who is grieving during the holidays, whether it’s because of a recent death, a divorce or some other significant life change, the cheery sentiment can make things even worse.

Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on December 9, 2013 at 06:00 AM

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Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on October 17, 2013 at 05:00 AM

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Your partner says the words no man or woman wants to hear, ‘I want a divorce.’ While you may not have been ready for this blow, it’s time to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage and move on.

Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on September 26, 2013 at 05:00 AM

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Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on July 31, 2013 at 05:00 AM

Quantifying Love: A Mother’s Day Infographic

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Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on May 10, 2013 at 05:00 AM

Cyberbullying: What It Is and How To Help Protect Your Children

The digital revolution has brought about some amazing tools and technology that’s changed not only the way we collect information, but how we live our day-to-day lives.

Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on May 6, 2013 at 05:00 AM

Why I Wore A Marathon Shirt To Work Today – By Dr. Chris Stout

Over a decade ago I wrote my first books on terrorism. Doing that actually started from working with trauma victims. Seems the traumas just kept getting bigger, and sadder, but always as horrific.

Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on April 16, 2013 at 05:00 AM

Who Are You? Philosophy Expert Shares Fresh Viewpoint on Schizophrenia and Sense of Self

Breakthroughs in genetics or the understanding of the biology of Schizophrenia may be very important for drug therapies, without giving much help to the general population getting to a psychological understanding of patients.

Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on April 6, 2013 at 05:00 AM

Frustration and the Forbidden – Why People Turn to Violent Video Games

People may choose to play violent video games as a way of managing their mood. When they experience frustration, they turn to violent games.

Posted by C. J. Newton, MA, Counseling.info Editor on March 19, 2013 at 05:00 AM

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