How to stop fighting over finances
Written by: Lombe Mwansa
Published: 3 November 2022


Understanding our different views on money helped us find a middle ground regarding our finances.

Financial disputes at home a common thing nowadays

Arguing about money? Struggling with the cost of living? Are your finances fueling your happiness or sabotaging it? Read on to find out you can bring more harmony to your home and reduce fighting over your finances with your spouse.

How to Stop Fighting Over Finances

Disagreements over finances are commonly cited as the primary cause of divorce. Even the kids can get in on the argument when it comes to clothes and gadgets. Avoiding money-related fights like financial disputes can enhance the level of harmony within the home.

According to research from mutual insurer Royal London, 62% of those who argue with their partner said it was over finances. Researchers asserted that couples find it easier to talk about childcare, sex, or even household chores than finances.

If you are looking for ways to minimize disagreements about money and increase the harmony levels in your home here are some of the steps I have tried with some success.

Discover how to get a handle on financial disputes at home

1. Understand your attitudes regarding money

My wife and I grew up in different environments with parents that had different views on money so in our home we didn’t see money the same way. I lived in Zambia till I was 12 and because many household goods had to be imported, which made them more expensive, people chose to repair them instead of buying a new ones. On the flip side, my parents had a maid and gardeners so they could focus on work when they were at work and on us when they were with us.

My wife likes having a new car because she grew up in England where ease of access and affordability meant she had better options when she wanted to spend her money. Having a maid in England isn’t as common as it is in Zambia so this is another thing we didn’t have in common.

Understanding our different views on money helped us find a middle ground regarding our finances.

New items for our home, getting a newer car, and holidays had a higher value for my wife than I first realized. Wanting these things does make her a bad person just because I don’t feel the same way about them.

2. Include everyone in the budgeting process.

Not many people like being told what to do especially when creating, imposing, and enforcing a budget without our input or explanation so this inevitably causes tensions and animosity.

meetings as a family over the budget

Our daughters are still young so we don’t have big meetings as a family so we can over the budget BUT we have healthy conversations with our daughters about the family finances. Doing things this way gives us all an opportunity to give share our opinions and ask questions. Sticking to the budget starts to get easier because we are all involved in the process.

3. Discuss major purchases with your spouse.

Coming home with a pair of designer shoes is one thing. Buying Arsenal club-level tickets including hospitality without a discussion is an entirely different situation. I should preface by saying I have supported Arsenal for over 30 years so my financial decisions may be more emotional than logical and that’s why talking it through with my wife would be a marriage saver.

We have our own spending money but we have an agreement that we will discuss all major purchases before we make them. When it comes to finances minimizing surprises helps to keep the peace.

4. Schedule regular budget meetings

A 10-minute meeting once a week may be enough after that lengthier first initial meeting. It is a good time to go over the spending for the week and compare it with your current budget plan.

As you go through your data talking about how the spending matches up with the plan keeps discussions focused on what we are trying to achieve. This is also a time when corrections or adjustments to the budget can also be addressed.

unbudgeted expenses

It can also be a convenient time to see if anyone has any unbudgeted expenses coming up …. like car repairs, unexpected breakages, and leaks around the house.

5. Give everyone an allowance, including you.

Many of our financial frustrations came down to us feeling a lack of freedom or control.

Giving everyone in the house a few pounds to spend as they wish has been helpful.

Having to get permission before every little purchase can create resentment and bring avoidable frustrations to the relationship.

6. Have some common financial goals.

happy family

Everyone in the house is likely to be more agreeable to a reduction in spending if it’s being done to reach a desirable goal, such as a holiday. Saving for a family cruise, university, and dance show can put everyone on the same page. I’m the kind of person that will work and holiday later when the opportunity allows so I am very lucky to have a wife that will plan and book a family holiday months in advance. Thanks to her forward planning we can set, go after, and achieve goals our financial goals together.

7. Think before you speak

If you take nothing else from this blog then this has to be it. It’s one thing I am improving on daily because when I think before I speak solutions are easier to find. There was a time I got hooked on gambling online through games and puzzles. When the time came for us to talk about it I think my wife had taken some time to get her emotions (most of them) under control because she chose to go with facts over feelings.

Whether she meant to do it that way or not it made a huge difference in how I received the conversation. I could have easily argued with her anger but I couldn’t do much in the face of the bank statement highlighting the small deposits over time that had amounted to a huge loss.

My advice to you, even if you are the one in the wrong, is to focus on the facts and behaviors rather than the person, you’re less likely to make the other person defensive.

You may also be interested to read A financial dad’s view on managing personal finance.

Final thoughts

It would be wrong for me to say that fighting over money or financial disputes at home is uncommon, it’s a common occurrence. According to a recent 

With patience, love, and understanding, most arguments over finances can become a thing of the past.

Include the whole family in the budgeting process and review the family’s spending on a regular basis. Your family will thank you for it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I hope got a lot of value from it.
If you found it useful share it with others and please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

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