Don't Let Financial Worry Stress Your Marriage

Reviewed May 31, 2018

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Summary

  • Talk about it and acknowledge “we” have a problem.
  • Assess your situation and needs.
  • Decide what you want to accomplish—together.

Economic stress is tough on marriage. But with a little effort, team work, and discipline you can reach financial peace. Here are some tips.

Talk about it

Healthy marriage is rooted in love and trust so be open about finances and how you feel about your money situation. Denial will only put-off getting into the solution. You and your spouse may have been taught very different things about money from your parents.

The issue isn't just about money, but about trust and respecting each other. Being able to support each other when painful financial realities come crashing down is vital to your marriage.

“We” have a problem

In tough financial times your income may go down, your debt may rise, or your retirement investment may take a hit. These realities can cause fear and tension in your marriage. Stop and say “we have a problem.” This will allow you to get on the same side and attack the issue together. Casting stones at your spouse does nothing to stop money stress—it only builds resentment and takes the focus from solving the problem at hand.

Gauge your situation and needs

Unless you have a degree in accounting or money management you may need help and a plan for managing your money.

Some people are so scared by money matters that they withdraw from addressing them, mostly because they feel inadequate. For example, balancing a checkbook is easy when you have plenty of money; it’s tough when money is scarce.

On the other hand, some people overestimate their financial acumen and make unsafe choices. Again, when money is plentiful bad choices often aren’t as harmful. When money is short, a bad decision can cause real harm.

Decide what you want to achieve—together

In order to succeed financially as a team, you must have unity. You may not agree about everything, but find areas where you do agree and aim toward those goals. Start small. For example, you can agree to have $1,000 in an emergency cash account. Or agree to cut up a high-interest credit card and pay it off in six months, or only to eat out once a week.

These small successes will energize you to work harder and support each other. You can ease the burden if you both focus energy toward a tangible goal rather than casting blame or arguing about who is right or wrong.

Ditch your debt

Don't let your debt run your life. During tough financial times “cash only” is usually the best rule. Agree to work together on a budget and track your spending to see where the money is going. It is important to know how much you are putting on a credit or debit card each month, and how much you spend on entertainment and eating out.

Allot some fun money

It is important to set aside money to spend on things that you enjoy. Know that you cannot be the money police for your spouse. This will only make things worse.

Each person needs a small sum of cash that he can spend however he chooses. Agree up front how much that will be. You can make adjustments at the end of a month but only if you both agree. For example, most couples find that 90 percent to 95 percent of their earnings goes to pay bills, pay debt, meet savings targets, etc. The left over 5 percent to 10 percent can be split between you to spend as you please.

Save anyway

The best plan is to start saving a small sum at first, then raise the amount from time to time as you can.

Unexpected bills and crises are unavoidable. It's good to be prepared for them by keeping some money aside. This will give you peace of mind.

Don’t panic—start planning together

Sit down together, take a deep breath, grab a notepad, and start talking and writing. If you need help, call a money savvy friend or family member. You can also call the toll-free number on this site for help.

By Drew Edwards, M.S., Ed.D.

Summary

  • Talk about it and acknowledge “we” have a problem.
  • Assess your situation and needs.
  • Decide what you want to accomplish—together.

Economic stress is tough on marriage. But with a little effort, team work, and discipline you can reach financial peace. Here are some tips.

Talk about it

Healthy marriage is rooted in love and trust so be open about finances and how you feel about your money situation. Denial will only put-off getting into the solution. You and your spouse may have been taught very different things about money from your parents.

The issue isn't just about money, but about trust and respecting each other. Being able to support each other when painful financial realities come crashing down is vital to your marriage.

“We” have a problem

In tough financial times your income may go down, your debt may rise, or your retirement investment may take a hit. These realities can cause fear and tension in your marriage. Stop and say “we have a problem.” This will allow you to get on the same side and attack the issue together. Casting stones at your spouse does nothing to stop money stress—it only builds resentment and takes the focus from solving the problem at hand.

Gauge your situation and needs

Unless you have a degree in accounting or money management you may need help and a plan for managing your money.

Some people are so scared by money matters that they withdraw from addressing them, mostly because they feel inadequate. For example, balancing a checkbook is easy when you have plenty of money; it’s tough when money is scarce.

On the other hand, some people overestimate their financial acumen and make unsafe choices. Again, when money is plentiful bad choices often aren’t as harmful. When money is short, a bad decision can cause real harm.

Decide what you want to achieve—together

In order to succeed financially as a team, you must have unity. You may not agree about everything, but find areas where you do agree and aim toward those goals. Start small. For example, you can agree to have $1,000 in an emergency cash account. Or agree to cut up a high-interest credit card and pay it off in six months, or only to eat out once a week.

These small successes will energize you to work harder and support each other. You can ease the burden if you both focus energy toward a tangible goal rather than casting blame or arguing about who is right or wrong.

Ditch your debt

Don't let your debt run your life. During tough financial times “cash only” is usually the best rule. Agree to work together on a budget and track your spending to see where the money is going. It is important to know how much you are putting on a credit or debit card each month, and how much you spend on entertainment and eating out.

Allot some fun money

It is important to set aside money to spend on things that you enjoy. Know that you cannot be the money police for your spouse. This will only make things worse.

Each person needs a small sum of cash that he can spend however he chooses. Agree up front how much that will be. You can make adjustments at the end of a month but only if you both agree. For example, most couples find that 90 percent to 95 percent of their earnings goes to pay bills, pay debt, meet savings targets, etc. The left over 5 percent to 10 percent can be split between you to spend as you please.

Save anyway

The best plan is to start saving a small sum at first, then raise the amount from time to time as you can.

Unexpected bills and crises are unavoidable. It's good to be prepared for them by keeping some money aside. This will give you peace of mind.

Don’t panic—start planning together

Sit down together, take a deep breath, grab a notepad, and start talking and writing. If you need help, call a money savvy friend or family member. You can also call the toll-free number on this site for help.

By Drew Edwards, M.S., Ed.D.

Summary

  • Talk about it and acknowledge “we” have a problem.
  • Assess your situation and needs.
  • Decide what you want to accomplish—together.

Economic stress is tough on marriage. But with a little effort, team work, and discipline you can reach financial peace. Here are some tips.

Talk about it

Healthy marriage is rooted in love and trust so be open about finances and how you feel about your money situation. Denial will only put-off getting into the solution. You and your spouse may have been taught very different things about money from your parents.

The issue isn't just about money, but about trust and respecting each other. Being able to support each other when painful financial realities come crashing down is vital to your marriage.

“We” have a problem

In tough financial times your income may go down, your debt may rise, or your retirement investment may take a hit. These realities can cause fear and tension in your marriage. Stop and say “we have a problem.” This will allow you to get on the same side and attack the issue together. Casting stones at your spouse does nothing to stop money stress—it only builds resentment and takes the focus from solving the problem at hand.

Gauge your situation and needs

Unless you have a degree in accounting or money management you may need help and a plan for managing your money.

Some people are so scared by money matters that they withdraw from addressing them, mostly because they feel inadequate. For example, balancing a checkbook is easy when you have plenty of money; it’s tough when money is scarce.

On the other hand, some people overestimate their financial acumen and make unsafe choices. Again, when money is plentiful bad choices often aren’t as harmful. When money is short, a bad decision can cause real harm.

Decide what you want to achieve—together

In order to succeed financially as a team, you must have unity. You may not agree about everything, but find areas where you do agree and aim toward those goals. Start small. For example, you can agree to have $1,000 in an emergency cash account. Or agree to cut up a high-interest credit card and pay it off in six months, or only to eat out once a week.

These small successes will energize you to work harder and support each other. You can ease the burden if you both focus energy toward a tangible goal rather than casting blame or arguing about who is right or wrong.

Ditch your debt

Don't let your debt run your life. During tough financial times “cash only” is usually the best rule. Agree to work together on a budget and track your spending to see where the money is going. It is important to know how much you are putting on a credit or debit card each month, and how much you spend on entertainment and eating out.

Allot some fun money

It is important to set aside money to spend on things that you enjoy. Know that you cannot be the money police for your spouse. This will only make things worse.

Each person needs a small sum of cash that he can spend however he chooses. Agree up front how much that will be. You can make adjustments at the end of a month but only if you both agree. For example, most couples find that 90 percent to 95 percent of their earnings goes to pay bills, pay debt, meet savings targets, etc. The left over 5 percent to 10 percent can be split between you to spend as you please.

Save anyway

The best plan is to start saving a small sum at first, then raise the amount from time to time as you can.

Unexpected bills and crises are unavoidable. It's good to be prepared for them by keeping some money aside. This will give you peace of mind.

Don’t panic—start planning together

Sit down together, take a deep breath, grab a notepad, and start talking and writing. If you need help, call a money savvy friend or family member. You can also call the toll-free number on this site for help.

By Drew Edwards, M.S., Ed.D.

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2018 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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