How to Deal with Money Issues in a Relationship
Written by Michael Juilfs

How to Deal with Money Issues in a Relationship

Disagreements over money are considered a common cause of divorce. Many couples fight over how much money the other is spending, how much income is coming into the household, and more. Learn how to stop fighting over money and plan to manage your financial differences in a healthy way.

If you find that you do find you cannot resolve your financial differences and are considering divorce, contact one of the professionals at Best Legal Choices to learn if collaborative divorce is right for your situation.

5 Ways Money Issues Can Ruin A Relationship

  1. Spouses have different values regarding money
  2. Spouses are not willing to compromise
  3. One spouse doesn’t support the other partner’s values
  4. The spouses’ habits conflict with each other’s values
  5. Spouses failing to create a budget that works for both of them

Read below to learn how to stop fighting over money and resolve money arguments in 5 steps:

Step 1. Determine your Financial Values

If the two of you are fighting about money, there’s a pretty good chance your values are different from your partner’s. Both of you need to figure out what role money plays in your life. Are you a spender or a saver? Does money represent stability and security or a way to pay for fun and excitement? What are your priorities in terms of providing for your family?

Try this exercise: each spouse can make a list of 3 financial values, then exchange and discuss your lists. Take time to listen and understand your partner’s values, even if you disagree with them. This will help you get a better understanding of each partner’s spending habits.

Step 2. Compromise on Values

After considering your partner’s list of financial values, you may realize that your own financial values don’t exactly line up. Don’t be worried about the differences; first, take some time to identify common ground. Just because one partner values leisure and entertainment, while the other values stability, that doesn’t mean you can’t compromise so each of you feels like your needs are being metSometimes conflicting values can be complementary if looked at from a different perspective. If your values do line up with your partner’s values, great – move on to step 3.

Step 3. Identify Behaviors that Support Values

Once you and your partner have a good understanding of each other’s values, make a list of supporting behaviors. If stability is your main value, focusing on saving money would be a great place to start. Putting money away for retirement and opening a “rainy day” savings account could both be supporting behaviors. Help you partner come up with ideas if they need them.

Step 4. Identify Habits That Don’t Line up with Values

Do your financial habits align with your values? Be honest but kind when talking with your partner about how their habits do or don’t support your values and vice versa. Most of us don’t realize how our spending habits and lifestyles don’t exactly match our financial values. Which of your habits conflict with your partners values and which of their habits conflict with your values? Are these habits the same things you’ve fought about in the past?

Step 5. Come Up with a Game Plan

Now that you have determined your financial values, supporting behaviors, and identified habits, it’s time to come up with a game plan to help you both achieve your financial objectives. The goal is to redesign your lifestyle to align with your mutual financial values. Creating a budget is a great way to get started. This will give you a good idea of the amount of money you have to spend so you and your partner can make a plan on how to use it. Determine how much should go into savings, what is necessary to cover routine and emergency household expenses and how much goes towards entertainment and other discretionary spending (joint and individual), etc.

Don’t let money ruin your relationship. Choose to work with your partner through the problems and manage your financial differences in a healthy way..


  1. Clark, Sarah E. “Fighting Over Finances? Don’t Let Money Issues Ruin Your Relationship.” Therapy Blog, 6 Feb. 2018,
  2. “5 Ways Money Issues Can Ruin Relationships.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers,

See Also:

Collaborative Divorce Is a Peaceful Divorce Option

Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. The legalfinancial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.

The collaborative divorce process is designed to help people who are willing to work together to make an agreement that benefits the family. Resources that help parents communicate effectively during this process can help them model appropriate behavior for their kids. With love and support, children can more effectively deal with their parents’ divorce. Contact a professional at Best Legal Choices if you’re ready to take the first step toward starting your new life.