How do I talk to my husband about finances without fighting?

How do you talk to your husband about finances without fighting?

Couples should have a sit down talk to discuss financial goals. Write down your vision for your future and discuss how you plan to get there financially. Look at the numbers, can you create a financial plan to reach your goals?

Marriage is about working together towards a common goal. Talking about your goals and responding to your partner’s feelings is what makes finances work.

Luckily for you, I’m going to show you how to talk to your husband about finances without fighting. Together, you can work towards building a financially bliss future.

How do I talk to my husband about finances without fighting_

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How do I talk to my husband about finances without fighting?

Most money problems come from a lack of financial goals or difference in opinion on spending. It’s no secret, money is easy to spend. Therefore, creating a plan for your money is important if you want to keep any of it.

Imagine your household brings in $4,000 per month. Maybe you’re expenses currently look something like:

  • Rent – $1,000
  • Groceries – $600
  • Utilities – $500
  • Car – $450
  • Personal expenses – $500
  • Debts – $600

Which only leaves $350 left over for “fun” things or savings. Most of your money is spent before you even make it. Having a spouse who is a free spender can make things even worse.

Therefore, it’s really important to get everyone on the same page financially. No, talking about money won’t be easy. However, talking about money is the best thing you can do for your relationship.

So, how do you start the conversation?

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1. Start by discussing your life goals

Doing anything in life takes money. As we learned from the example above, money can be a scarce resource! Therefore, you need to know where you want life to take you so you can plan for it.

So, what are the financial questions you should ask your partner?

  1. What age do we want to retire?
  2. How much money do we want to retire with?
  3. Do we want kids?
  4. Do we want to pay for college?
  5. Will you want to buy a house, car, or other big expense?
  6. What does retirement look like to you?
  7. Do you want to give money away to charity or church?

You would be surprised at how often spouse’s goals differ. It’s very common to have a different idea on how life will play out, so start talking now.

I’ve heard numerous stories of couples who finally reached retirement age. The wife is usually ready to travel while the husband is ready for some extreme TV watching. These couples failed to discuss life along the way.

Speaking of failing, did you know divorce is common at retirement age? Often, divorce at retirement is because of a difference in expectations. Divorce is also common because you spent your entire life living separate life’s and are now living together.

Communicate early and communicate often.

2. Budget and plan

Creating a budget is so important to meeting your goals. Most couples struggle with finances because they lack structure. Your budget provides a structure for your money, so you know how much money is spent and where.

A budget keeps me accountable for my spending. After entering my purchases, I can see when I overspend on groceries. Consistent budgeting allows me to stay on track with my finances.

Start by writing down your income and a list of expenses you pay for regularly. Follow the recommended budget percentages to see how much money you should spend on each category.

Dave Ramsey Recommended Budget Percentages

A budget is very personal. Therefore, what works for one couple may not work for another. Only you know what your financial goals are as a couple.

Keep the budget percentages in mind, but realize they are only guidelines. Some couples may want to chase early retirement by saving 40-60% of their income. Others may want to enjoy life along the way and are ok working until 67.

3. Don’t expect instant success

In the end, you are both your own person. It’s hard for a free spender to give up the freedom of spending. Also, it’s hard for a penny pincher to spend more freely.

Goals can also be conflicting. One spouse may want to retire early which requires a lot of savings. The other spouse may want to spend money on home improvements. One person wants freedom now while the other wants to enjoy the journey.

Working together on finances is a process. Usually, it will take more than one sit down discussion to talk to your husband about finances. Some issues can take years to resolve.

What it takes is peaceful discussions. Nothing will be accomplished by accusing one another of anything. The more you can work together as a team the easier it will be.

4. Focus on growing income

Look, budgeting is great and is really important. However, working together on finances is much easier when you have a high income. A high income allows you both room to breath and spend money how you desire.

Most of your money is spoken for in expenses when you have a low income. Therefore, there’s not a lot of extra cash to “live life” or put into savings.

However, having a high income allows for better financial freedom. The spender can have a small allowance to spend while the saver can save. There’s more money going around which can lead to a happy relationship.

Studies have shown that a salary of $75,000 provides optimal happiness. Earning an income greater than $75k doesn’t necessarily mean more happiness. However, growing your income from $50k to $60k results in a large increase in happiness.

Therefore, if you can work together to grow your income then your relationship will benefit. What can you do to increase your income?

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How do most married couples handle finances?

Married couples handle finances in many different ways. The goal is for couples to manage their money in a way that works for them. Managing money for one couple will not look the same for the next.

Most importantly, keep budgeting as part of your money management.

So what are the typical ways couples split expenses?

  • Splitting expenses 50/50 – Perfect for the couples that agree to share money. All money is combined into a joint bank account. You’re saying, “Everything I earn is ours.”
  • Income percentages – Great for couples who earn significantly different incomes. Each person pays expenses based on the percent of income they bring into the household. For example, spouse A brings in $4k and spouse B brings in $1k. Spouse A would pay 80% of the bills and B would pay 20%.
  • High income earner pays – Very rarely should the high income earner pay for everything. Some high income earners don’t mind supporting their spouse and will just pay.
  • Separating expenses and responsibilities – As you see fit, you can just assign expenses to each person. One person might pay the mortgage, while the other pays utilities.

Again, the most important thing is finding a system that works for you as a couple. Remember, you are one team trying to figure it all out!

Is it okay to ask your husband for money?

Your husband is required to give you money for basic needs and comfort. Housewives should be able to receive money for food, clothing, and other expenses. Therefore, it is okay to ask your husband for money.

However, keep in mind that money in marriage should be a partnership. You should talk about money with your husband, create financial goals and a budget. Getting on the same page financially will help set clear expectations.

My wife and I have a rule about money. While we have our budget in place, neither of us can spend more than $50 without talking about it.

I also recommend that each partner have a spending allowance as part of your budget. Spending allowances allow you to have the freedom of spending without your partners consent. Personally, I spend my allowance on food and my wife spends hers on craft supplies!

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Is it ok to hide money from your spouse?

Generally, it is not ok to hide money from your spouse. Hiding money is a deceiving act which can cause mistrust in your relationship. You should always aim for open and honest communication when it comes to relationships and money.

What should you do if your husband won’t talk about money?

There are several reasons why your husband won’t talk to you about money. Avoid blaming your husband for any money problems and focus on how you can fix it, together. Do your best to make money changes easy for your husband.

Most men can’t be bothered to change their habits. Unfortunately, it’s up to you to salvage the situation. Changing your husbands mind on money can be difficult. Especially, if you’re the only one that cares.

  • If your husband doesn’t want to budget or plan then create a simple money outline. Do the work of creating a budget for your husband. Try to pitch the idea in five minutes or less.
  • Should your husband feel blamed for money problems then try working together. Don’t focus on who put you into debt. Instead, try to build a team for improvement.
  • If your husband doesn’t like being told what to do then start from scratch. Yes, it’s a huge waste of time and you’ll probably end up with your original outline. However, men don’t like to be controlled and may need to be apart of the process.
  • If your husband doesn’t care because everything is fine then wake him up. Ask questions about how he plans to afford a home, retire, or any other goal in life.

Sometimes, men just need a kick in the pants (not literally) to get on board. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to talk to your husband about finances. However, it’s really important for both of you to do so.

I thought things were great until my wife asked me to go to a financial course. The course was held at our church and it sparked my interests in finances. Now I own this financial blog!

You may have to take extreme action if your husband still refuses to talk to you about money. Failing to talk about money now means not having it later. Don’t sacrifice your home, retirement, children’s education, and more because your spouse is too lazy.

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Summary: How do I talk to my husband about finances without fighting?

As you can see, couples need to have a sit down talk about finances. Put everyone’s egos away and talk about your money goals. Talk from a point of wanting to help your families situation and avoid blame. Create a financial plan to help you and your spouse reach your money goals.

Not having a financial plan is dangerous. Spending money is easy. So not having a plan is a good way to ensure money won’t be around.

Everyone has money goals. What do you and your husband want to do in life? Write down your goals and realize that having money will get you there.

Next, devise a budget that will help you reach your goals. A budget will help you track your spending and avoid wasting money. Budgeting is rarely done right the first time and will always be something you have to do.

Remember, don’t expect instant success. Finances between two people are hard. Competing goals can cause fights, but communication and working together is key.

Focus on growing your income! A high income makes everything easier. Budgeting is great. However, nothing makes finances easier than earning more money.

You and your spouse should find a way to manage your money that works for you. How you split expenses needs to be agreed upon.

Housewives should be able to receive money from their husbands. You shouldn’t need to ask for money if you already have a budget in place. A budget should allow for an allowance.

Don’t try hiding money from your spouse. Doing so doesn’t build trust.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.