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Top Marriage-Killing Money Issues

Author: NeuroGym Team | 2021

What issues have become marriage killers in your relationship?

Most likely, money is hovering along the top of this list.

Many couples don’t see eye to eye on how money is used even if everything seems alright. This is dangerous and can cause problems, so it's best to deal with it immediately.

Different Personalities Cause Money Issues

Your personality is unique just like you are, and it affects how you work with your money. Once you get into a relationship, your money personality may clash with that of your partner.

Types of Money Personalities

Seven financial personalities exist, and you will fall into one of these categories.

Compulsive savers save money continuously and fear unnecessary expenditure.

Compulsive spenders who spend unscrupulously frequently have buyer’s remorse.

Saver-splurger falls somewhere in the middle of the previous categories as they save well but then give in to impulsive purchases.

Compulsive moneymakers constantly want to grow their wealth and get acknowledgment for their financial prowess.

Indifferent-to-money individuals are well-off and don’t consider finances as something to worry about.

Gamblers have traits of moneymakers and spenders because they take risks and become emotional with wins and losses.

Worriers always fret about their finances and don’t have confidence in their ability to work with money.

Which category do you fall into?

Get to Know Your Money Personalities

Take some time to explore the money personalities in greater detail and learn the strengths and weaknesses of each type. Both you and your partner should do this.

It might be useful for each of you to identify both your own and your partner’s money personalities, then come together and discuss the personalities you chose. Differences and similarities can show why you are having financial disagreements.

When you do decide to talk about your money personalities, do it in a calm manner. Take six deep breaths before having this discussion and keep an open mind.

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Splitting Bills in Half

How do you split the bills in your relationship? How do you view money in general?

Money problems in many relationships occur because couples can’t agree on what portion of the money goes to a relationship and what is kept for their own use. It’s the typical idea of yours, mine, and ours, and it affects how bills are paid.

Yours, Mine, and Ours

Splitting bills, and savings for that matter, can cause issues. Some partners feel they should contribute equally to the finances and split the bills right down the middle. Each person can then keep whatever is left of their salary to themselves.

This is a huge problem.

A 50-50 split builds resentment among partners especially if one partner earns more than the other. The financially weaker partner cannot afford things they want while the other person can splurge.

This situation prevents long-term saving and working toward big financial goals. Even worse, one partner may lie about their income—resulting in financial infidelity.

Figure Out the Budget

The only way to sort out this situation is to talk about money. Sit down with your partner, determine your joint income, and make a list of monthly expenses. Think about how you can split the financial burden in a reasonable way such as making expenses more equal to individual income.

Plan for your future together and outline financial goals relating to savings and debts. Determine how you can meet these goals with the money available each month. Put all of your ideas together in a family budget, review it monthly, and make changes as necessary.

Couples and Money Create Power Plays

The issues stemming from yours, mine, and ours cause power plays in relationships. This occurs when one person has the financial upper hand when compared to the other person for some reason or another.

Power Play Scenarios

There are four specific sets of circumstances that create power plays:

  • One partner is in a paying job while the other partner doesn’t have a job.
  • Both partners are working, but one has a substantially higher income.
  • Both partners want to work, but one partner is still unemployed.
  • One partner comes from a wealthy upbringing while the other partner’s family didn’t have money.

These scenarios indicate that one partner may have power over the other because they have or earn more money. Keep in mind that it only becomes a power play if they hold this information over the other person and make most of the financial decisions.

Some of these ideas are rooted in money myths such as money being the root of all evil, that specific jobs don’t earn as much as others, or that money is hard to come by.

Consider Many Future Scenarios

Power plays shouldn’t be occurring in your relationship. When you commit to a partner, you commit to them no matter what happens in your finances, so it should be something you discuss from the beginning.

Chat about how money will be split and what will happen if there is a change in the situation. Think about how you will handle the finances if one of you had to lose their job or can no longer work for some reason.

Money Problems From Debts

Debt is probably one of the most pressing financial worries in any relationship. Whether it be student loans, a mortgage, credit card debt, or something else, debt is a concern—especially if a partner comes into a marriage with extensive accounts.

The whole idea of debt is enough to frighten some partners away entirely. If you or your partner prefers being debt-free, then the other person’s accounts can become a major problem. Ideally, you should be discussing debts and your beliefs about it before committing your entire futures to each other.

Ready to take control of your money story? Join us for a free virtual training this weekend to learn how to achieve up to five times more success in half the time. Get your Spot NOW!

Who Is Responsible?

The laws in each state determine exactly who is responsible for debt, so this can provide some solace. Any debt a person has before getting married remains their responsibility (legally), although you may decide to pool your finances and pay it off faster.

Any debts incurred after marriage becomes the responsibility of both partners in most states. Even if you were to separate, both partners are still jointly liable for debts relating to housing, children, and food.

Sort Out Your Debts

You have to talk to your partner about any debts brought into the relationship and the role debt may play in future purchases. Decide whether each person will pay their own debt or whether you will create a joint plan to repay individual debts. Either way, consider the effect debt has on the budget and each partner’s ability to contribute to other expenses.

Don't judge each other during this conversation. Not all people are as financially savvy as others, so help each other to make more responsible choices.

Children Cost Money

How much do you think it costs to raise a child?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can expect to shell out $233,610 on raising a single child to the age of 18. But wait a minute: They still have to go to college, so you can add on another $20,000 at least (2017).

This statistic also assumes your children will actually leave the house when they are 18 and don’t place any further financial burden on you. This situation is highly unlikely. Add on the effects of inflation, and you can bump up that amount even more.

Discuss Having Kids

Having children is a huge responsibility, so this should be one of the things you talk about before you even get married. Besides the financial impact, some people simply don’t plan on having kids, and you have to respect their decision.

The various costs of raising children will impact your budget. If you don’t speak about it ahead of time, then it can be a rude awakening. The finances are shot, and your relationship might be on the rocks.

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Think About Covering Costs

Consider your budget and the financial impact of having children before you have any. Determine how you will save for their futures besides paying the daily costs of living.

Something else to discuss is how you will take care of the kids. One partner may have to give up their job to look after the children which means the family income is being cut. You have to plan on how to cover these costs and the best ways to stretch your budget further.

Extended Family Can Be Marriage Killers

When you are in a relationship, your finances might be affected by more than just your partner and children. Your partner has a family just like you do, and unfortunately, that brings about a whole lot of money issues.

Constant Competitions and Comparisons

Extended families cause competition and comparisons in your relationship which ultimately affects the financial standing of your marriage. This usually happens in two scenarios.

First, the financial wealth dynamic may lean more toward one party than the other. You might have to send some money for groceries to your mom, or your partner might give their sibling money to come for a visit.

One partner is taking money away from financial goals set up together.

Second, the partner's extended family may be better off than the other person’s family. This is seen frequently during birthdays and holidays when one grandparent showers the family with lavish gifts while the other family can only afford something small and inexpensive.

This imbalance creates money problems because it affects your relationship, and you might feel you need to spend more.

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Deal With Extended Family

Talk to your partner about how to deal with extended family who require financial assistance. You might agree that neither of you simply gives money; instead, you discuss it with each other first.

Create a holiday and birthday budget to avoid overspending. You could even talk to extended family members about gift expectations and make it clear that extravagant gifts are not a necessity. Enjoy the holidays: Don’t let them rule you.

Make Finances Work in Your Marriage

Couples and money will always go together because most things in life require financial backing. It may cause problems, but you can stop the power money has in your relationship by talking about it with your partner.

Set up a meeting with your partner, discuss all the money issues holding your relationship back, and prepare for a loving future free from financial worries.

Ready to take control of your money story? Join us for a free virtual training this weekend to learn how to achieve up to five times more success in half the time. Get your Spot NOW!

About The Author

NeuroGym Team

NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.

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