How To Avoid Financial Conflict

Everyday Money Questions is an ongoing series that seeks to answer your financial questions. Submit your questions to hannah@hannahjoymoore.com.

Question:

My husband and I avoid budgeting because every time we sit down to do one, we end up fighting. What can we do to help this?

This is such a great question and one that I think every couple experiences!

Communication differences is the biggest factor I see affecting couples dealing with financial issues. How you talk about money is important, and each person communicates differently.

Here’s an example

Personally, I struggle to make fast decisions and need time to process information, even when the decision may seem obvious. My husband, on the other hand, has no problem making a decision quickly.

We found that when we sat down to do a budget, or make any financial decision, our conversations went south fast. Looking back, how we each wanted to talk about money and make decisions was different; we just didn’t recognize it.

I wanted my husband to sit and linger over the decisions with me, which was enough to drive him mad! Likewise, he wanted me to make a decision and move on, but I couldn’t feel good about a decision that I didn’t have time to really internally process.

Break through

Once we realized this difference in how we make decisions, we came up with a plan. I am the one who puts together all our budget numbers. I use pen and paper to write out exactly where our money went the previous month. There are tools online that would allow me to skip this step, but I need to slow the process down so I can really think through and understand the numbers on the page.

By the time my husband and I sit down to look at our budget and discuss our finances, I’m ready to make a decision, allowing us to move forward together. The key was identifying our different communication styles and creating a system that worked for both of us.

If you are not communicating well with your spouse, download our free “Critical Communication Factors” guide to begin improving your communication and marriage today!