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 effecting 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 “Communication Preference Guide” to begin improving your communication and marriage today!