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How to Resolve Marital Money Differences

By Markus Steffen, Sue Klavans Simring, Gene Busnar

Part of Making Marriage Work For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Money is a regular cause of marital problems. Recognize how your attitude about money affects your marriage and use these tips to help resolve your money-dealing differences:

  • Sit down with your partner and talk about the way each of your families of origin dealt with money.

  • Talk about the effects that past experiences may be having on your present attitudes about money. Ask yourself and your partner if those current attitudes and behaviors make sense.

  • Understand each other’s short- and long-term financial goals.

  • Understand that your different values and ideas about money require constant negotiation.

  • Respect each other’s values and preferences about spending and saving.

  • Brainstorm solutions that make you both feel comfortable.

  • Respect each other’s contribution to the marriage as equal — even if one partner earns most or all of the money.

  • Make sure you and your partner both have access to a significant portion of the money.

  • Agree on an amount that each spouse can spend without consulting the other.