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"Just married, so why are we fighting about money?"

by Dr. J.P. Chisholm

Couples fighting about money is not uncommon.  In fact, fights about money are among the top fights that couples tend to have.  But money in isolation may not be what is in fact causing these financial arguments.  Instead, the problem may stem from 1) the way that you spouse “sees” money and 2) his/her personal money policy that they may have been taught or inherited from their parents.  In spite of where the problem came from, we have three solutions to help you and your spouse amicably discuss the finances.  

1.  Agree to discuss your finances.

Pick an afternoon when all parties are free. Turn off your phones and other interruptions and select a quiet and confidential environment (e.g., your home living room) since you will be discussing very private matters.

2.  Set Ground Rules.

These are the rules that you will use to discuss your finances.  It’s important that you both agree not to throw one another’s short falls or mistakes at each other.  However, you may address a particular situation in a neutral manner as long as you are not making it about the other person or using it for personal attack.  Also, you must agree to not use curse words, name calling, or other derogatory language towards one another through the course of your discussion.  Lastly, you must all agree that if one party does not agree with the other party, they are still okay.


3.  Find Out the Concerns of Both Parties.        

Give a sheet of paper to each person present.  Have each side draft all their concerns on one side of the paper. 

4.  Find Out the Goals of Both Parties.

Then, without seeing the other person’s concerns, on the back of the same paper, individually list your goals for the family, marriage, home, or business that you would like to see accomplished in the order of priority within the following time frames:

Short-Term Goals:

Short-Term goals are goals that you would like to accomplish within a year up to five years.  For example, fixing the plumbing; planning a summer vacation; paying for your semester of college; saving 40% of your income; buying a summer home or timeshare; and others. 

Long Term Goals:

Long-Term goals are goals that you would like to see accomplished over the next five to ten plus years.  For example, retiring at the age of 35; eliminating your credit card debts and student loans; paying off your home mortgage; and others.

I pray that this information helps to permanantly end any clashing in your home, family, marriage, or business and help you to amicably discuss finances with your partner.  For additionally financial information that will be helpful to your financial growth and development, purchase my book, Investitude (  

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