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Issue 001 2009
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Money, Money, Money .... Why Do Most Couples Argue Over Money


A Lot of couples say what they argue about most is 'money'. This is not really that surprising and this is because money is central to most of the decisions you have to make as a couple.

Planning your life together means thinking about money matters - how much you will have to live on, where you will live, how much you can save and whether you need to borrow money. It is never as simple as pooling everything you earn and dividing up the bills. Sorting out ‘my’ money from ‘our’ money is a really common issue for couples and once you have children decisions about money often become even more charged.

But often it is our feelings about control, independence and commitment that are really behind those arguments about money.

When finances become a concern, as a culture, we do some crazy things. Unfortunately, we go through some very animated expressions of frustration. In some of the most ugliest ways imaginable, we often project our frustrations onto our partner. When the dust settles, however, we are left with the negative results of our negative behavior.

Many Times, couples find they have different attitudes towards money. Each partner’s attitude towards money will be different as it will have been shaped by the values they were brought up with, various life experiences and how much money they earn.

One of the hardest parts of living together as a couple is how you manage your money together whilst holding on to some independence and freedom. For example one of you may have a ‘live for today’ attitude, and want to spend every spare penny on the things that make you happy. Whereas your partner may see saving as being very important.

Often the way a partner spends money can make us feel frustrated or unloved and inevitably arguments will happen if:

  • One of you feels you always pay for everything or that you contribute far more than your partner to the financial running of the home
  • One of you earns much more than the other
  • One of you spends large amounts on a hobby or an activity that the other doesn’t understand
  • One of you expects the other to account for every penny they've spent
  • One of you is secretive or dishonest about what you spend money on


If you are constantly arguing about money it may be helpful to complete a budget planner this will help you agree on some basic budget priorities, such as how much money you'll spend on household essentials and bills, how much on extras and how much you think you should both save.

However, if you find that no matter how hard you try to sort out your money differences you still end up arguing, maybe money isn't the real issue at all.


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