If you find yourself arguing with your partner about money-related matters—bills, who pays for what, secret spending habits—you’re not alone.
In fact, according to a survey of more than 1,500 Australians by Finder, one in two couples admit to arguing about money, some more than others.1
If it’s a pressure point in your household, we check out the stats, why money is a common issue and how to ensure you and your other half are on the same page.
What the stats show us
Findings released in July reveal2:
- 7% of couples have weekly quarrels about money
- 16% have a row with their partner every two to four weeks
- 18% argue about money every three to six months
- 11% argue about money once a year
- The rest claim to never argue about money.
Why money is a common source of conflict
Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at Finder, said recently that money conversations can be emotionally-charged as people’s ability to manage personal finances can greatly affect their livelihoods.3
“From falling behind on bills to blowing out a budget to making impulse purchases, there are many things that can lead to heated conversations,” she said.4
Hassan also pointed to the potential for tension to arise when couples have different attitudes towards money, which could be shaped by their upbringing and life experiences.5
“Different attitudes and behaviours can lead to blame and resentment if couples aren’t on the same page,” she said, adding if you regularly talk to one another about your plans and expectations, you’ll be more likely to resolve things logically and rationally.6
How to make sure you’re on the same page
There are a few things you should discuss with your partner up front and regularly to ensure both party’s current and future goals are being considered. This might include things like:
- Your views on money management
- Secret spending habits if you have any
- Your financial situation—income, expenses, assets and debts
- Your credit history, as this could impact your borrowing potential
- Your individual and shared financial goals—travel, marriage, children, property
- What a workable budget and savings plan might look like
- How you’ll contribute/divide repayments and bills – 50/50 or proportionate to income
- Your contingency plan if one of you is unable to work at some point in the future.
Where to go for assistance
Whether it’s the war on waste, human rights abuses, animal rights or climate change that is your issue of choice (or perhaps you’re concerned about all of them), more of us are taking an interest in making decisions with our money that reflect our values.