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Top 6 Marriage-Killing Money Issues

Arguments about money hamper many marriages. In fact, couples fight about money twice as much as they fight about sex, according to a "Money Magazine" survey. And the challenges can actually start even before you say "I do."

Mine, Yours, Ours

Sometimes, when each spouse works and they can't agree on financial issues, they decide to split the bills down the middle or allocate them out in some other fair and equitable manner. Once the bills are covered, each spouse can spend what they have left as they see fit. It sounds like a reasonable plan, but the process often builds resentment over the individual purchases made. It also divides the spending power, eliminating much of the financial value of marriage.


From school loans to car loans, credit cards to gambling habits, most people come to the altar with financial baggage. If one partner has more debt than the other, or worse yet one partner is debt free, the sparks can start to fly when discussions about income, spending, and debt servicing come up.


Personality can play a big role in discussions about money. Even if both partners are debt free, the age-old conflict between spenders and savers can play out in multiple ways. It is important to know what your money personality is, as well as that of your partner, and to discuss these differences openly.

Power Play

Power plays often occur when: one partner works and the other doesn't; both partners would like to be working but one is unemployed; one spouse earns considerably more than the other; or one partner comes from a family that has money and the other doesn't. When these situations are present, the money earner (or the one who makes the most money) often wants to dictate the spending priorities. Although there may be some rationale behind this idea, it is still important both partners cooperate as a team.


To have or not to have? That's usually the first question. Nowadays, it costs on average nearly $300,000 to raise a child for 18 years, according to the latest estimates. This number may seem high but, it makes sense. Of course, once you have them, you have to care for them in many ways. Food, clothing, shelter, little league, ballet, designer jeans, prom gowns, pickup trucks and college are all part of a long list of child-related expenses. Not including the expenses related to children who have already left the nestr. That's assuming your kids will leave the nest. Some kids never leave the nest.

Extended Family

Her mom wants a vacation in Vegas. His parents need a new car. Her deadbeat brother can't make the rent. His sister's husband lost his job. Now one spouse is writing a check and the other wants to know why that money wasn't used to address needs at home or fund a vacation for "us." This works the other way too. His mom will pay to fly him home for the holidays. Her mom will fund a new car since the one she's driving is a Honda, not a Lexus. Her mom buys the grandkids extravagant gifts and his mom can't afford to match that kind of spending. The joys of family often extend right into your wallet.


Communication is the key to most marital financial challenges. Dealing with debt is often the first issue on the agenda. Knowing what you are about to get yourself into can help you decide how to deal with it. If you just can't come to an agreement, but your heart won't let you walk away, a prenuptial agreement may be an option.

Personality is another aspect of your relationship that will play a major role in your financial plans and your marital bliss or lack thereof. Pay attention while you are dating, and be honest about your personality. Talking about your views and feelings can help put both partners at ease, or at least let them know what to expect.

The power play issue can get ugly quickly. Few things build resentment faster than being made to feel inferior. If you've got the cash, you need to be sensitive about how you present spending decision. If you don't have the money, you need to be prepared for the stress and tension that are almost inevitable, even in good marriages. This subject comes up with increasing frequency when couples wait until later in life to marry.

One solution that has demonstrated success is for the higher-earning spouse to delegate all spending decision to the lower-earning spouse. It takes a certain personality to be able to make the decision to give up power, but if you can do it, it may be a sound path to peace.

Challenges aside, getting married can have serious financial advantages. It is a great way to double your income without doubling your expenses. If you can synchronize your goals, you reach them much more quickly that you could be working alone.

If children are in your future, start teaching them about money when they are young. Preparing them for a financially responsible future reduces the odds of them dipping into your wallet once they grow up and knocking your savings plan off track. Use allowance and goals to teach your children about earning, saving and spending money.

Extended family can be a big challenge. Even if you are on the winning side of the argument, the loser can extract a penalty that outweighs the win. Living with a resentful, angry, frustrated spouse can be a miserable experience. Having a policy agreed upon in advance can help stave off the trouble. Of course, the best policy is "Never a borrower or a lender be."

The Bottom Line

Like many marriage problems, lack of communication is often the underlying issue. If you've already said "I do," you may want to create a pain-free postnuptial agreement. This marital contract can underline your love for each other – not undermine it.


Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya  Feb 01, 2017 (source link:


Four money mistakes couples shouldn't make on Valentines Day

Love isn’t just about romance – real love is rooted in real life, too.

Valentine’s Day is a double-edged sword. The occasion has the power to make you happy (and relieved) that you're with someone special. It can also make you feel disappointed that you are alone. If you're in an unsatisfying relationship, that can also become painfully apparent during the season.

The season can also make you apprehensive about social media platforms. Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? No way are you touching them the next few days!

With the sudden peaks of valleys of emotions that are common during this holiday come the temptations to also behave erratically when it comes to your spending habits.

Remember: romance may be the spark that sets the relationship burning, but reality is the balance that makes sure nothing really burns to the ground.

Let’s talk about some common situations couples may find themselves in during this season:

1. “It’s fine to splurge as much as I want today. Valentine’s Day is only once a year!”

The Romance: A surprise trip to Paris, a lavish buffet dinner for two at a 5-star hotel or an amusement park rented for the day so that only the two of you can enjoy it together are some ostentatious examples of romantic celebrations. Right?

The Reality: Sure, what you did is going to be a big hit on Facebook and people are going to talk about you. On the other hand, it’s going to be a big hit on your bank savings account, too.

The Resolution: A relationship built on a shaky foundation of expensive dates and luxurious trips is only going to last for a while (unless you’re a billionaire, and even then there's no guarantee).

Before Valentine’s Day, talk with your partner and agree on a spending limit for your celebration. You might say, “But that’s not romantic!”

But you know what else is not romantic and even chaotic? You sweating, panicking and palpitating the day after Valentine’s Day because you just realized you’re broke after you’ve spent majority of your life savings on a grand gesture of romantic love.

Even mid-priced gifts in high volumes take their toll on your bank account.

2. “Love, I want (insert expensive item here) as a present. If you love me, you’ll buy it for me...”

The Romance: Getting 50 boxes of Belgian chocolates, being showered with 12 bouquets of roses, and receiving any other high-priced item as gifts are some people's idea of romance. The higher the price is, the more you’re loved, right?

The Reality: Valentine’s Day isn’t about who got the better gift or who spent the bigger amount.

It’s not a competition for love. It’s a celebration of love. And who says love is about comparison, anyway?

The Resolution: You know what’s romantic and practical? Spend time, not money.

Why don’t you and your partner try something that's new to you both? If you always go to the same restaurant, try a new one. If you go out all the time, cook and stay in. If you're always low-key, head out for a night on the town. Avoid the excesses that people often indulge in then feel guilty over later.

3. “Let’s enjoy this, okay? To be honest, I borrowed money from (friend/relative) because this day is special.”

The Romance: Aw, your partner borrowed money from a close friend just so the both of you can spend Valentine’s together? This is incredibly sweet. You’re so lucky to have a brave and thoughtful partner – right?

The Reality: There are several reasons why a person had to borrow money just to spend Valentine’s. Maybe this person:

  • Didn’t have enough income
  • Didn’t save in advance
  • Procrastinated
  • Didn’t have enough time to save since he thought he was going to spend Valentine’s alone
  • Might have genuinely wanted to make the day special, even though the person is low on funds

Whatever the reason is, borrowing money is never romantic. It’s messy, it’s complicated and it can even affect relationships.

The Resolution: You and your partner should equally contribute to the celebration, based on your income. If the total amount for your date is P5,000, for example, split it accordingly.

Don’t just let one person take on the whole bill! Now, if one party can't afford to shell out much cash, agree to the V-day plans beforehand so you both know what to expect.

Look around for ways to cut costs. Some websites offer great Valentine's promotions. Take a road trip instead of the vacation that requires air travel. Get creative. Don’t let money be an issue.

4. “Good thing I have my credit card! Sky's the limit.”

The Romance: You have your magical plastic card with you, so anything you want to buy, eat or use is just a swipe away. You’re living the dream.

The Reality: Let’s be clear: using your credit card for convenience is okay. This is provided that you can easily pay the full balance on time – you just don’t want to carry a lot of cash with you.

However, using your credit card compulsively at every opporunity is not okay. This means that you didn’t plan or prepare beforehand, and you are putting yourself in danger for debt that will hound you all year.

The Resolution:  Valentine’s Day happens every year. It’s not an unexpected occasion! You have plenty of time to plan the budget, and whether or not it's going to be a big deal for you. From March to January, set aside a monthly amount solely for your Valentine’s celebration – if that's really what you want.

This applies to you even if you’re single – who knows, you might fall in love along the way, right?

Couples, note your relationship stage. Sure, the longer you've been dating, usually, the grander the gift. But if there are money troubles, parties in a long-term relationship will understand that the way you celebrate the holiday doesn't make any sweeping statements about you or your compatibility.

Don’t let Valentine’s Day pressure you into making irrational decisions.

Sure, people say and do crazy things in love.

But if you say and do crazy things most of the time, things won't turn out so great for you financially, and that doesn't look good at all for any relationship. 



Kate Bayless  Dec 29, 2015 (source link:

Ho Ho... Oh No: When Couples Clash Over Holiday Spending

Try this over dinner with your significant other: Write down the number of holiday gifts you think you'll need to buy this season, or the amount you think you should spend. Then compare figures and see if you come up with very different answers.

Tiffany Mason experienced a money shock her very first December as a newlywed.

“My husband and I both grew up from different backgrounds, especially with holiday traditions," says the New York City resident. “I grew up having a big family get-together with tons of Filipino food and presents. My husband John grew up going to a local restaurant with only his immediate family, and there were no gifts. This caused some friction in our marriage. I wanted to spend money to buy gifts for our family. John didn't even want to send Christmas cards!"

Whether this holiday season is your first or your 15th together, what do you do when your partner wants to spend a lot more—or a lot less—on holiday gifts than you? Consider these strategies to prevent gift-giving stalemates:


Focus on the Three Cs

Kate Roberts, a licensed clinical psychologist in Hamilton, Mass., recommends couples focus on the “three Cs: communication, compromise and connection."

“Communication is key to success in relationships, and nowhere is it more necessary than when it comes to spending habits," says Roberts. Connecting with your significant other will ensure you're both willing to work together to find a solution, she says, with compromise helping couples meet in the middle.

Create a Budget for Gift Spending, and Do It Early

Don't wait until your online shopping cart is full to have a conversation about holiday spending. The sooner you talk, says Roberts, the better. Keeping financial plans in the forefront of your relationship helps you forego impulsive buying and helps you remain committed to a longer-term plan, she says.

Nick Foy, a certified financial planner professional and adviser with CAVU Wealth Advisors in Charlotte, N.C., agrees. “The better and more automated your plan going into the holidays, the more likely you are to avoid making emotional decisions around gifts," he says. In other words, if you prioritize and automate your savings plans, you'll have an easier time refraining from spending money on items left off the plan, Foy says.

"Communication, compromise and connection before spending will help couples to get through the holidays intact and without conflicts."

Find Common Ground

The easiest solution for those with spending differences is compromise. “Couples who are far apart in the amounts of money they want to spend can agree to a middle figure," says Roberts. But compromise can take many other forms as well. Maybe you decide to give one gift to a family in lieu of gifts to each family member. Maybe you stop giving presents to kids over a certain age. Be open to new ideas and creative solutions.

Get To the Root of the Issue

The holidays can be an emotion-filled time, and a spouse's desire to spend or save may have a source well beyond the checkbook. “People with deep-rooted insecurities may feel they need to prove themselves by overspending to impress," says Roberts, adding that, if this is the case, talking together as a couple or with a marriage therapist may help.

Focus On the Positive

When you're forced to spend less on holiday gifts, it's easy to feel you're giving something up. Instead, re-frame the situation to think about it as an opportunity to gain something—namely, your sanity. “Spending too much money can be a stressor unto itself," says Dr. Daniel Crosby, a psychologist who focuses on how people behave with respect to their finances. Making the decision as a couple to spend less signifies a dual choice to avoid future stress by staying focused on your financial goals, he says. Coming up with meaningful and inexpensive gift ideas together can be fun—and you'll feel a lot less worried when those January bills arrive.

Ultimately, Mason and her husband worked through their first-year holiday spending and decided to forego gifts. They instead spent money on the travel expenses that would allow them to celebrate in person with their families.

“Before Thanksgiving, we had a serious discussion about our family finances and how we wanted to move forward," she says. “Since we were young and just starting out in our careers, we didn't have a lot of money to spend for gifts so we compromised and traveled to his family's for Thanksgiving, and to mine for Christmas. I was glad we were able to spend quality time."



Honey I Shrunk the Budget: Letting Your Spouse Know You're in Debt

Ever hear of “financial infidelity”? That’s when you hide a debt issue from a spouse, and it’s a toxic poison that eats away at even the most stable marriage. The good news is that you can do something about it—as long as you’re committed to being open and honest about the problem.


Don’t doubt for a minute how high the stakes are with financial infidelity. Study after study shows that money—or lack of it—is a huge factor in the success of a marriage, especially a new one.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a marriage is at its most fragile during the first five years.

In fact, 20% of all divorces occur within those first five years. According to another study from Forbes Women and the National Endowment for Financial Education, 31% of spouses have lied to their partners about money.

“A third of the population admits to not being honest with their spouse,” says NEFE chief executive Ted Beck, in a statement. “That is a big number. These indiscretions cause significant damage to the relationship.”

The need to deceive a spouse about financial problems is a huge issue, and one that grows worse the longer the deception lasts. But spouses who hide debt apparently can’t bring themselves to open up and admit the problem, primarily because they know the rift it may cause in the relationship, and partly out of shame and/or guilt.

What’s the way out for debt-ridden spouses hiding the problem? It isn’t easy, but if you follow this blueprint, you’ll likely address the issue, keep your marriage or relationship intact, and maybe even sleep better at night.

Open Up and Admit the Problem

Yes, it sounds obvious—and likely painful. But honesty really is the best policy when dealing with a hidden debt problem. So by all means, open up. Do so in person, and avoid phone calls, texts or emails. Dialogue is going to be a huge issue, and conducting that dialogue face-to-face should increase the chance of a decent resolution. If your spouse is on your side, he or she will appreciate, sooner or later, the fact that you came clean in person.

Bring Your Debts With You

Another painful, but in the long run, helpful exercise is to bring your debts with you when you discuss the problem with your spouse. Print out your bills and debts, your bank account records and any appropriate receipts, organize them into a binder and show them to your spouse or partner. This tactic serves twin purposes—it helps you acknowledge exactly what you’re up against, and demonstrates to your partner that you’re serious about working the problem out.

Schedule a ‘Budget Meeting’

Don’t make the discussion a one-off. Ask your spouse for a weekly “budget meeting” where you can discuss bills and debts, and work out a long-range program to pay them off. That shows your commitment to solving the problem together.

Sign Up for Online Debt Access

To further the transparency issue, make sure you and your spouse both have the same access to bank accounts, credit card accounts, and other financial obligations. When a spouse shares your banks or credit card account, it’s much more difficult to hide purchases and withdrawals from one another. Also, take advantage of debt repayment tools like BankingMyWay’s Credit Card Payoff Calculator to better manage your repayment campaign.

Create a Debt Repayment Plan Together

There’s no getting around the fact that you have to pay the money back on your debts. In fact, not only is your credit rating on the line, but your marriage may very well be, too. So build a debt resolution plan together. Visit a financial advisor as a couple or contact a debt relief agency together. You can find one that’s legit at the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies website.

Don’t let financial infidelity ruin your relationships. Get in front of the problem, admit you have a problem and enlist your spouse’s help. Because if you think debt is a big headache, imagine how another “D” word—divorce—will add to your financial woes.




How Couples Can Talk About Money Without a Blowup

Disagreements are a part of every relationship — especially financial ones. In fact, discussions about money are among the most common communication struggles for couples, as they can easily unravel into money fights. Learning how to properly navigate these discussions is an important component of any healthy relationship.

Because money is such a divisive subject, you must remember first and foremost that you’re on the same team as your partner when approaching a money discussion. If you’re in a committed relationship, you shouldn’t think of money as “my money” and “your money,” but rather “our money.” View any disagreements with the partnership in mind.

Maintaining that team mentality when dealing with finances is crucial to successfully addressing challenges. Here are five more ways to help build teamwork and prevent a blowup when discussing finances with your partner.

1. Plan it

Set aside a day and time to discuss finances with your partner. Beforehand, you should both create and share a list of things you’d like to talk about. This will help both of you come to the meeting prepared and be productive. With an agenda decided in advance, no one will be caught off guard about a topic.

2. Recognize that you might not see eye to eye on money matters

We all view money differently based on how we were raised and saw our parents spend and save. Have an honest conversation with your partner about your experiences with saving, debt and credit cards. You will most likely need to find methods of handling money that meet somewhere in the middle and can be acceptable to both of you.

3. Be transparent and admit your faults

No one is perfect, so don’t pretend like you have it all together when it comes to money. It’s difficult to admit mistakes, but being in a relationship requires vulnerability. Talk about missteps you’ve made and what you’ll do differently going forward. If you’re honest with your partner, you’ll build trust and security in your relationship.

4. Think of  money discussions as a chance to grow

Money matters don’t have to cause arguments. Your mindset plays a big part in the results. Think of your money discussion as a chance to get on the same page with your partner and start working together to reach common financial goals. Start generally by talking about your spending and saving habits and whether they’re satisfactory. If not, create a plan to change that.

5. Plan something fun afterward

Talking about money can be difficult and stressful. Plan to do something fun together when you’re finished with the discussion. This will help allow you both to relax and enjoy each other after dealing with a hard subject. It will also remind you of why you’re together and why being partners with your money is good for both of you.

Healthy and Happy

In order to maintain healthy and happy relationships, we must learn how to have productive, respectful and healthy conversations about money. Honesty, transparency and vulnerability go a long way in determining the outcome of these financial discussions. If you have your partner’s and the relationship’s best interests at heart, you’ll have a solid base for talking about money without a blowup.