When You and Your Partner Don’t Agree About Money

by Kelly · 7 comments

in Uncategorized

This post originally appeared on March 11, 2008. I had just had a big fight with my husband about our finances, and I was a little irked.

My husband and I got into a fight over money yesterday. It wasn’t the first time. I highly doubt it will be the last.

One of the things my husband said is that as soon as we get a bit of money, I want to pay off debts. He feels that we’re going to spend the rest of our life paying off debts, and never get to enjoy our money. He would rather have put the €3600 into a bank account and slowly incorporate it into our budget than pay off the open line of credit.

I can’t help it. I’m trying to be objective as I write this, but instead, I feel myself getting angry all over again. I’m angry because I feel like he wants to squander our money rather than pay it off responsibly. I’m angry because I feel like he doesn’t trust the reasoning and knowledge behind the decision I would choose to make. I’m angry because I feel like he isn’t being logical when he would prefer to keep our debt at 20% interest instead of paying it off.

He was angry (and maybe still is) because he feels that we have nothing to show for our (his) hard work. He was angry because he feels like he works and works and works, but can never enjoy the fruits of his labors. He was angry because he feels like he’s going to spend years paying off debt and then he’ll be dead.

Like many couples, we have different styles of dealing with our financial situation. We have the same end goal in sight, being financial comfortable, but different ways of reaching said goal. I think my husband wants to slowly have life improve: a house that’s a little bit bigger, being able to buy CDs from time to time without needing to think about the budget, the luxury of going out to eat at a nicer restaurant than McDonalds. My dream of being financially comfortable involves the €900+ of extra income every month once we no longer have debts to pay.

We certainly haven’t resolved anything. The argument kind of petered out as we blew off steam. We both understand the other’s position intellectually if not emotionally. That doesn’t make it any easier to resolve or even find temporary patches, so for the moment, things are staying status quo.



1 Al December 27, 2008

I've always wanted to read posts on this subject. No two people are the same but when the breadwinner is also a saver and your spouse is a spender, there are conflicts galore.

2 Jason December 27, 2008

Hmmm, that sounds somewhat familiar 🙂

I have no idea how you guys eventually resolved it, but what I plan to do as we pay off debts is to not do a full snowball. Instead of taking all the money that was paying off debt 1 to continue paying off debt 2, most of it will get applied to the second debt but some of it will be freed up for "fun". Hopefully that will give us the feeling that we're moving into a better position financially (and able to enjoy our money), while still using the snowball idea.

Of course, this is all theory at the moment – we'll have to see how it plays out 🙂

3 jodi @ bpr December 27, 2008

it's so tough when you aren't on the same page – obviously since this is a repost, you guys have worked beyond this particular event, but I thought I'd still share one thing that has really helped us pay off debt and get into a good financial position, and that is the Dave Ramsey radio show – when we were first getting started with our pay off debt plan, we were both in the car a lot and listened religiously.

Hearing what other folks have been able to do, some making even less than we did, is of great encouragement and really got us fired up to live on a "rice & beans" plan – and it was so worth it…just a few years later, we're out of debt except for our house, have an aggressive plan to pay it off, and have a real emergency fund. we still budget (eating out is something we always struggle with doing too much of), but we also have plenty of room for *fun*.

You can stream an hour of the show online every day…maybe hearing other folks' successes would help him be more motivated to do whatever it takes to get out of the hole as quickly as possible! I know it worked for us! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

<abbr>jodi @ bpr´s last blog post..Walker's Blessing – Thank You God</abbr>

4 Frugaller December 27, 2008

I hear you

I have just been told I am going to inherit a wad of money due to the passing of my Grandmother earlier this year – my instinct is to pay down the debts, my partners – is to keep a just in case fund.

We can't seem to reconcile the debate…good luck with yours

Fru x

5 Fabulously Broke December 27, 2008

Can’t you do a half half thing? Like, $100 as mad cash and the rest into debt instead of 100% into debt?

Or something like 25% of all ‘extra’ cash goes to “fun”

At least he understands your position. But I know how he can feel. I was in your position before, always harping on saving… But hey, I got out of debt that way and now I don’t worry about buying a $7 coffee.

Fabulously Broke in the City
Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver…

Fabulously Broke´s last blog post..No words needed.

6 Amiyrah December 29, 2008

we have this “discussion” at least once a month; hubby is getting better at realizing that we are doing a good thing, but I do have to “give in” to him buying the occasional splurge. After constant arguing, I have learned that it’s important for him to just squander money from time to time to treat himself or his family. Otherwise, he feels like a hamster running on a wheel. Lots of work, but no change in scenery. It may take us a little longer to be financially free, but once we get there, we’ll still be in love with each other and married :o)

Amiyrah´s last blog post..Meal Plan Monday!

7 JEANNE December 30, 2008

You and your husband are exactly like me and mine – while I was reading what you wrote about why the two of you are angry, it was as if I’d written the post about he and I.

It’s such a difficult conflict to resolve, because we each have different “money lifestyle approaches” than our husbands, and they are entrenched in their ways. Not that they’re wrong, but just different.

My husband’s outlook is “you can’t take it with you” and “we could die tomorrow” and he could well be right, but I can’t help but fear that I’ll end up financially destitute when I’m too old to work!! Yikes.

Anyway, I wrote a similar post in one of my blogs, just considering some things that the frugal spouse can do to offset the ways of the spend-happy one:


Anyway, good luck with it all… I’m in the same boat!!

JEANNE´s last blog post..Pay Attention To Per Unit Pricing

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