Money Issues That Couples Should Talk About

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Personal Finance on February 14, 2011

Looking for the love of your life can be hard.

But once you find it, you’ll discover that even harder, is keeping the flame always burning.

Back in 2006, a study was conducted by Money Magazine and they discovered that couples fight twice more about money than sex inside the relationship – with 13% of the respondents saying that they fight about money several times in a month.

So I took the time to ask some of the couples I know who have been married for years and asked them the most important money issues that couples should talk about if they want their “happily ever after” to last forever.

I hope you will learn a lot from these as much as I have. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Have the “money talk” if things are getting really serious.
One of the ingredients of a strong relationship is communication. And this includes being able to comfortably talk about your financial status to your loved one. Be open about your income and most specially, the debts you owe.

Learn each other’s spending habits.
In most relationships, one is usually the spender and the other one, the saver. If both are savers, then that’s probably good. However, if one (or both) are spenders, then there should be an understanding and an agreement on how each other’s spending habits should be maintained (or changed) in the relationship.


Avoid the financial power play.
Marriage is all about working together as a team. Specially if you’re the income earner, don’t let your partner feel inferior by dictating all the financial decisions. Create your monthly budget and work out your spending priorities together as a couple.

Get to know the family.
Parents deep in credit card debt, siblings who often borrow money, a cousin with a child she can’t afford to send to school – these could be your in-laws. Ask your partner who they are, and introduce yours to him or her. And together, learn how your relationship will handle these financial matters when they come knocking on your door.

In the end, one thing I’ve noticed is that most financial issues that couples encounter are easily handled if both are honest and open about it. And aside from communication, mutual respect and the willingness to work things out together is very important in making sure that money issues will not strain the relationship.

What do you think? Is there anything I missed? Or perhaps you have a personal story regarding this topic that you’d like to share?

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below and let’s talk about love, money and relationships today.

On a related note, you might also want to read this past article of mine: Money Problems versus Love Problems

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Photo credit: Oengna


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5 Responses to “Money Issues That Couples Should Talk About”

  1. Gretchen Wilwayco says:

    Great post, especially the part about getting to know each other’s family’s financial issues. This can be a huge problem, especially in the Philippines where there is a very strong (almost inescapable) obligation to help family members out in times of need.

  2. Karen says:

    Openness and effective communication are indeed the keys to keep a relationship despite financial issues. In our family budget, after allocating money for our tithes, savings, monthly expenses and scheduled expenses (in that order), my husband and I each get an allowance for that payroll period which we can dispense and save whatever way we like. So, if ever a relative or friend needs some money, we get from our personal allowance. But if there are serious needs, we talk about it and go through our family budget together to see what adjustments we can make. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Red says:

    I agree Sir Fitz. I learned a lot from this post. Me and my wife also tried to log our own expenses for us to learn each other spending habits. My advise is to do this in 3 consecutive months. The more data you have, the best decision and ideas that you will possible created ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Rox says:

    I am still in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. My boyfriend and I are so open with financial matters now that we are both 22. He admits that he is a spender and he knows that I am the saver in our relationship. He has a financial problem (you know with family and stuffs) and I teach him to save especially during salary time for at least 10%. We are both not rich but the kind of work we have are much different with each other especially if we talk about the income.

    How about on going dates? With our first year of our relationship, we always had the expensive dates even though I was not asking for it. But in years with the growing relationship, not all guys could bring you to those kind of dates. Of course, I also like being on simple dates: movie marathons, biking in the park together, eating at the street sides and among other things you both love to do without spending a lot of money. With the income status we have, sometimes I am willing to spend for an expensive date but he never asks for it.

    If there are special occasions, we almost never give expensive gifts for each other but we rather spend it on food. For stuff toys, we rather go to World of Fun and catch some toys, he is a good catcher LOL! I think the most expensive gift we have for each other is a vacation trip once a year with friends or barkadas. Hehehe!

    This is our way to prepare ourselves in the future if we talk about marriage and having a baby. At least, if we are going to settle down in the future, it would not be hard for us to adjust a lot but we know that getting into marriage life is not really easy.

  5. Jeff says:

    Aside from the expenses, the most important thing that couples should talk about regarding their finances is their savings and investments goals. It will really help. Your partner will not feel na “tinitipid mo sya” when she knows the two of you are working on your savings and investments goals. Personally, I ask my wife to remind me the next time I wish to purchase something I don’t need, to remind me not to buy it. This tactic proved to be helpful since admittedly, I’m a chronic impulse buyer if I see something on SALE.

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