How to Stress Less About Money in Your Marriage

Couple tracking money together

Money is one of the most common topics married couples fight about. If managing money is stressful for you, then it can take a toll on your relationship. Since you can’t escape financial discussions, how can you handle the topic without getting grouchy or arguing?

Luckily, there are ways to make money conversations less stressful and more productive for both of you. In this post, we’re sharing some tips to help you and your spouse handle money talks in a healthier way.

Consider how you both feel about money.

It’s a good idea to take a step back and think about how the two of you view spending, saving, and money management. Some people simply dislike the task of sitting down with their finances (that could be one or both of you). Others have different spending and saving styles.

Your spouse might be more of a spender than you are. Maybe you feel safer when you save a certain percentage of your paycheck each month. Some people don’t want to think about money at all. Whatever the case, get clear on how you both look at money and the issues surrounding it. Taking some time to tune in and communicate can bring clarity and help you reduce stress.

Root out any power struggles.

Money management can quickly become an issue of power for many couples. It’s essential to examine and root out any power struggles creating money conflict between you. Here are some questions you can ask to get the conversation moving:

  • Who’s making the decisions when it comes to money?
  • Whose dreams are being fulfilled with your shared financial resources?
  • Who makes the most money in the relationship? How do you both feel about that?
  • Do you have a sense of financial responsibility? What about financial insecurity?
  • Do things feel one-sided to either of you? Why or why not?

While talking about power struggles can be uncomfortable, it’s essential. If you want to be more proactive about your financial communication, you can’t skip this step.

Create scenarios that don’t demand constant accountability.

Many people feel that they should report every expense to their spouse. You can remove this pressure by creating scenarios that don’t demand constant accountability for every penny.

Within your budget, create individual funds for each of you every month. That’s a set amount of money each of you can spend without having to check in all the time. Decide on a cutoff amount, and if an expense is above that amount, you’ll touch base. Otherwise, you can each do what you like with this money.

Make a plan for your money in advance.

Making decisions for your money in advance can save you both time and grief as a couple. When you already know where your money is going and how you’re going to handle it, you can reduce arguments in the moment. Here are some ways you can get started:

  • Set up a monthly budget
  • Automate your savings deposits and bill payments
  • Set aside spending money for each of you
  • Plan how you want to handle money conflict next time it arises

When you have a strategy for handling high-stress issues in your marriage, you’re more likely to succeed together. Money is no exception to that rule.

Kick financial worries to the curb and deepen your connection.

Want to gain insight into the way you and your spouse think about money? The SYMBIS Assessment is a powerful and personalized marriage insight tool that covers seventeen key areas in your marriage, including finances, wellbeing, social support, personality, sex, communication, conflict, spirituality, time styles, and more. It gives you a personalized road map to making your marriage everything it was meant to be. Learn more here.

Do you and your spouse fight about money on a regular basis? If you’ve resolved some of that money conflict, how did you do it? Leave us a comment and let us know.


  • Jennifer says:

    My husband does not like to manage or talk about money, so he leaves everything to me. He hands over his check and we go to the bank together. I ask him how much cash he would like kept out and he says, “Whatever you want to give me is fine.” I make more than him and I work 1.5 jobs to help make our ends meet, very careful not to make him feel like less-than. He has turned down better-paying jobs. I kind of wish the decision-making did not fall on me, as well as the worries. Any time we have had a disagreement about money, it has started with me sharing a thought about a bill or upcoming expense and him getting a little irritated and saying, “Well, I won’t buy my newspaper at break, then,” or a similar non-helpful suggestion. His parents always had separate accounts, so I am thankful that he does not think that is right.

  • Doreen says:

    Having separate bank accounts work well for us. Both our names are on each other accounts. We’ve been married 23 years now. Always had separate accounts. I make more money and take care of all the house hold bills. I.E. tithing, mortgage and utilities, medical bills, whatever the kids need and my car expenses and insurance. My husband is self employed and mainly for tax reasons we keep our accounts separate. He contributes by paying for the groceries and miscellaneous expenses, for example repairs needed around the house and any large purchases. He keeps our savings account. I’m more of the spender and usually I am paycheck to paycheck and run out of money by the end of the month. We both realize that his account and my account = our accounts and there is a mutual agreement and trust that we have with each other about how we spend our money.

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