What Are We Even Fighting About?

Have you ever walked away from a fight with your spouse or significant other?  You’re absolutely fuming and your head is spinning. Finally, you calm down and realize you have no idea what you were actually fighting about? The fact is that couples fight an average of 4 times a month and oftentimes, they’re fighting about money and they don’t even know it!

One of the top mistakes a couple can make when it comes to love and money is to fight over “stuff” instead of the real money problem. Let me give you an example from my personal life to explain better.

The Fight:

The biggest fight I ever had with my wife over money started with nothing more than a new pair of shoes.  She came home, showed me the new black shoes she bought on sale—and I proceeded to lose it. 

“New shoes?  How could you need new shoes?” I exclaimed. I then proceeded to pull out all of her black shoes and count them, one-by-one. 

My wife in turn dashed over to my “tech toy drawer” and pulled out three old cells phones, three old Palm Pilots, and various other gadgets that were collecting dust.

“Who needs all this stuff?” she argued. “You are ridiculous, wasting all of our money on the latest, greatest gadget.”

Before I knew it, our fight was over items in the house, our purchases, and “stuff” that had nothing to do with the real problem….we were not saving enough money. We both knew it,  but we continued to spend our money on completely unnecessary purchases, when we could have been saving more for our future.

The Solution:

Fortunately, I was able to pull back from this argument and ask my wife if we could sit down and calmly discuss my real money concern with her.

I explained to her how important it is that we “pay ourselves first”—and we agreed to a goal together. Our goal was large (to pay ourselves first 20% of our gross income),  but we agreed that if we could achieve that goal we wouldn’t fight about the little ways we were spending money.

The result of our discussion was that we put our savings and finances on auto pilot—having our paychecks automatically deposited first into our savings account from our 401k plans, then into our emergency account and our dream account. We also set it up so all of our monthly bills were paid automatically. After this—the fights stopped!  Most importantly we built real wealth, together as a team.Talking about your goals and automating your finances can have a life changing effect on your relationship and on your financial security. Remember, a couple who plan their finances together stay together.

Live Rich,
David Bach

P.S. Make sure to share you thoughts and comments below, I love to hear your feedback and stories!