3 Reasons couples fight about money

Money is the No. 1 issue married couples fight about, according to a survey from the financial literacy organization DaveRamsey.com. Here are a few common problems and what you and your spouse can do to improve communication about finances.

1. Couples don’t work as a team. Keeping individual bank accounts and paying bills separately could lead to miscommunication or arguments down the road. Consider combining your accounts and budgeting and paying bills together. This will help you and your spouse see your finances as a whole and learn how to become a more united team.

2. Couples disagree on priorities. Many marital conflicts come from having different expectations about how to spend and save money. According to DaveRamsey.com, 87 percent of people who say their marriage is “great” also say they work with their spouse to set long-term financial goals. Only 41 percent of people who say their marriages are “OK” or “in crisis” do the same. Be honest about what’s important to you and work together to determine the lifestyle that best fits your budget and your savings goals.

3. Couples aren’t transparent with each other. Of couples who say they argue about money, 1 in 3 say they have intentionally hidden purchases from their spouse, according to DaveRamsey.com. Making large purchases or opening a checking account or credit card without your spouse knowing can do a lot of harm. Not only is it financially irresponsible, but you could lose your partner’s trust and damage your relationship. If needed, clear the air with your spouse and recommit to your financial goals together.

Keep working toward finding common ground and improving your communication. Managing money together can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be a source of division between you and your spouse.