My husband and I had a lot of conversations about money before we got married. As a result, we were in agreement about a lot of major financial issues including whether we’d go into credit card debt (we wouldn’t) or whether we’d live on a budget (we would).
Having these conversations before marriage helped ensure that we wouldn’t fight about money very much. But there were still some situations where we weren’t perfectly aligned. After all, whenever you have two people making decisions about how money is managed, you’re going to have different opinions.
One of our biggest sources of conflict, though, was about the individual spending that we each did. None of these were huge costs that were putting our family into debt. But we still didn’t see eye to eye on things like whether we needed to subscribe to services telling us which fantasy football players to pick for our team or just how many seasonal throw pillows we needed.
And because we each thought some of the spending we were doing was unnecessary or even silly, conflict was inevitable. Fortunately, after being married for close to a decade, we’ve eliminated these money fights entirely. Here’s how we did it.
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Our simple solution to solving a big source of conflict
After a few little spats about individual purchases we each wanted to budget for when we were planning our spending, my husband and I decided that we’d switch the approach we took.
We’d still make a budget together, including our regular expenses and savings — but instead of us both building our individual purchases into that budget, we’d create separate fun money accounts. We’d allocate a set amount of money for us to spend separately each month, with both of us getting the same amount. Then, we could spend our allotments without any questions asked or explanation needed.
This approach ensures that we can spend money on the things that matter to us individually. And since we budget for the spending, there’s no risk of either of us ending up in debt with our purchases.
Plus, neither of us can accuse the other of overspending on frivolous purchases since this cash is specifically designated for buying things we want but don’t need. Both of us appreciate the opportunity to spend on things we personally want without having to justify our choices to each other.
We’ve been using this system for a long time, increasing or decreasing the amounts of fun money as our income and financial goals have changed. We’ve essentially had no disputes about money since that time. And, as a bonus, it’s more fun to buy each other gifts since we do that out of our fun money rather than our joint bank accounts.
This approach might not work for everyone. But if you and your partner want to spend money on different things and it’s a source of conflict for you, consider whether creating separate no-questions-asked fun money accounts could be the ticket to putting an end to the disputes for good.
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/personal-finance/articles/how-my-husband-and-i-solved-our-biggest-money-fight/