This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

How to Avoid Fighting, and Divorcing, Over Money

By Manisha Thakor

NEW YORK ( AdviceIQ) -- If you and your significant other aren't financially compatible, it can put a major strain on your relationship and even lead to a breakup. How do you deal with that?

It's very difficult for two people to run a household when their attitudes toward money clash. To avoid heartbreaking conflicts, you need to communicate with your partner about money and understand your partner's behavior.

When the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants polled cohabitating and married couples in the U.S., 27% said that disagreements over money were more likely to escalate into arguments over children, chores, work and friends. A 2011 study by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University found that married couples who disagreed about money once a week were twice as likely to divorce as those who disagreed less than once a month.

As a financial adviser, I've seen this time and again. These situations can be quite painful.

So why are tightwads and spendthrifts attracted to each other? According to studies cited in this entertaining New York Times article, it may be as simple as opposites attracting one another.


Turns out, in the early stages of courtship, many of us find our financial opposite's behavior intoxicating. Like moths to a flame, we're drawn to the very behavior we resist in ourselves. Alas, when the novelty wears off, our opposing financial beliefs can lead to a volcanic situation on the home front.

For many of us, money represents and stirs up some of our deepest desires for love, power, control and freedom. If you are in this situation, how do you stop money arguments from ruining your relationship? Here are four simple steps to help increase the financial harmony in your household.

Communicate. The one thing virtually all researchers agree on for creating a harmonious financial life as a couple is the vital importance of communication. In the book Get Financially Naked, my co-author and I suggest using a financial compatibility quiz to soften the mood and start the money conversation.

Look for patterns. Recognizing that spending and saving patterns are connected to issues around identity, worth and personal fulfillment can help us to cultivate empathy for our financial opposite -- and for our own questionable behavior. Do you save every penny and invest too conservatively out of fear? Or are you overspending and neglecting long-term goals because you are somehow unsatisfied? What are the roots of these feelings that lead to your financial attitudes?


Budget. The key is to find ways to meet each of your needs within a healthy budget. Bringing in an outside financial adviser to help you define and implement your goals as a couple can also help you find balance in your money life.

Dream and plan together. In his classic book, Smart Couples Finish Rich, author and financial adviser David Bach recommends that couples map out their life dreams together and outline the steps they need to take to sustain those ideals.

Take this issue on proactively. Rather than butting heads, empathizing with and listening to your partner helps you turn money from a source of marital strife to a shared path toward greater financial freedom and joy.

-- By Manisha Thakor, CEO and founder of MoneyZen Wealth Management in Santa Fe, N.M. -- an independent boutique advisory firm focusing on the needs of high net worth women and families.

AdviceIQ is a network of financial advisors that writes insightful articles for the public about investing and wealth management. All articles are edited by AdviceIQ's editor in chief, Larry Light. AdviceIQ certifies that all its advisors have no regulatory infractions.

To subscribe to AdviceIQ's Rss feed for personal finance articles written by financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors, click here .

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $129.36 0.21%
FB $79.60 -0.19%
GOOG $573.64 0.40%
TSLA $199.56 1.13%
YHOO $42.62 -3.38%

Markets

DOW 18,203.37 -85.26 -0.47%
S&P 500 2,107.78 -9.61 -0.45%
NASDAQ 4,979.9010 -28.1950 -0.56%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs