Money is the most important subject for quarrels in marriage. Many people find it difficult to discuss money issues with their partner. However finance is the cause of much irritation and problems in relationships. So how do you discuss money matters?

Quarrels on money

Money is the most important subject for quarrels in marriage. As in love in the field of finance extremes seem to attract one another. Non-spenders  living with de partners who like to roll the money.  Or the one who wants to control his financial future is married with the’ seize the day’ type. Fortunately there are enough possibilities for these extremes in dealing with money to come closer together.

Disagreements about money are often about behavior, priorities, power and distribution. One partner accuses the other that he or she throws money down the drain or just that he or she is miserly. Where should the money be spent? Who deals with the finances? How much money does each partner bring in?

Women are more likely than men to have money secrets. In a study in the Netherlands one in three women of  1400 respondents said to have a secret about money. This compared to one out of 5 men. The survey also shows that there is more fighting about money compared to disagreements about the household or the children.  Three out of five couples argue over money. Quarrel may arise because men and women think differently about money. Men have more money than women and find that a lot of money makes them independent. Women worry more about money and are more likely to spend without first thinking whether they really need the purchase.

How to discuss money?

 1. What do you think about money?

Many annoyances can be avoided by talking to each other about money. Preferably before you start living together. Many people find that difficult, but if you know each other more in this area, it can prevent problems later. How do you look at money? Do you see it as a goal and would you just like lots of it? Or do you see it as a means to achieve your goals? This may also help to come to agreements  together.

2. Find the right time

Go for a walk together.  Ask how money matters were settled at their parental home in the past. Because that has a lot of influence on how you deal with money. Ask each other what worries you most when it comes to money.  If you are honest with each other this will brighten the air.

3. Start with the positive aspects

How do you feel about how your partner is handling money? Always start with the positives. Better: emphasize  the positive aspects!

4. Set goals and priorities together

What are your short and long term goals? Your wedding day, a new house or a big trip. What are the targets and how soon can they be reached?  Can your goals be combined with that of your partner? If not, is there a compromise possible? If so, create a priority list together and determine how much you will have save up to achieve these goals.

5. Agree on free money

Agree on an amount of money that each is free to spend. Both are free to decide where they spend the money on.

6. Conceive and get used to each other choices

If you are a non-spender and you're set to do something together for fun, book in advance (not too little!) maximum amount you want or can spend. Then you do not have to worry all the time about your spending.


Don’t be afraid to discuss money matters with your partner. Be honest to each other and be positive. As in all aspects of life look for compromises.

Source: NIBUD