Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

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tampaite
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Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by tampaite » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:52 pm

Having an argument with spouse over the need to send $3k to a cousin. Spouse insists that cousin is in cash crunch and will repay in 2 weeks or sooner. Apparently they are getting a bonus check next pay period and will be able to cover the $3k.
I have been arguing that we don't want to be someone's piggy bank when we have our own financial challenges.

After heated arguments with no resolution, am turning to bogleheads not asking to help with our issue(we will deal on our own) BUT rather, did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly.

jbuzolich
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by jbuzolich » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:01 pm

First recommendation, don't do it. I agree it sets expectations that the family member can do it again. I would hope to be repaid but privately think of it as a gift and never to be seen again. Should that option meet resistance...
Second recommendation, wife always gets to win.

tampaite
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by tampaite » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:05 pm

Thanks but not seeking opinion here just wanting to know how you may have dealt with any money issues with your spouse or significant other and if you cared to share. :)

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Raybo
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by Raybo » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:10 pm

I have never loaned money to a family member, but I have given it without expectation. It has never caused problems, only good feelings.
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InvestorNewb
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by InvestorNewb » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:13 pm

I know you didn't ask for it BUT why can't the cousin ask their immediate family for the money?
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island
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by island » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:27 pm

No money issues here, but if you're not asking for opinions on how to resolve it, what's the point of hearing about how other couples squabble over money in the first place? It's not actionable.
Good luck

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by cmr79 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:32 pm

Most of my and my spouse's "heated financial discussions" (aka arguments) end up really being mot about money itself, but about priorities and ideals. If you dont identify what the dispute is really about and address that, in my experience at least, the issue can fester for months--if she feels you are not being supportive of your relatives and that is important to her, it may be hard to drop for her. But if you feel that the money wont come back and that it will adversely affect retirement savings for the year or some other financial priority, the two of you are probably arguing apples and oranges and need to find common ground.

For me, my wife and I recently had an argument about travelling for a friend's wedding. It would have been an expensive trip, and more importantly for us, it would have used up a large amount of precious summer vacation time that my wife wanted to allocate for something with her family. The discussion really hinged on me wanting to support a close friend vs my wife wanting to take our baby to a family vacation with some in-laws we dont see much, but we discussed it from a position of cost and logistics for a few weeks to a standstill before figuring out the real issue.

The finances are just a tool. Find out what is really the issue, figure out if you have the tools to address the issue, and stop this from becoming an even bigger mutually unwinnable fight.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by jbuzolich » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:35 pm

tampaite wrote:Thanks but not seeking opinion here just wanting to know how you may have dealt with any money issues with your spouse or significant other and if you cared to share. :)
My response wasn't opinion. It answers the question and is exactly what I have done each time to resolve a financial difference of opinion.

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StormShadow
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by StormShadow » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:20 pm

Compromise, however DW always had the slight edge. :( Happy wife happy life, as they say. Sigh...

To be fair, DW is usually the more frugal one, so I really shouldn't complain.

Probably the most challenging discussion I had with her (before marriage) was convincing her to invest in the stock market. She grew up thinking the stock market was like gambling and eventually everyone risks going broke (partly based on what she heard in the news, and also anecdotal evidence from family/friends). Considering this was around 2010, it has since worked out extremely well... basically, I got lucky. :mrgreen:

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by wxl31 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:31 pm

tampaite wrote:After heated arguments with no resolution, am turning to bogleheads not asking to help with our issue(we will deal on our own) BUT rather, did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly.
Do not have money issues with the spouse. Why? I think the main reason is because in addition to a joint account, we each also have individual accounts. Majority of income is set aside in joint accounts which we use to pay for the vast majority of expenses. However, we each also get a monthly allocation of money into our individual accounts to save or spend on not-mutually-agreed-upon transactions. We agree not to give each other a hard time for whatever the other chooses to do with the individual account.

If this particular scenario came up for us, I'd tell my wife that she can take $3k out of her individual account if she wishes to personally shoulder the risk.

Our system works because we also talk frequently about finances to make sure we're on the same page when it comes to potentially big spends (e.g., retirement, 529, mortgage, home improvement, car, vacation) that would be unaffordable for either of our individual accounts.

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by FrugalInvestor » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:44 pm

Niether my wife or I would loan money to someone without the other knowing and concurring. However, that doesn't mean we would always agree or that one wouldn't lobby the other.

We have never loaned money to a relative, but have given money to relatives.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by Hexdump » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:11 am

I usually start with " How do we fit this into the budget ? IE, where do we get this money ? If she insists that we not worry about it, I point out that, me being 17 years older, she is the one that will have to back to work when she turns 80.
If she still insists, I can still say no.

I like the idea of separate accounts though it was difficult to manage on big ticket, joint expenses, like vacations.

How do you handle things like this wxl31 ?

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just frank
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by just frank » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:28 am

Marital conflict resolution requires that both sides 'be heard'. Each side first describes their opinions/fears/plans/ideas/goals calmly for a brief period, and the other repeats it back and says 'did I get it right?' If yes, they get a turn to say their peace, and you repeat it back to them. If not, you repeat what you said, and they try to repeat it back again. Thats it, you take turns alternatively listing your concerns to each other in a 'formal' way where the other repeats them back (until they get it right), and until both sides have said everything they want to say.

The above sounds corny and its a bit tedious, but it works. While some arguments are about misunderstandings or one side not saying what they want, many times the other side does know what you want and does care, but you don't know/trust that they do. Hearing them voice your concerns is v helpful in convincing you they 'know' and you have 'been heard'.

Lastly, you are right not to seek opinions for BH regarding the issue. They will all say 'don't lend', and presenting that opinion to the DW will not move the discussion with her forward. (It would be an 'argument from authority', and a fallacy).

From the Gottman playbook: http://couplestraininginstitute.com/got ... l-therapy/

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by SimonJester » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:23 am

I think having a big picture plan of where you want to be and what road you want to travel down that both of you agree on is a key to success. Have the discussion of where do you want to end up in life and how you want to get there. Then you can frame those financial discussions on how they will impact your big picture goals.

Me and my wife want to retire comfortably and travel, provide the kids with a debt free college (as best we can), and live without debt. From there we can frame all other discussions on how they impact those goals.

We talk, argue over things at times, but try not to tear down each other during an argument, in the end we compromise.

I know you didn't ask, but we don't loan money, we give when we can. If we cant afford to give without any expectation of repayment we dont do it. And when you can just give the money to someone in need when you truly help them it feels a lot better then being their loan officer.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by NoVa Lurker » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:41 am

tampaite wrote:did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly.
Yes, we talk about money issues after the kids go to sleep. We have never had anything we could not resolve relatively quickly. We are lucky that we have similar views in general.

The only exception was after we got engaged but before we got married. I got a big year-end bonus at work, and I gifted my brother the exact amount of money to buy a good used car - he was just about to buy a used Honda Civic, but he was going to get a loan, except it was at a high interest rate because it wasn't through a dealer. So I just gifted him that money. I did not tell my now-wife until after the fact. [As brief background, my brother was valedictorian in high school and went to college on an athletic scholarship, but suffered a traumatic brain injury in college. He has somewhat recovered most functions but lives back at home with my parents, works at a department store, and struggles with weight issues and depression. He has always been a truly great guy. He still has that car, by the way - he bought it at 28,000 miles and it's now over 180k.]

My wife felt pretty strongly that we should not be gifting family members large amounts of money, and that once we were engaged, we needed to make those decisions together. I was very resistant to that, when it came to my brother, but I have come to see the wisdom and necessity of what she was saying.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by Andyrunner » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:52 am

Fortunately we have never had any major arguments as we both generally are on the same page.

Most of our good money discussions come from evening walks around the neighborhood. Its a good relaxing activity that makes talking about these things a bit easier. A more complicated money decision leads to a longer walk and deeper heart-to-heart discussions.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by dbr » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:57 am

We have never had money arguments for two reasons:

1. We are generally on the same page about money, what it means, how we use it, what the priorities are etc.

2. We grant each other a great deal of latitude about how to live our lives, including how to use money. I think a lot of money arguments are not about money but about spouses trying to hold each other to very narrow imposed paths and also about exercise of power over the other one in marriage. Get rid of some of that and money becomes a non-issue.

You asked that there be no advice on the question at hand and I offer none.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by lightheir » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:58 am

Just remember that it's often better to just yield, and even take the potential financial hit, than to win the argument at great cost.

I pretty much never argue with my spouse, but 5 years ago we got into our real only big fight over whether or not to buy a home in a very high COL area (we had good jobs there.) I insisted it was crazy, and all the 'experts' were literally screaming "don't Buy!!!!" (this was absolutely true - the NYT times editors even published a book during those months which I bought and read titled why you shouldn't buy real estate in the midst of that crash) , but she was more insistent that we settle down, even if we had to stretch to afford it.

It was very hard for me, since I was following not my own whims and desires, but the 'sound advice of multiple experts', all of which I showed her, and there were a LOT of experts on my side screaming 'don't buy!!" and pretty much zero of them recommending to buy. I bit my tongue eventually though, said I'd follow whatever she would do, and trusted that she's reliably been very good at instinctually considering nonobjective factors that I tend to overlook. Man, it was hard, though - I complained about to my guy friends for the whole next year!

Fast forward five years, and turns out I (and ALL of the 'don't buy experts') were wrong on pretty much EVERY front. It's actually shocking how bad that advice was. Aside from owning a beautiful house in a beautiful area with ideal schools now which would be worth staying in even if it were underwater now, I backcalculated that the difference in money (inclusive of rent and property appreciation) would have exceeded $1million in the last 6 years had I not bought then.

Since that big, life-changing decision that I nearly completely bungled, I've become a lot more skeptical about well-meaning experts (yes, including Boglehead 'safe' advice) even if I still follow the vast majority of it, and realize that there is a LOT more uncertainty in finances, and that it's fraught with risk to put finances ahead of the relationship, especially if your spouse doesn't have a track record of making terrible financial decisions.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:18 am

If you are the guy- she is right.
If you are gal-you are right.
To be PC, then both will need to come to some type of resolution.
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by FelixTheCat » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:27 am

Never loan money to family or friends. You can gift what you desire.

How are you setting a example for your own family? You must have a budget, live within your means and prepare for the future. If you are having your own financial challenges, take care of your immediately family.

The cousin can wait one week to solve their own issue.
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sunny_socal
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:56 am

If they need the $$ that badly I'm sure they can find a "payday loan" type place to cover them for a couple weeks :twisted:

Don't become the payday loan shark yourself.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by bigred77 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:39 pm

If a financial related disagreement rises from a "discussion" to an "argument" I find it best for both parties to walk away, cool down, and resume discussions later.

I've always felt it best to frame the issue as "we have a finite amount of money, if we allocate some of it to unexpected event X, we have to first identify what will necessarily be short changed: some known event Y".

As a side note, I always cringe when I hear the sentiment "happy wife, happy life" or something similar. Sometime's my wife is way off base when we have a disagreement. Sometime's I am way off base. We usually are able to come up with an acceptable solution between the 2 of us, and if not, we find a solution that we are both equally dissatisfied with :happy . I admit to sometimes thinking "it's such a small thing, it's not worth fighting over" but I expect my wife would say the same thing as well.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by DVMResident » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:49 pm

On this one, I'd try to make a deal: loan the money, but no more future loans to family/friends if it's not pay-backed in full on the agreed date. If you're burned, could save you from bigger "loans" in the future. If you're not burned, no problem.

Preventing it again in the future: split savings into his and her accounts. Each party gets to vote with their savings. No judgement from either party. Simple and fair.

Don't worry too much. This is a small issue in the lifetime of a marriage.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by blu9535 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:58 pm

itstoomuch wrote:If you are the guy- she is right.
If you are gal-you are right.
To be PC, then both will need to come to some type of resolution.

I don't feel these types of responses are useful, even if said in jest. Both partners in a marriage should have a valid vote. It's possible that the man is not thinking clearly. It's also possible that the woman is not thinking clearly. To say otherwise is a bit too PC for my taste.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by dbr » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:08 pm

blu9535 wrote:
itstoomuch wrote:If you are the guy- she is right.
If you are gal-you are right.
To be PC, then both will need to come to some type of resolution.

I don't feel these types of responses are useful, even if said in jest. Both partners in a marriage should have a valid vote. It's possible that the man is not thinking clearly. It's also possible that the woman is not thinking clearly. To say otherwise is a bit too PC for my taste.
Indeed. If my wife were to say to me that I was not thinking clearly, I would pay some serious attention. My wife is not often guilty of not thinking clearly herself, but if I were to question her on something like that she also would pay serious attention. Usually she is pretty good at knowing when questions need to be asked and does so, often of people who have better answers than I do.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by dc81584 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:10 pm

My answer would be a stern "No."
Last edited by dc81584 on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

fposte
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by fposte » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:26 pm

From a previous post, it looks like you lent money to family recently and it went badly. Does this mean that you're coming at it from "I tried it, it didn't work, I don't want to do it any more" and she's coming at it from the "We lent money to your family, why can't we lend money to mine?"

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by Globalviewer58 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:30 pm

We resolve issues like this by having separate accounts for individual priorities and do not need each other's permission to spend or loan as we see necessary. Both of us have loaned $ to siblings and in very rare instances it is repaid.

Some life experience has taught that the borrower will continue to seek funds elsewhere if you decline to be a lender. Your money management priorities and the borrower's are often not aligned. I now prefer to think through the issue with the borrower and offer what I intend to be helpful ideas but they are seldom acted upon.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by joelly » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:36 pm

Hubby and I have agreed that we will extend help to our parents when they are in need. Only to our parents.

Let's say a cousin of hubby approach hubby for money:
Cousin: "Hey, can you let me borrow $3K?"
Hubby: "Sure, let me let my wife know."
Cousin: "Oh wait, you'd ask your wife?"
Hubby: "Course, she loves paying bills."
Cousin: "Oh you know what, never mind! Thanks though."
Hubby: "Ok. Take care now."

I suppose we could have set separate accounts for individual priorities so we can freely use such money without running it by each other BUT we're not in that stage yet. I don't know when we're going to be in that stage. Hubby and I agreed that our priority now is savings (after 401K and all that jazz), 1st emergency fund, 2nd house down payment, 3rd.... :?

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by Workinghard » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:41 pm

We both work. Pay checks go into our joint accounts, but any OT my dh works is his personal spending money. He'll use it for gifts or to buy things that are a waste of money (IMO). Lol. Coming up with that plan alleviated a lot of stress and helped me to ensure the item was important to him if he was willing to spend his own money vs. checking account money. Does that make sense? Most of the time I just save my OT. However, on occasion when we wanted to do something cosmetic to our home, we both worked overtime to pay for it. We use to work OT for vacations, but since retirement is in the near future we don't do that any longer.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:00 pm

blu9535 wrote:
itstoomuch wrote:If you are the guy- she is right.
If you are gal-you are right.
To be PC, then both will need to come to some type of resolution.

I don't feel these types of responses are useful, even if said in jest. Both partners in a marriage should have a valid vote. It's possible that the man is not thinking clearly. It's also possible that the woman is not thinking clearly. To say otherwise is a bit too PC for my taste.
You're probably right. However, It is The Answer, in my family. Sort-of. What else can I say? :oops: Essentially she says that she will take care of the foraging and crops. Her way of farming is not to be altered. I am to get the meat but not to endanger myself. I too want to get the meat with a minimum amount of risk to myself. Being dead from getting that meat will not further the cause nor is getting small, easy meat isn't going to further the larder either. :annoyed

I have tried get her to listen to the FA, to various websites, read some literature, look at graphs and charts. She wants growth but without risk. But where we needed to be was unachievable without risk. So far my strategy of DYI and FA, has been correct. Our retirement has been secured and locked with further upside potential. She is happy. I am pleased that she is happy. She doesn't want the details. :confused

The big stuff we agree on: No debt or very manageable debt. His and Her checking accounts. A certain income level in retirement.
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wander
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by wander » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:55 pm

tampaite wrote:Having an argument with spouse over the need to send $3k to a cousin. Spouse insists that cousin is in cash crunch and will repay in 2 weeks or sooner. Apparently they are getting a bonus check next pay period and will be able to cover the $3k.
I have been arguing that we don't want to be someone's piggy bank when we have our own financial challenges.

After heated arguments with no resolution, am turning to bogleheads not asking to help with our issue(we will deal on our own) BUT rather, did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly.
It depends on situation, sometimes $3k is big amount of money; sometimes, it's very small. We don't argue over the money.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by sesq » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:59 pm

Like many here my wife and I generally agree on stuff. We just had a debate this past year about whether to do some renovations now or wait a year (my schedule stock vesting is a lot better then). We went back and forth and I ultimately agreed to move forward with the reno.

On her pro side:
This is not a regular problem, so its not a matter of her having constant wants and me needing to hold the line. The cost of the reno is acceptable in our budget. We are still meeting our other savings goals.

On my pro side:
Cash is tight this year. Next year will be a lot better.

Since ultimately it was just a year's difference I went with her position. The contractors did a nice job and it is nice to enjoy. As the obsessive numbers guy I am just going to have to live with it.

Not that you asked - I hate your scenario (why can't he manage his own cash crunch? Two weeks? Don't they have credit cards?) but would have a hard time opposing my wife since its her money too and this isn't a destiny changing amount.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by celia » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:07 pm

tampaite wrote:After heated arguments with no resolution, am turning to bogleheads not asking to help with our issue(we will deal on our own) BUT rather, did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly.
First, you are doing the right thing by talking about it. Both of you should pat yourselves on the back. Not talking about it would be worse.

1. You could each write about it and share your letters with each other without commenting for a certain period of time.

2. You could have a 3rd party act as mediator/ interpreter to clarify what you are each saying.

3. You could start with what you agree on financially, taking turns to present an idea you think the other person would support.

4. You could compromise and lend the relative half of the amount, saying that that is all you can afford for now.

5. You could each have separate accounts on the side. Then one person would take an expense like that out of their separate money and the other person wouldn't say anything (as long as it wasn't illegal or immoral). This idea prevents lots of fights for us.

Hopefully this "loan" won't have a financial or tax impact on you. If you have to sell something and will incur a capital gain/loss, that needs to be considered. The possibility of a non-pay-back also needs to be considered.
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by leonard » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:05 pm

If they cousin has money locked in 3 weeks, the loan is low risk. Thus, any bank or other lender should be willing to provide the amount. If they aren't willing to, that indicates possibly undisclosed risk in this loan.
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by Ybsybs » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:16 pm

Early on we argued about my spouse's spending. We addressed that with personal spending accounts and a budget.

Lately, the stress has been about financially supporting the in-laws. Mine have always maintained a simple lifestyle and have no need of support. My in-laws have lived more expensively than my spouse and I do (and much more expensively than my parents do). They are in severe financial distress. We send them money every month. Ultimately the arguments aren't about money.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by saladdin » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:20 pm

StormShadow wrote:Compromise, however DW always had the slight edge. :( Happy wife happy life, as they say. Sigh...

To be fair, DW is usually the more frugal one, so I really shouldn't complain.

Probably the most challenging discussion I had with her (before marriage) was convincing her to invest in the stock market. She grew up thinking the stock market was like gambling and eventually everyone risks going broke (partly based on what she heard in the news, and also anecdotal evidence from family/friends). Considering this was around 2010, it has since worked out extremely well... basically, I got lucky. :mrgreen:
Happy wife happy life

That is such a pathetic way of life. Please tell me people use that as a joke.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by Levett » Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:26 pm

"did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly."

No. And here's why.

We do accounts that are his, hers, and household.

His is his business. Hers is her business. Household is our business.

If it's my cousin (or whatever), it's on me to decide and provide. If it's her cousin (or whatever), It's on her to decide and provide.

It's obviously not a household issue in our house so that account is out of the question.

Lev

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by pkcrafter » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:54 pm

Ok, you don't want advice, but I will point this out. Someone who gets in a bind like this does not know how to handle money--no emergency fund, no reserves--so you and spouse can gift the money, but you better discuss now what you will or will not do next time.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:07 pm

I guess it's a money argument: my wife wants a vacation home, preferably on the beach. I think that's why hotels exist.

So far, it hasn't become heated. It's not that I've won, but I have successfully delayed it.

We cut each other a fair amount of slack in terms of spending. We're both on the same page usually, with the exception of a vacation home.

Good luck. Remember you love each other.
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by JonnyDVM » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:11 pm

I would trust that my wife knows what she is doing. Send the 3k with the understanding that it will be paid back as promised and this is a one time deal. If they pay it back great. You're a hero. If they don't you have an "I told you so" to whip out at future arguments forever and that's worth something too.
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by profnot » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:22 am

I've been helping a new friend who is married to a man who has been medically diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficient with hyperactivity disorder). They are in their 50s with small children and zero in savings. It's clear to me that they need to sell their $500K house and downsize and start buckling down. He loves the house and won't "give it up." She's not good with money either - she should never have agreed to buy and finance the house.

I referred her to a financial consultant I've worked with and sent him financial budget and status reports. They have an appointment next month when husband gets back from working out of town.

Points here: bring in a pro for education, bring in a neutral third party for conflict resolution.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by vested1 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:40 am

This is an easy one. My wife and I were previously married to people who we argued with constantly about money. Notice the key word "previously". Now, after 22 years of marriage with zero arguments about money we have come to the realization that neither one of us was the problem. It takes two to argue, and since financial disagreements are one of the main reasons for divorce you need to ask yourself how important this argument is in the bigger scheme of things. Only you can answer that question, but just remember that being right doesn't always result in harmony.

Marriage is successful with the use of reasonable compromise on both sides.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by Saving$ » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:56 am

Agree on household expenses (what type of house to live in, yardwork/housework hired or self performed, netflix, cable, cheap or expensive groceries, etc.)
Agree on min. retirement savings required of each.
Agree on what constitutes household expense vs. individual expense (gifts to family for holiday/birthday, etc.)

Then each can spend or save or loan to family their remaining disposable income as they see fit.

The above works if there is remaining disposable income, and works better if each person has their own source of income. Over the years, there are alot more expenses that used to be considered individual expenses that become household expenses.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by midareff » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:04 am

tampaite wrote:Having an argument with spouse over the need to send $3k to a cousin. Spouse insists that cousin is in cash crunch and will repay in 2 weeks or sooner. Apparently they are getting a bonus check next pay period and will be able to cover the $3k.
I have been arguing that we don't want to be someone's piggy bank when we have our own financial challenges.

After heated arguments with no resolution, am turning to bogleheads not asking to help with our issue(we will deal on our own) BUT rather, did you have money issues with your spouse and how did you resolve and how quickly.

I think you are on the hook for this one so why not agree with the provision this is the first and ONLY time money will be lent to family. On the other hand, why can't they take a cash advance on credit cards? I never had money disagreements with #2. We each put money in the pot to cover common expenses including eating out and vacations, after that we each took care of our own cars, clothes, jewelry, toys, sundries, etc. If she had a cousin who needed money she could send her own money, not common money.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by sschullo » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:39 am

You brought up a serious issue that would trouble me if my spouse were to loan $3000 to a cousin, a cousin? As with many others have said, we just don't lend money to family. We gift it and it is BOTH of our decisions. It's our money, not mine or my spouse's. I would go ahead and agree to the loan and let this particular issue go. And expect the worse and let that go too--don't bring it up and throw it in your wife's face if the cousin doesn't pay it back. Of course, it is a lot to take, but after 40 years of living with the same spouse, I have some experience. Our money differences revolved around less serious stuff because we were lucky and had the same money philosophy from the start. This is a lesson for all young people in their decisions on potential mates.

But what you want in return is a serious conversation about money and come to a agreement in all areas of money management in your household, not just lending to family. Write them all down and both of you sign it. We wrote things down so we don't forget what we agreed on. Part of our new years resolution were money goals for the year. After a decade they became automatic.
Last edited by sschullo on Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by sschullo » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:40 am

deleted a duplication
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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by pinecone » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:36 am

Having accounts for "his", "hers" and "ours" has prevented 99.9% of the money arguments in our marriage.

My philosophy has always been "Never a borrower nor a lender be". If I ever did find myself in a position where I had to borrow money, I would offer some valuable collateral so the lender would feel more comfortable knowing I had some "skin in the game". The cousin should be willing to do this as well. If they are offended by this, you learned a valuable lesson at very little cost.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by 2cents2 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:12 am

I wonder if the OP's DW feels she would be embarrassed to back out of the loan for the cousin at this point?

DH and I always tell the individual requesting the $$ that we have to check with our spouse. But, neither DH nor I have vetoed such a request. In the earlier years of our marriage, we didn't have much leeway which I think was difficult for our family members to understand. We made a good income, but anything we didn't need for expenses was invested for retirement/college etc. So, sure, we could get $$ in the middle of the month, but it would have penalties associated with it or it meant we had to sacrifice something out of our monthly budget. Loan or gift, it impacted both of us.

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Re: Money arguments with spouse and how did you resolve

Post by vveat » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:00 pm

We pretty much never have money arguments in the sense of what to spend - the fact that I am the single earner, but my husband is more frugal probably helps. I defer to his common sense and he defers to my financial planning skills. And we are a high income household which helps, but we had similar dynamics when we had 6-figure debt.

This said, we often have the same money-related argument. I am bit obsessive about tracking expenses in Mint and really hate using cash since it's difficult to keep track of it. My husband prefers having spare cash and thinks nothing of cashing a check vs depositing it and withdrawing money separately as I am asking him to. Anyway, how we resolve this is for each of us to recognize his/her weakness and acknowledge it when arguing. I realize my obsessiveness is silly and having some unaccounted for cash is not a big deal. He realizes it will be just a small inconvenience to do as I have asked him. So we vent for a few minutes and it's over.

Money arguments are easy. Now if you were asking about kids-related arguments, that would be another thing :oops:

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