How to Stop Fighting Over Money
Why you fight: You’re not really arguing over private education versus saving for college, or designer duds versus second-hand shoes. What you’re really fighting about are values.
How to stop: If you don’t talk about the real issues, you’ll keep having the same fight over and over again. A lot of these conflicts arise from the way each spouse was raised. For example, maybe you went to private school and think that will set your kids up for a successful future, while your partner went to public school and thinks that’ll make your kids more self-sufficient. Either way, just explaining the emotions underlying each of your beliefs will help you find common ground.
The bottom line: Try to reach a compromise. Always start by asking if you’ll have to sacrifice anything to spend the money in question. If the conflict isn’t about the expense, hash out exactly what is behind it and meet halfway. Maybe you send your kids to private school but have them buy their own clothing with allowance money, or send them to public school but pay for extracurricular activities to provide extra enrichment.