3 Reasons Why Married Couples Argue About Money (Even When They're Happy)

It doesn't have to be like this!

couple arguing over bills Tijana Simic / Shutterstock

Contrary to what you might think, when it comes to relationships, more money does not equal more happiness.

It is important to look at the bigger picture. You may assume that if your budget, retirement plan, and cash-flow worksheet are in order, you will have a happy relationship. However, this is not the case.

Your views on money impact every decision you make as a couple from the big stuff like houses and cars to the mundane details like the kind of coffee you drink and the brand of shoes you wear. But how does this affect our relationship?


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Here is an example: A husband calls his wife the "Money Nazi" because when he walks through the door, their conversation goes like this:

Wife: Where did you go out to lunch?
Husband: We went Italian today.
Wife: What did you have?
Husband: A chicken Caesar salad.
Wife: How much did it cost?
Husband: I don't know… about thirteen dollars.
Wife: Thirteen dollars for a chicken salad?!

If this argument sounds familiar, you aren't alone.

Here are three culprits of financial tension in romantic relationships:

1. Your money DNA.

While there is no money gene per se, how you look at and feel about money is as ingrained in you as the color of your eyes. You are born with it.


The easiest way to prove this is to look at the children in your life. When we look at our two young sons, it's obvious to us that Cole is a saver and Cade is a spender. Cade can't keep a dollar in his pocket to save his life. Cole won't spend a dollar unless we push him to.

It is the same way with adults. Adults all have a natural bent toward money and—of course—everyone believes his/her bent is best. So, we have developed five money personalities to help you understand our own unique "bent" toward money. They are the saver, the spender, the risk-taker, the security seeker, and the flyer.

We have learned that each person has two of the five money personalities, a primary and a secondary. So, keep that in mind as you identify your and your spouse's differences.

2. Your money lens.

There is a lens through which you make money decisions. It is what motivates you to wait until that sweater is on sale. It's what drives you to put 30 percent of your paycheck in your savings account. It's what makes you buy a round of drinks for your buddies.


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And since money touches every decision you make, your money personality frames your perspective on life. Some examples of how your money personality impact the lens with which you see life are: spenders tend to be gift-givers, savers find the best deal, risk-takers "go for it", security seekers need a plan and flyers don't let money hinder their decisions.

3. Your money opposite.

"Help! I married my money opposite." As we travel and speak around the country, this is a source of pain and panic for many couples. We have found that 75 percent of all couples marry their opposite money personality!

No surprise that 70 percent of all divorces cite money as the reason for their split. But being married to your money opposite does not have to ruin your relationship. On one side are savers and security seekers. On the other side, there are spenders, risk-taker, and flyers. Do you have what we call an "opposite dynamic?"


If so, your differences will start to have a reason behind them.

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The Money Couple helps others achieve financial freedom while putting family first. They offer services and resources to bring couples closer together, not only in their marriages, but in their finances as well.