We Don’t Fight over Money

Golbguru is hosting this weeks Money Question and the question that was asked is like this:

How do you (or how would you) handle financial disagreements (and/or disconnects) between you and your spouse (or partner)?

My wife and I could fight (actually, it’s more like argue) over many small things, but there was almost no dispute over money. Generally, I feel that arguing over money (how the money should be managed or what to buy or not to buy) is not worth it. It’s not a competition between spouses. If one is better in our area than the other, then he/she should get involved in that area and have more says.

Between my wife and me, we share everything: we have one joint checking account and we are co-owners of all of savings and investment accounts. We really don’t have a lot of disagreements on financial issues. It’s not that she agrees with me on everything from the investment choice I made to the credit card I applied to. She just has no interest in the day-to-day management of the money. While I enjoy the financial authority, it also concerns me because she basically has no idea what to do with money (not including spending them of course :) ).

If there’s any difference, then mostly it’s on what to buy or not to buy, but neither of us is a big spender. In our house, I am usually the one that initiate the conversation. When I tell her that I want to buy something, sometimes she would pause then asks me

“Do you think we need it?”

After I tell her why I think we need it, she will give me her reason how she feels differently and at the end, she will say

“If you think we need it, then buy it.”

If she sounds hesitant, it usually means she has reservations and that makes me think again whether the purchase is really necessary and many times, if the item isn’t urgently needed, the purchase will be put off or if I can find a better deal, I will discuss with her again later.

I won’t call this a 30-day or 15-day waiting period or anything like that, but it has worked very well for us. Neither of us insists on “I have to have this�? and we always consult each other before making big purchase and, at the same time, we also try to be supportive in the “If you like it, then buy it�? way so it won’t become an issue between us. With this approach, we are able to avoid any serious dispute on purchase decisions and, at the same time, without being over-spending.

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