5 Ways to Handle Money Stress Without Freaking on Your Partner

couple going over billsThere's nothing worse than fighting with your spouse because you're worried about money. How to spend it, not having enough, falling behind on bills, how much to put toward your child's college fund ... the things money causes couples to stress over can feel endless.


Thankfully, there are strategies on handling your finances in a tension-free way. Here, finance experts share the simplest ways to get on the same page with your spouse about money before the worry (and panic) starts to build.

1. Never raise your voice. Although most couples butt heads over finances at one point or another, do your best to stay calm. "The stress that comes along with money issues brings about frustration and anger, and we usually aim that at the other person and not ourselves," personal finance coach Debbi King says.

That said, nothing productive will come of shouting at your partner. "Know that no one will hear you and you will not make any progress if voices are raised and full of tone and anger," she explains.

More from The Stir: 5 Common Fights About Money & How to Resolve Them

2. Be vulnerable. "Nothing builds emotional intimacy better than each admitting all your fears and what conflicts cause both of you to struggle," explains life coach Pegi Burdick, who is known as the "Financial Whisperer." "Once you have both shared your feelings and observations, make a list of goals. They can be things like building a savings account together or agreeing to discuss all purchases over $200."

3. Stay on top of the problem. "If you're struggling to pay off a debt, have a weekly update so you can stay accountable," suggests Burdick. "This chat will keep you on track with your payments and ensure that important expenses, like your life insurance premium, don't get ignored."

4. Build an emergency fund. "This fund will keep the panic away when unexpected expenses arise -- the dishwasher goes on the fritz, the transmission in your car needs to be replaced, your dog needs surgery, and more," says Burdick. "Make space for this in your budget. Even if it's a small contribution, the consistency of doing so builds self-trust and trust in your accomplishments as a couple."

5. Have fun. "You married each other because you liked each other," Burdick notes. "Make a list of things to do together -- without the kids -- that are more fun than expensive." (Think walking in the park, rock climbing, cooking together, etc.)

"Focusing on each other is the best investment in your relationship," Burdick says. One that you must admit is truly priceless.


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