Three tips to help you stop arguing over money

Are fights over money damaging your relationship? Do you often find yourself lying about what you spend? Read three tips to help you stop!

It probably won’t come as much surprise to learn that money is the leading cause of stress in relationships.

But you may be surprised to learn that, as well as arguing over finances, many of us don’t even trust our partners!

Indeed, a survey of 2,000 people in the UK by Paymentsense found that a third of us thinks our partner lie about what they spend, and almost half of married Brits say they wouldn’t trust their partner with their credit card.

And while the percentage of men and women who lie to their partners is about equal, there’s a big difference in what we lie about. Almost a quarter of men hide what they spend on alcohol, whereas 1 in 10 women hide what they spend on food.

There’s also a disparity on how we lie about our spending. Apparently, 16% of women hide their spending by saying things were in the sale, while men simply pay with cash so it doesn’t show up on their bank statement.

Three tips to avoid lying to your partner about money

So how do you avoid the flash points of money, and enjoy a more harmonious relationship (without needing to lie)?

There are always some purchases you’ll need to hide from your partner, such as presents and surprises for each other. But there are some things we shouldn’t feel the need to lie about. Below are three tips to help you avoid financial fibs.

1) Set a reasonable weekly budget

Having a budget each week or month on what you can spend can be really helpful, especially when it comes to food. But make sure it’s reasonable so you’re not forced to cover up ‘over-spending’ at the end of the month.

Creating a meal plan will allow you to budget your shop more accurately, and avoid spending too much or needing to buy extra food on the sly.

And don’t forget to leave funds in your budget for the odd treat if you fancy it and can afford it. A budget that barely covers the essentials is no fun and leaves no room for inspiration or creativity.

2) Invite your partner out with you

Hobbies, gigs and social occasions are some of the things that people lie to their partner about. But why? If you invite them along too you won’t need to lie. Plus you can turn it into a date night or an opportunity to encourage them to get involved in your interests.

If your partner genuinely has no interest in joining your nights out, encourage them to enjoy a social life of their own. Not only is it healthy to have separate interests, but if their life is equally full and rewarding, they won’t mind you pursuing your hobbies or social life.

3) Think before you buy

Before you make that purchase you think you desperately need, think about what how your partner would feel if you think you’re going to have to lie to them about it. You may decide it’s not worth it.

Also consider whether you really need it, or just want it. If it’s an item of clothing, do a mental rifle through your wardrobe and honestly assess whether you already have an item that would do the job of this one just as well.

Or, another good trick is to put it back on the rack (or ask an assistant to put it aside for you for an hour) and walk out the shop. Deliberately think of other things/do activities and see whether it organically creeps back into your thoughts. If it does and you still feel just as excited about it then maybe it’s worth buying. If not, it was probably just a fleeting fancy.

If you have the funds and you can show your partner your purchases without guilt, there’s nothing wrong with buying something just because you fancy it. But if money is tight and you’ll end up lying to your partner about it, work out how much you really want it.

Where is the love?

Of course money is just one topic partners fight about! If you and your partner are currently going through a rough patch, you may find some helpful advice in these articles: