I don’t mean to brag… but back in the day I used to be pretty awesome at starting fights about money. My expert skills earned me 7 messy break-ups, 3 National Asshole Awards, and countless nights sleeping on the couch!
Unfortunately, I’ve lost my touch over the years, and my wife and I barely fight about money anymore. We have turned into one of those boring “financially secure” couples.
Don’t worry, there is still hope for you. No matter if you’re an old married couple, or just starting a fresh relationship, I can teach you how to screw it all up and create a horrible financial future for you and your loved one. Just follow the simple steps below…
5 Tips on How To Start Big Fights About Money with Your Partner:
1) The “Sweep” Method: Ignore talking about money completely.
This is by far the easiest and most commonly used method to create tension with your partner. All you do is avoid talking about money for years and years. Sweep all your financial problems under a big metaphorical rug, and encourage your partner to do the same. Simple!
Instead of having regular small uncomfortable conversations, you get to save it all up and have a massive blowout later in life. Woohoo!
Better yet, when the huge fight about money eventually does arrive, it’s gonna be so ugly and complex that there’s no clear path to solving it! This will provide you both years of ammunition for bickering and blaming one another well into your golden years.
Now, I know it can be tempting to accidentally sit down and create a budget one day. But you must avoid doing this. Keep in mind this pro tip:
“The longer you can keep ignoring your issues, the bigger and better your fight will be.”
2) The “Mercenary” Method: Focus on the $$$, not your values.
This method is best used when your partner is one of those “be happy” or “live life by design” types of people. They’re obviously living in a dream world and need to be brought back down to reality. It’s your job to constantly burst their bubble.
Numbers, dollar signs, and fear of debt will be your best friends in this situation. Keep reminding your loved one how much everything costs. Talk about how much debt you are both in and let the fights brew from there.
To help you out I’ve created the following cheat sheet for when your partner approaches you with new ideas:
3) The Freak Out – “Too Early & Too Often”
By now you might be wondering, “Hey, all these tips are for long term relationships… I’ve only been dating my crush for a few months… Is there any way I can screw everything up early on?”
Yes! This step is perfect for new couples. Basically, it involves dumping all your financial knowledge on your partner in one uncomfortable lecture. Ideally, you want to do this on your 2nd or 3rd date.
For best results, prepare a budgeting template, compound interest calculator, and a detailed PowerPoint presentation on tax loss harvesting strategies. Trust me, your date will be horrified!
Pro Tip: Come on as strong and as early as possible. Once I asked a girl what her net worth and salary was before I even asked for her name. I got a drink thrown in my face – it was awesome!
4) Secretly resent your partner for making MORE or LESS money than you.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, although not easy to pull off. It involves nurturing your inner-most limiting beliefs and stereotyping your relationship from day 1. It will surely lead to some great money fights.
As my great great great grandpa used to say:
“Whoever makes the most money in your relationship should have the final decision on all family matters”
5) School Is For Fools!
No matter what people say, educating yourself about personal finance is a complete waste of time. Learning about other people’s rich dads or poor dads or whatever will not help your cause.
Why waste valuable hours reading books and listening to money podcasts, when you can use that time to pick fights with your significant other!
If you do feel like reading something, pick up a few new magazine subscriptions. Instead of podcasts, go through your partner’s credit card statements and highlight all the purchases you disagree with.
Keeping yourself under-educated will get you stressing, fighting about money, and sleeping in the doghouse in no time!
Remember: “If they don’t teach it in school, it’s probably not that important.”
OK That’s Enough, The Joke is Over…
Time to get serious now… Obviously this post is a spoof. Everyone needs to have honest conversations about finances with their partner. My wife and I have been together nearly 10 years, and we are still learning to improve our communication skills.
A recent book I read helped me personally, and I’d like to recommend it to you: “Smart Couples Finish Rich”, by David Bach. Grab it at your library or check it out on Amazon here.
This book may look like a basic money guide for couples, but it’s really a basic life planning guide. It’s full of couples exercises and worksheets that will help you and your partner get on the same page about your finances, and lead a rich and happy life!
“Failing to plan together is the same as planning to fail together”
9 thoughts on “How to Start Big Fights with Your Partner About Money”
My guess is most people like door #2, with a healthy dose of door #1. Good stuff!
Yes! I forgot to write about the added benefits of combining multiple strategies. Good catch!
You have some sound advice in here, can’t wait to go on my next date and ask their net worth!! 😉
Nice. That lucky guy doesn’t know what he’s in for!
This article is really good! #1 describes how my wife and I went about things before we discovered FI. Now we have monthly budget dates where we pour a glass of wine and go through the numbers. They were super awkward at first, but now we look forward to them!
You are not alone! Great to hear you’re making it fun and working it out – together!
Very nicely done, I have recently added you to my Dividend Blog Feed on my site. Hopefully that means you can start to see a little traffic from my site come to yours, although, your site is probably bigger than mine anyway. Thanks for sharing! Love the FIRE and Dividend community.
Thank you! I’ll check it out.
Nice spin on how to present some sound advice.
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