How to Avoid Financial Fights
Five ways to work out marital money woes without conflict.
Pick the right time.
Find a nonstressful window of time to talk, such as when the kids are asleep or out of the house.
Write down your main issues ahead of time so it's easier to stay "on message" during your discussion.
Don't get emotional.
Avoid personal attacks that could put your spouse on the defensive. Use "I" messages ("I worry when you spend a lot of money on things" instead of "You're a shopaholic"), and counter every negative comment with a positive one.
This is your opportunity to address your financial frustrations. But it's also his, so let your partner have his say without interruption. Common courtesy will help you achieve your objectives.
Make a plan.
Compile a to-do money list, and meet monthly to track the progress of your goals.
Copyright © 2005 Meredith Corporation. Originally published in the May 2005 issue of Parents magazine.