How to Keep Finances From Becoming a Source of Tension in Your Marriage – Engaged Marriage

How to Keep Finances From Becoming a Source of Tension in Your Marriage

By Dustin | Finances & Careers

Note: This is a guest post from Jane Sanders from Debt Management.

Many marriages have found they suffer from many negative elements, and a lot of these elements often come back to money problems. Money problems can be caused by a wide range of issues from not making enough to not managing it right.

However, money problems within marriages can be resolved and avoided by keeping a positive attitude, following some simple steps, and sometimes through the use of professional help.

Keep a Good Attitude

It is always important to be proactive about any methods and approaches that are implemented to resolve money and marriage differences or problems. Marriages that do not stay proactive tend to lose the money and marriage battle before it even begins.

Be Honest & Open and Set up a Budget

One of the most important things to do in the beginning of solving financial marriage problems is to sit down and create an honest and open communication airway between both parties. After it has been established that honesty and openness are being followed, it is crucial to create a budget. Most importantly, it is pertinent that a budget is created that both parties agree to, followed by actually sticking to the budget.

Couples who are enduring problems due to financial issues should never go outside of their budget and spend money unless an emergency occurs; this is why it is important to have a savings account set up.

In the event that something comes up and it is not an emergency, being honest with one another helps to avoid problems if one side of the marriage thinks a purchase is necessary. If both parties cannot agree in some form or fashion to the money being spent then the money should not be spent at all; this only helps to avoid disagreements.

Open Three Checking Accounts

Opening three checking accounts should include one joint account accompanied with two individual accounts.

[Note from Dustin: I’ve shared my thoughts on this issue and heard loudly from the community to the tune of over 100 comments on this post about bank accounts.]

This allows a marriage to have money set aside for required expenses, while at the same time each individual having their own money set aside for wanted or desired expenses. Opening separate checking accounts requires trust, but it is a wonderful way for couples to gain a sense of freedom when it comes to managing their own small bank account.

Most of the money within the marriage should be kept in the joint account. If either party objects to not opening individual accounts, then it should be avoided until both parties agree.

Always Ask for Help When it is Needed

Sometimes parties within a marriage get to their wits end and simply have no remedies to help their financial situation and differences. When this occurs, professional assistance should always be sought. There are a large number of financial counselors whose line of work is to help couples through their financial marriage problems.

What have been the keys to financial harmony within your marriage?

This article was contributed by Jane Sanders from Debt Management. Visit her site for more tips on eliminating your credit card debt.

(photo source)

About the Author

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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(8) comments

Esther @Add A Spoonful of Sugar

Hi Jane and Dustin! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about money management. My husband and I are both pretty frugal (he more so than me) but we have one joint account which we agreed to when we were engaged. We’ve budgeted from the beginning, thanks to Dave Ramsey, and we discuss almost every purchase (especially the major ones).

I personally don’t see the need for 3 accounts when you have a system of budgeting and communication on purchases. What I DO think can be helpful is a his/hers budget each month, where each spouse can use the $20 or so allotted to each however they like and this amount is specified in the budget. In my opinion, it seems a simpler solution to the problem as you only need to worry about one account, and it solves a lot of the little conflicts that may arise over the small, often frivolous purchases made by each.

What do you guys think about this?


    I totally agree with your approach, Esther. As stated in my (controversial) post on whether or not spouses should have separate bank accounts (linked to in the post above), I am a big proponent of using joint accounts but budgeting in some fun money for each individual. It sounds like we’re on the same page! 🙂

      Esther @Add A Spoonful of Sugar

      Oh! Opps, sorry Dustin, I should have read your other post:) Glad to hear that!

Change Relationship

I agree with you about having a separate account for expenses. Thanks for sharing this informative article. I learn a lot from you.

Marriage Problems

Marriages that do not stay proactive tend to lose the money and marriage battle before it even begins.

That is very true. Being proactive is the best way to keep the marriage intact.


I totally agree with some separate money when married. It would give some freedom. Although not necessary, separate checking accounts would also take care of the problem that can arise in a marriage if something happens. Meaning, each person would know how and be able to take care of finances if something happens to the other. Often this can be a problem. Thank you for your blog. Another good website is It deals with many different marital issues as well.


[…] How to Keep Finances From Becoming a Source of Tension in Your Marriage: Another great guest post on an important issue. […]


I need some advice : “living with partner who has own mortgage and earns more/ splitting outgoing”
I am just turning 30, living at home. Partner is 33, has own house and mortgage for 8years.
We are thinking about moving in about a years time but a spanner has been put in the woks which I will explain later. He earns upto £45-50 per year which I found out as he didn’t actually disclose this. We have been together for nearly 3 years. He is very independent financially and from a well off family but does it all himself. I live at home as of bad experiences in the past so don’t want to move in with someone without knowing the facts

I’ve heard of tennant in common, agreement which sounds good. But that would be years down the line
I want to know what would be reasonable with paying bills and outgoings when you first move in?
I am being picky with this as it’s not simple and straight forward with my partner, he’s closed when it comes to talking about his outgoings and income, and said oh don’t worry about mortgage and bills u know I’ll pay that you just can pay abit of whatever, it may seem lovely to most females but not me.
That’s not partnership in my eyes and would make me feel like a lodger without any say on anything including the house, in making it also my home.
I don’t earn a great deal and out incomes are at other ends of the spectrums me :£16 pa his: £47-50 pa

It’s hard as I’m fighting my own independence and control of my life. My partner in my eyes has said he will take care of all finances as its a way of him not having to disclose what he’s got going and and going out and I don’t want that blindness in my life, I have to be in control also

Further to this, he has told me he has £23 k in savings, for a car and this is offset against his mortgage. Which is great to see I’m with someone who saves it

But as I’ve had a bad past and small insecurities about men, I opened his bank statement not because of doubt but looking for that extra reassurance that what he says is true if we are to have a future together
His statement read more than he told me
£23k. – (actually £47k much more)
£2,400 – (savings that I knew about)
£6,500 – (did not disclose)
£40 in current account when I fact it was £1,400 a available)
And a £2k Xmas present from his dad he did not tell me about

I feel like he obviously doesn’t trust me to tell me this, it’s almost like financial infidelity. He says the £47k is not for anything in particular, just saving

The issue is, he saves 2/3 of his wage now I’ve realised but has been saying he doesn’t have much money to actually live on and that he’s so thrifty.

I confronted him, he was shocked but o feel hurt and almost lied too even though I guess it’s non of my business. It opened my eyes up to the fact if we lived together e would have never told me about this he admits, so where do I take things from here?
I feel dubious now about living, and that he will never disclose try transparency on money and I want unity and partnership not a say on his money but to at least know
he says its security in case he looses his job but in all fairness he’s been in it for 11yrs and is looking for a massive promotion in which he thinks he/ will live on a shoe string still?

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