My husband DJ and I don’t fight over finances.

Now before you roll your eyes and turn away, I’ll tell you why – 

In our short 2 years of marriage, we’ve been on the brink of financial collapse, faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, acquired nearly $60,000 in credit card debt, and made countless other poor financial mistakes. 

However, we somehow rarely, if ever, fight about money. 

Now I will say, it has taken intentional effort on our part to not argue about money. 

And trust me, despite wanting to believe we have it all figured out, there are still days we disagree on how best to manage our finances. 

However, after many, many discussions, we have finally come to a point at which we are on, relatively, the same page. 

Here are 6 strategies that have helped us have peace when it comes to figuring out our finances. 

 

1. Begin With The End In Mind 

 

One of the greatest ways DJ and I have made peace about our financial journey is by focusing on the end game. Despite having an insane amount of student loan debt and thousands of dollars in credit card debt, we decided to look past all of that and focus on what we wanted in our future.

Once we decided that we wanted to achieve true Financial Freedom, we reverse engineered and took the necessary steps to begin working towards that goal. 

It is through reading various books such as Set For Life, Financial Freedom, and I Will Teach You To Be Rich that we began to formulate our own concept of what true financial peace looks like for us and how we envisioned our life together. 

DJ and I want financial freedom so that we can spend time at home raising our future children together. We want to travel the world. We want to give back and participate in humanitarian work. We want to help our families. 

Money is not the ultimate goal for us. 

Time is. 

But in order to achieve true time freedom, we must achieve financial freedom first. 

Take time to dream with your partner. Begin with the end in mind, which reminds me…

 

2. Set Aside Time to Discuss Finances

 

DJ and I discuss our finances in brief weekly. However, each month we hold an official family meeting in which we sit down and discuss our short and long term goals. 

We figure out how aggressive we can be towards paying off our credit card debt, what other expenses we can cut from our budget, and how much progress we are making towards our ultimate goal of financial freedom. 

Set aside time with your partner to talk about your finances. 

The frequency can vary for each couple. Some may find discussing finances each week may work perfectly for them, while other couples may have their system so finely tuned, they only need to discuss their finances once every month or two.  

If you have not been discussing your finances with your partner regularly, we recommend having a formal sit down at least once a month. However, if you and your partner are down, we’d say go for it once a week! 

Pick a time when you are both in the right state of mind. Don’t bring it up right after an argument or a bad day at work. 

Simply block off some time together and talk about how you are spending your money, what is working for you currently, what needs to change, etc.

 It is also important to discuss what you are aiming for, which brings me to my next point… 

 

3. Set Financial Goals Together 

 

One of the best ways to be on the same page financially is to set goals together. 

Sit down with your partner and determine what your ultimate financial goals are. 

  • Is it being able to put your future children through college? 
  • Having enough money to retire early? 
  • Going on an extravagant vacation each year? 

Determine what your end goal is and work towards that goal. 

Our ultimate goal is to achieve financial freedom so that we can have time freedom.

But for right now, one of our short term goals is to finish paying off our credit card debt in the next four months. We have a friend who set a goal with her husband to save at least $1,000 each month. 

The goals can be as small as saving $25 dollars a week, or as large as achieving financial freedom and retiring early. 

The choice is yours. 

Make sure to sit down and set goals together with your partner. I also recommend setting short and long term goals. 

Set goals that are SMART – 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant 
  • Time Bound 

While setting goals together is obviously important, it can be difficult to agree on the specifics. That’s why the next step is so important. 

 

4. Compromise, Compromise, Compromise 

 

This may be the most difficult step to follow. But DJ and I have found that by compromising, we are ultimately the happiest because we each feel listened to and respected.

For example, DJ and I both love eating out at restaurants. I, especially, would likely eat out everyday if I could. Unfortunately, our food budget gets absolutely destroyed when we visit restaurants frequently. 

So, we decided to compromise by deciding we’d limit ourselves to eating out twice a week. Once during the week, and once during the weekends. 

This is what we decided worked for us. For others, it may be something completely different. 

It is so important to compromise with your partner when setting financial goals and expectations. 

I promise it will lead to less arguments and more happiness in your relationship! 

 

5. Create Personal Accounts For Discretionary Spending

 

One of the greatest pieces of financial advice we ever received before getting married and combining our finances was to create personal individual accounts for discretionary spending. 

Doing this has saved us countless arguments regarding how we each spend our money. 

The method is simple. Decide on a set percentage each person will keep from their paycheck and direct that money into a personal account only that person has access to. 

The set percentage can be anything you and your partner decide, but for DJ and I, we decided on 5% of our individual income. So let’s say I brought in $3,000 dollars a month, then I would receive $150 straight into my personal account to spend (or save!) on whatever I please. 

Here at DuoDollars, we recommend setting up separate checking accounts with no minimums or fees, that way your hard earned money stays that way and isn’t eaten alive by banks who have way less need for your money than you do.

You can read more in depth about this method by clicking here

 

6. Recognize Differences And Embrace Them

 

I tend to be a spender. 

I see money as a way to increase satisfaction, joy, and contentment. When spent on the right things, spending money contributes to my overall happiness and well-being. I enjoy being able to spend money on what I please, no questions asked. 

DJ tends to be more of a saver. 

He enjoys putting money away, protecting it, and growing it. To him, saving money gives him a sense of accomplishment and stability. He appreciates handling money wisely with discretion and restraint. 

As you can imagine, this fundamental difference in how we view money could lay grounds for a tumultuous relationship. However, after countless hours of communication and compromise, we have come to view each other’s differences as complementary.

There is a time to spend money, and there is a time to save. 

We have come to recognize our differences and embrace them. I encourage you to do the same. 

 

In conclusion, the ultimate takeaway is this – Spend time communicating with your partner. 

 

Effective communication will allow you to do all of the following steps – 

1. Begin With The End In Mind 

2. Set Aside Time to Discuss Finances

3. Set Financial Goals Together 

4. Compromise, Compromise, Compromise 

5. Create Personal Accounts For Discretionary Spending

6. Recognize Differences And Embrace Them

 

Ultimately, communicating with DJ over the years is what has led us to where we are now. A place where we are on the same page financially, aggressively paying off our debt, and taking the necessary steps towards Financial Freedom.

We hope that by implementing these 6 steps, you will not only experience more peace and happiness in your financial life, but in your relationship as well.