5 Signs Your Finances Are Draining Your Relationships

Money is one of the number one reasons long-term relationships fail. And for the couples who stay together, 36% report that money is a cause of stress in their relationship. 

Sometimes you might not even realize that money is the source of relationship stress. I’ve compiled the top five symptoms that indicate your relationship has money problems. 

How does your relationship stack up?

1 | Money decisions are handled separately 

When money decisions aren’t being made together, there’s going to be a divide in the relationship. Money decisions aren’t just based on the math. They’re also based on the needs and desires of each partner. 

When you make money decisions separately in a relationship, you’re preventing both partners from feeling heard and having their needs and wants met. 


How often are you talking about money in your relationship? 

Who decides what to do about big purchases? 

Are you both represented in your shared budget? 

Do you wish you two handled money decisions differently? 

What would you like to change?

How to fix it:

Set a weekly day and time to sit down and talk about money. Use this time to share bits of your money story, revisit your shared budget, and talk about upcoming purchases. It takes less than an hour every week, and can dramatically change how you communicate with each other.

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2 | Saving v spending debate

One of the most common reasons couples fight is because of different financial personalities. One’s a spender and the other a saver. If you can’t agree on what to spend or what to save, it’s going to cause tremendous pain for you both. 

A likely issue is that you’re not budgeting together — or one (or both of you) aren’t sticking to the budget you agreed on. 

Each partner brings a money story to the relationship. Sharing your money background, fears, and beliefs will help open up communication and allow you to come to a mutual agreement between spending and savings.


What financial preferences do you agree on? 

Why do you disagree about how much should be saved vs spent? 

Is there an imbalance of financial power in the relationship? 

Do you each want different lifestyles? 

Do you have the same financial goals? 

How to fix it:

Share your money stories, goals, fears, and dreams. Sit down and create a shared budget together that can support each of you. At least once a month, review your spending together. No shame or blame allowed here. Just honest conversation and a willingness to work together and make a plan for the next month that supports your mutual goals and dreams.

3 | You hide financial decisions from each other 

This is a big problem that can lead to trust issues and larger relationship problems. If you’re hiding debt from your partner or lying about how much you’re spending, you’re altering the foundation of your relationship to one of suspicion and distrust.

Strong relationships are built on trust. Financial secret-keeping breaks that trust and can weaken other areas of your relationship. 


Have you ever told your partner you bought something for less than you did? 

Is there anything in your financial snapshot you haven’t revealed to your partner? 

Do you ever hide your receipts or transaction history? 

Do you trust your partner’s financial decisions?

How to fix it:

Sit down with your partner and be honest about any financial secrets you’ve been keeping. It may be helpful to share (or re-share) your money story to help express where this behavior comes from, so together you can make a plan for change. 

Remember to make this a time of connection, love, and sharing. And, maybe a little laughter!

4 | You blame each other for money problems

Financial accusations add stress and overwhelm to an already tense subject. 

When shame and blame are thrown around, these conversations tend to go in one direction: downhill. 

Blame leads to increased disagreements and separation within the relationship.  


What is happening financially that you hold your partner accountable for? 

What are you holding yourself accountable for? 

What would you like to see change for the future? 

How do you think you can create that financial change for your relationship as a team?

How to fix it:

There are three things that need to be present in the relationship in order to move forward from here: empathy, support, and understanding. Sharing your money stories is a helpful tool to understand how your childhood experiences have shaped your money beliefs. These experiences likely led to the money problems you’re both experiencing now.

5 | You can’t talk about money without fighting

You have every intention of having an amazing, heartfelt conversation with your partner. You know the kind I’m talking about. You share, you laugh, you work together to solve problems. Then, two sentences in, you are tense, stressed, and feeling overwhelmed. You are thinking things will never change. 

It can change! 


Why do you get angry or frustrated about money? 

What would need to happen for you to remain calm during a conversation about finances? 

How would you like a conversation about money to go? 

Would it be helpful to bring in a third party to guide the discussion?

How to fix it:

Realize that the money problems in a relationship are based on each person’s money mindset and the beliefs that each brings into the relationship. 

Embrace each other’s money story. Remember, you each have a unique way of communicating, a history that has shaped each of you, and that you may have different financial goals and dreams.

Financial freedom occurs in a relationship when both partners are equally committed to shared financial goals.

Be vulnerable! Be open to compromise! Be honest! 

Your relationship will become stronger, less stressful, and money will become crazy fun!

With love and belief in YOU,

Take the Next Step Toward Financial Freedom

Learn how to GET OUT (and stay out!) of debt with our FREE 5-Step Financial Roadmap