How can spouses better manage their finances

"You always spend so much money ..." - "You know very well that we cannot afford it." - "I'll save and you throw the money out the window!" - If such sentences sound familiar to you, You probably also often argue with your partner about money. In fact, finances are a common controversy in relationships. However, only when it comes to major purchases, as a representative GfK survey in 2016 showed: every second couple argues about this. On the question of what the money is being spent on, however, 84 percent of men and women agree with their partners.

However, there is a lot of trouble with couples if their household has children up to 15 years of age. If the partner has spent more money than is available, this leads to arguments in 22 percent - without a child, this is only the case for 12 percent.

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In order to prevent arguments, it is best for couples to clarify how they want to organize their finances at the beginning of their life together. The best tips at a glance.

Negotiating dealing with money

It is best to make clear agreements at the beginning of a relationship on how to proceed with the assets that you have brought in and that you have developed together in the event of a possible separation. Sit at a table and work out how you need to live. A prenuptial agreement can also be useful before a wedding.

Clarify the account question

As long as a couple has not moved in together or married, it is best for both of them to keep their accounts. If you live together, three bank accounts have proven their worth: One account each for the partner - and a joint account for necessary expenses such as rent, telephone bills and reserves for emergencies and major purchases. Even non-working partners should have a sufficient household budget as well as money for childcare and retirement provision.

Do not borrow money from your partner

It is better not to borrow anything from your partner, otherwise you will quickly find yourself in a relationship of dependency. Better ask friends. If there is no other way, define the repayment rules precisely. Above all, you should pay back the money on time to avoid arguments.

Beware of loans

In the case of marriages, a joint payment obligation applies: If necessary, providers can claim outstanding costs for rent, telephone or electricity from both spouses, even if one partner earns nothing. You should never simply co-sign absolute guarantees for car leasing and loans - you can be prosecuted if your partner does not pay. In the case of a deficiency guarantee, however, it is first checked which of the two signatories is solvent.

Share high costs

For larger purchases such as a couch or a refrigerator, couples should always discuss who bears which costs. Always make yourself aware of your wishes and those of your partner. Anyone who “uses” the joint household account should only do so after consulting with a previously determined amount.

Whoever earns more pays more

If one partner earns more than the other, it should be okay for them to contribute a little more money to the common living. If one of the two is (temporarily) unemployed, a joint account or a fixed monthly amount can avoid the feeling of inequality and dependency for the person concerned.

Keep the budget book

To keep track of your expenses, you should keep a budget book. All expenses incurred in the common household are entered in it. Such an overview also removes the emotions from the conflicts over money.

Make provisions for old age

The woman gives birth to their child, takes care of the baby and usually takes time off from work. So it should go without saying that the man should contribute something to the partner's retirement provision during this time. If the difference in income is large, both should combine their salary and save equal parts for the pension.

Get professional help

If the dispute over the money cannot be resolved despite all attempts, only going to the marriage counseling center will help. There both can talk openly about their feelings and find out what the real reasons for the conflict are. Often it is not just about money - but also about trust, fears, control and different value systems.

Learn from each other

"Men and women can learn from each other in joint financial planning," says Constanze Hintze, financial advisor for women in Munich. Women are often extremely security-oriented when it comes to investments, men are generally more willing to take risks. Therefore, you could encourage the woman to use some of her money to venture into riskier, but more profitable, investments. (gs)