December 2, 2012

Understand Your Spouses Financial Priorities

I think one common problem between a couple is that they may have quite different financial priorities and may not even realize this.    This can easily lead to tension and arguments because you both mistake how important some things are to the other.   Its important to have a clear idea of where your partners financial priorities are.    Their priorities may differ from your own priorities.   You may have an idea that your spouse considers some things more important than you but you may not have a clear idea of exactly how important they consider it.   Maybe you get into an argument about whether you should pay down a loan or put some money in the bank.  Its helpful to know if your spouse considers paying down debt to be their number one priority or if they think money in the bank should be the first goal.

Here is a simple way to get a clear picture of each others priorities : 

1. Each of you take a piece of paper and then write down your top 10 financial priorities in order of most important to least important.
2. After you've each created your lists then swap the lists and compare.

You may be surprised what your spouse considers higher priority.  Hopefully you're mostly on the same page as far as priorities but theres likely to be some notable differences.  After this exercise you should have a better understanding of your spouses reaction to some spending and saving decisions. 

I rarely delve into couples advice but I think this one is particularly useful.



  1. This is a very useful exercise. I might have to try it with my wife. I know that she wants to be a stay at home mother once we have children. However, I'd like to run my own business. Seeing where we stand on certain issues can certainly help us to avoid conflict.

  2. My wife likes security. Knowing we can never lose our 'income' (if we lose one cleaning account, we can always get another)gives a feeling of economic stability.

  3. Great advice. I currently believe in financial stability and insuring that I will have more money to spend in the future than I do today. I think your exercise can go beyond financial priorities. If I had a girlfriend I would suggest we both write four to six things that we values most in life, and compare :)


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