GuidesPersonal Finance

Top 6 Marriage-killing Money Issues

Stressed couple with laptop and paperwork

Financial problems are one of the leading reasons for couples getting divorced and there are lots of different types of money issues that lead to marriage troubles.

Financial hardship is a big stress factor, so it is understandable that this can be the trigger for many arguments and broken relationships.

These are the six most common financial issues that kill marriages:

Differences on financial priorities

Couples often have different opinions on what their financial priorities should be. One might want to pay off debt, while the other might prefer to pay for a holiday, an expensive hobby or buy a new car, for example. What is important to one person, is often much further down on the list of priorities for their partner and this can be the cause of lots of arguments.

Credit card debt

Having credit card debt is another big financial issue that can lead to divorce. Some people continuously use their credit card and accumulate large amounts of debt on credit cards, which can put a large amount of stress on a relationship.

Lying about finances

Infidelity is one of the top reasons for divorce but financial infidelity, where one person is lying about their finances and spending habits, can be just as big a problem. This could be anything from how much outstanding debt they have, to how much they spend in the pub or on new clothes etc.

Women in strippy top looking worried, sad. Man in backgroud.

Once these kinds of lies are discovered, the person who has been lied to will often find it hard to trust their partner again. Bad habits such as gambling could be uncovered, which can be a serious addiction and a very expensive one that can quickly escalate into major debts.

Going over budget/affordability

Another big catalyst for rows is where one partner keeps overstretching the realistic budget and affordability levels. If the other person likes to live within their means and does not have unrealistic lifestyle costs, then the two people are not matched in terms of their outlook on money. 

Unnecessary expenditure like luxury items or simply spending more money than they can afford, is likely to cause a lot of frustration to their partner. Some people have a lot more self-control over their spending, while others struggle to resist bargains or feel that they really must have the latest products.

Big impulse buys

Some people get a buzz from making impulse buys and will suddenly make a big purchase without consulting their partner. In this scenario, there is a lot of frustration from not being involved in making the decision and the impulse buy will often be something that the partner would not agree to buying.

Unexpected expenses

This type of problem is often neither person’s fault but the stress of facing an unexpected large cost can put a huge strain on a marriage. This could be an unexpected bill, an expensive house repair, education costs for your children, or a range of other costs that had not been planned for. The problem may have been completely out of either person’s control but the pressure of paying off the expense can often put a couple under enormous pressure, sometimes leading to divorce.

These are six of the most common financial issues that can cause marriages to head for the divorce courts but there are many more types of money issues that can create animosity in a relationship. 

It is problems like these examples that emphasise how important it can be to get prenuptial agreements, to ensure that one person’s financial behaviour will not affect the other person’s finances. If one person has a lot more money than the other, or one has a past history of being irresponsible with their finances, or they simply don’t want to take the risk of losing money when getting married, a prenuptial agreement can be the best solution.

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