5 Worst Money Mistakes Couples Make

Find out the 5 worst financial mistakes that couples make - and how to avoid them for a happy future.

Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #321

Worst Money Mistakes Couples Make

Nicole Marie asks:

“My fiancé’s finances are in terrible shape. His bills are rarely opened and his utilities are often disconnected. He doesn’t pay his student loans or credit cards and collectors call every day. The problem isn’t that he doesn’t make enough money; he ignores his finances and won’t talk about them. How can I make him buckle down and face the reality of his financial mess? I have excellent credit, so should we open joint bank and credit card accounts to help him build credit and get back on track?”

If you’ve ever struggled with a loved-one’s financial messes, you can probably feel Nicole Marie’s frustration. I’m going to give her some solid advice that she should take to heart.

We’ll also cover the 5 worst mistakes that couples make when it comes to money. You’ll learn how to turn those mistakes around so you never put your financial future at risk..


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No matter if you just got engaged or have been hitched for 25 years, money is the leading cause of disagreement for couples. That’s why it’s so important to hash out financial issues long before you tie the knot or move in together.

Here are the 5 worst money mistakes that trip up couples—and how to correct them:

Money Mistake #1: Not Being Honest

If one partner feels embarrassed about his or her financial troubles, they may want to hide their money mess. This can be true especially if the other person is doing great, financially speaking. After all, who wants to be judged?

If you’re the one with a money mess, remember that a serious relationship or marriage is a true partnership. If you’re holding back information about income or debts, that’s the same as lying.

Every detail about your finances should be put on the table. Financial troubles only get worse over time if you don’t tackle them as a team.

And if you’re like Nicole Marie and it’s your partner who has the money mess, you’ll need to be sensitive to the reasons why he or she got into financial trouble in the first place.

Before criticizing, ask your partner to open up about their financial history, how they feel about it, and what ideas they have for turning a bad situation around. If you’re willing to listen to their side of the story, he or she may feel better about coming completely clean.


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.