10 Ways to Prevent a Toxic Break Up Because of Money

MANAGE MONEY - BUDGETING
Money is at the heart of many relationship problems. Learn how to stop fighting and start working together.
Last updated March 16, 2023 | By Sandy Baker Edited By Chris Kissell
Two men looking concerned at a computer

We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Money is one of the biggest factors underlying the tension in relationships. As stress increases over finances, it’s not uncommon for some relationships to strain so much that they fail.

If your relationship is struggling and money is a core reason why then it’s time to make some changes that can help you move beyond financial struggles.

Here's how to stop fighting over money with your partner and achieve a better outcome that makes you both happy.

Talk about your finances

Delmaine Donson/peopleimages.com/Adobe ebanking couple working on laptop looking happy

Many couples are reluctant to talk about money. But a failure to communicate about finances ultimately means the partners cannot make decisions together, work through investment options, or plan for retirement.

Sure, not talking about money might mean there’s less fighting about money — for now. But it also sets the stage for disagreements and mistakes to snowball, and that could have a significant and negative long-term impact on the relationship.

Be honest

Prostock-studio/Adobe happy young woman speaking to her friend

Being transparent about spending habits, needs, concerns, and goals is critical. Hiding debt is an especially dangerous action that damages many relationships.

Be honest and open with your partner about all money issues so you can work toward a solution together.

Speak to each other in a loving way

Nebojsa/Adobe couple is talking with their family on computer

Money is a hot topic, and it can lead to heated conversations quickly. That’s especially true when the people in the relationship have differing opinions and beliefs about how to use and save money.

When conversations about financial topics arise, focus on speaking to your partner in a way that honors the love you have for them. 

Keep your voice down, don’t make accusations, focus on facts, and avoid allowing frustration to simmer. Open up and be honest, but avoid being hostile. That bit of respect can be critical in resolving differences.


Consider joint accounts

otello-stpdc/Adobe hand putting coins in pink piggy bank

In some relationships, each partner has their own bank account. And if that works for you, great.

But in other situations, maintaining a joint account can help foster a sense of openness and transparency. It also encourages teamwork and achieving financial goals together.

If you cannot agree on all aspects of your money, consider establishing a main joint account for your money, and then agreeing that each partner will receive a set amount of money each month to spend as they like. A no-questions-asked fund like this can save some relationships.

Appreciate your differences

Siphosethu Fanti/peopleimages.com/Adobe couple on a honeymoon with a piggy back ride

The very differences that sometimes cause trouble in a relationship can actually make for a richer and more fruitful union.

If one partner is more likely to save, that’s going to benefit the couple in the long term. At the same time, the person who likes to spend on things can push their partner to experience interesting things that make life more enjoyable.

The key here is to appreciate that you are different, and to realize that fact is a good thing.

Schedule a budget date night

Krakenimages.com/Adobe young couple dinning toasting wine glass

This might not sound like fun, but scheduling a time each month to sit down and work on a budget together increases transparency and builds trust. It also helps prevent money tensions from getting out of hand.

When couples set goals, work toward them together, and achieve them, it creates a much higher trust factor. This ultimately can help couples work through other struggles within their relationship in a more meaningful and healthy manner.

Build a debt repayment plan together

F/Adobe stressed about credit card debt

Debt is often at the forefront of arguments in relationships. There’s no quick fix for getting out of the red, but when a couple works on a plan to attack debt together, they are more likely to resolve the matter.

Treat debt like an illness or injury: When you both create a plan to manage it and work together to tackle the problem, things tend to go better.

Resolve to crush your debts and work on a plan to meet repayment goals. It can be exhilarating when you reach your goals together.

Change your perspective

mavoimages/Adobe couple sitting at home doing online banking

In all aspects of a relationship, compromise and “seeing” someone else’s point of view are critical. The same applies to money.

If one partner is adamant about saving more, have a conversation about why that is so important to them. If one partner is more willing to toss out the budget, discuss why that is the case, too.

Try to see your partner’s perspective so you can better understand where they are coming from.

Drop the blame game

Rawpixel.com/Adobe couple managing the debt

Many arguments about money include finger-pointing, blame, and even a bit of shaming.

If you are having financial difficulties, remember that no matter what caused the situation, you’re both in this together. Outbursts and statements of blame pit one partner against the other, making it more difficult to communicate effectively.

Remember, the goal is to work together to try to understand “why” these issues are occurring and how to fix them.

Find a shared goal

BGStock72/Adobe loving couple in the Vatican Italy

One way to lessen some of the tension over money is to focus on a financial goal that you both desire:

  • Do you both want to retire early?
  • Do you both want to buy an investment property?
  • Do you share travel goals?

The key here is to find a shared long-term goal, so you can work together on achieving it. Sharing a goal motivates each person to put in the hard work it takes to reach it.

On the other hand, if the goal is one-sided, chances are good that it’s going to be more difficult to work toward together, and easier for arguments to occur.

Bottom line

Drobot Dean/Adobe young couple using laptop and analyzing finances

When two people are on different pages about money, it can create other issues in the relationship. That is why it is important to stop fighting about money and start working together toward solutions.

Finding common ground about finances not only reduces tensions, but it also is likely to help you to save and spend in responsible ways that will boost your bank account over the long haul.

Rocket Money Benefits

  • Automatically find and cancel subscriptions
  • Slash your monthly phone, cable, and internet bills
  • Save an average of up to $720 a year

Author Details

Sandy Baker Sandy Baker is a has over 17 years of experience in the financial sector. Her experience includes website content, blogs, and social media. She’s worked with companies such as Realtor.com, Bankrate, TransUnion, Equifax, and Consumer Affairs.