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  • Writer's pictureJoe Woodhouse

The Number One Reason Couples Argue

One of the most common arguments in a marriage is about money; how to spend it, and how to save it for things that really matter. And if you think about it logically, it doesn’t make sense, money is really simple, save some for a rainy day (and the future) and spend some.

Any child can keep a budget.  

“Wealthy” - whatever that may mean to you, is, in my eyes having more money coming in than is going out.  

Debt needs to be paid off and money needs to be saved and invested for the things we want. Things like the kids educations, toes in the sand with a drink in the hand, sailing off into the sunset, that sort of stuff.  

If you and your partner follow this rule, you’ll have no financial issues for the rest of your lives. But it doesn’t feel that way, does it? It feels like we need a pHD in Finance and Wealth Management. 

But do we? 

There was study by Dr John Gottman of the Gottman Institute in the US. Where he went to a group of 8 year olds and asked them money advice.

He told them he works with Mums and Dads who are fighting about money, and he helps them to stop fighting and love each more. And he told them a story about a couple:

The Dad said, "I don’t want to save for tomorrow, I want to live for today. I want to spend money and enjoy life. MY uncle Jack saved up millions of dollars living in a tiny apartment and he never went out, he never really enjoyed life, he was miserable. I don’t want to do that".

The Mum said, "well my family grew up poor, we never had any money when an emergency came up or if someone got sick. When my parents got older and couldn’t physically work as hard, they had nothing. They couldn’t retire and they died working the jobs they hated. I don’t want to be like my parents".  

One wants to spend now. The other wants to save for later. They’re locking horns.

So, Dr. Gottman looked at the kids and asked, “What should this mom and dad do?” 

A hand shot up. “Save some and spend some.” The other kids looked at each other and nodded. 

The 8 year old then explained that the Mom & Dad should work together and work out a compromise with each other, the best option is to put some extra money in savings so they don’t end up like the mums parents and then use the rest to enjoy life so they don’t end up like Uncle Jack.

That’s all it takes. You can’t argue with the Kids logic. 


Work out what you need for the short term (emergency pot) and long term (kids education, retirement etc.)

And then, like the 8 year old said, save some, and spend some.  

So there you have it, life lessons from an 8 year old.  

Thanks for reading,


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