Whenever her husband Will gives her a gift, Erin is torn. Instead of being excited about the beautiful necklace, phone upgrade, or trendy shoes, all she can think of is how far the expense is taking them over their budget. When she blurts out another “Thank you, but…”, Will always gives her the same crestfallen look. He just can’t understand the “but.” He wants to make her feel special, and money is no object because everything she does for him and the kids is priceless to Will.
Erin loves her husband dearly and appreciates his desire to make her feel cherished. But they’ve been working so hard to finally get their college loans paid off. Once that debt is gone they can start putting more money towards the down payment for a bigger house with the additional bedroom they desperately need and a bigger yard for the kids to play in. She sees Will’s gifts as extravagant expenses that keep pushing the student debt finish line further away.
So where is this conflict between Erin and Will coming from? They both want the best for each other and for their family! In our latest book, Thriving in Love and Money, Jeff and I identify key areas where spouses can learn to communicate better, understand each other, and resolve (or avoid) money clashes like Erin and Will’s.
Let’s take a closer look at what might be behind their conflict, to help you and your spouse better understand your own money issues.