NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Resolving Money Issues

Resolving Money Issues


A story goes - when asked how much money is enough, a wealthy individual replied, “Just a little bit more.”  Most families find there is never enough money, so sooner or later they squabble about how to spend the limited dollars. Meshing different styles of handling money doesn’t just happen because people love each other.  It takes effective communication, time, and effort.

-         A Time and a Place

Talking about money “later” or promising to discuss it “some other time” may never happen. Schedule regular meetings to discuss financial matters. This keeps you and your co-spender informed and can prevent minor concerns from becoming major problems.

-         Listening Habits

Effective communication requires good listening. What kind of listener are you? During a disagreement, do you find yourself planning your defense? Does your mind wander? Do you stop listening if a subject is difficult to understand?  Listen for key points. Ask questions if you don’t understand something.

If a problem is worth arguing about, it is worth solving. Combine good communication skills with the following steps:

1. Acknowledge that there is a problem. Get feelings out in the open.

2. Identify the real problem. Money issues are often emotionally charged. Organized, written records give objective information rather than guesses. Be sure the issue is really money.

3. Discuss only the identified problem. Keep personalities, past complaints, or other problems out of it.

4. Brainstorm alternatives. List all possible actions/solutions no matter how ridiculous. No one should comment on suggestions until the list is complete.

5. Discuss each alternative and agree on a possible solution. Write it down. A compromise may be the best solution. Everyone should feel his or her wishes were considered.

6. Make every effort to support the solution. Identify and avoid obstacles. Recognize necessary sacrifices. Perfect solutions are rare.

7. Keep communications open while working out the solution. Each person needs to feel understood, appreciated, and loved.


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