Money is the top cause of disagreements between couples, and it’s the No. 2 reason couples divorce (behind infidelity), a 2018 Ramsey Solutions study found. One of the reasons money fights are so common is that partners don’t often see eye-to-eye on the topic.
“Almost every couple I’ve ever met views money differently,” said Grant Cardone, who will be hosting the 10X Couples Retreat with his wife, Elena, in October. “I know my wife and I view money differently. She thinks it’s able to come endlessly and without any effort, and I believe that it takes tremendous amounts of energy and effort to get it right.”
The 1 to 5 Scale
Before making any major purchases, Grant and Elena Cardone give the purchase a rating on a one to five scale.
“A one is you absolutely have to have it, and a five is it’s absolutely not necessary,” he said. “Two is we need this and we can afford it. Three is I don’t know. Four is we don’t need it and we may or may not be able to afford it.”
Anything that’s ranked a one or two gets bought, anything that’s a four or a five they pass on, and only the purchases that rank a three become a cause for discussion.
“All we’re going to argue about now is number three,” Cardone said. “It’ll be, ‘Is this three more like a two or more like a four?’ It keeps us out of arguing because you’re going to argue with your spouse. If you’re married any length of time, you’re going to have an argument. You don’t need to have it about money.”
Set Life-Changing Goals
Another way to stay on the same page as a couple is to set a financial target that you both want to reach.
“I know that when I have trouble with my relationship, it’s because I am not focused enough on a target, and my wife becomes the target,” Cardone said. “This is what happens with couples. But if there’s a fire outside, my wife and I are not fighting because we’re trying to make sure that the family is [safe], and that gets us on the same page.”
In order to stay motivated to stay aligned, Cardone recommends setting a goal that will change your quality of life.
“Most couples are not motivated because the thing they’re working on is not changing their quality of life,” he said. “But if you [make it a goal to save for a vacation] someplace they’ve never been before that they’ve always dreamed of going, all of a sudden there’s motivation and excitement. Have some super life-changing event to work on together.”
Once you agree on the goal, agree to a plan that will get you there.
“Both people in that relationship need to agree to do whatever it takes to accomplish that target so you put a ‘W’ on the board,” Cardone said. “Winning matters, and it matters in relationships because when people are winning, they’re celebrating, and when they’re losing, they are fighting.”
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