USU Online Programs (Utah State University)

There are a few things true for every home and family: people and money. A family won’t exist without either one. After the people are there, each family needs to manage assets to survive, and some do this better than others. It is a well documented fact that many divorces are attributed to having money problems at the root of their marital discord. However, money is just an object. It is neither good nor bad, and has little power as paper to ruin marriages. It is more that the divorce happens not because of money, but what people DO with money.

How families use money shows where their priorities are. If there was a couple, one wanted to vacation and the other pay down their mortgage, they would have discord. The same goes for if someone liked to gamble and their spouse wanted to pay for their child’s dance class. Each instance, the money hasn’t caused the discord but is a demonstration of the misalignment of desires. Every family is susceptible to such conflict, but there are a few ways to reduce or avoid such issues.

Communicate Effectively
Every person communicates in their own way and at their own pace. Finding a place to talk away from distractions is necessary to be able to give full attention to each others needs. Always take the time necessary to listen. Other articles outlining ideas and effective ways to communicate can be found on USU online.

Budget Together
Families and especially couples should sit down together and set up a budget often. Monthly is often recommended, but each family can set up their own schedule based on their needs. This gives people a forum to express their desires and communicate financial priorities. Writing down the goals of the family will help everyone understand and plan for the future.

Be Honest and Forthright
After setting up a budget and communicating together all families need to be honest in the execution of the goals. The goals outlined in the budget are not set in stone and can change as long as everyone is on board and is communicating with one another. Each family member should know their role and try their hardest to see it to fruition.

As families use these principles, they will find a peace and unity while dealing with money rather than the all too common frustrations and anxiety. Money is not the root of most divorces. Lack of communication and differing priorities is truly the cause of much discord in families.


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