How to Talk About Money with your Spouse
One of the biggest reasons couples argue is because of money – and this is true for Muslim couples as well, even though Islam lays out clearly defined financial roles. Here are some of the convos you should be chatting to your spouse about when it comes to money.
According to Islam, men are obligated to provide for and pay the expenses for their wives and children. Whatever a woman earns is her to keep, and if she chooses to contribute to the household, that’s her choice. However, with the expensive costs of living, many couples find themselves forced to split the bills despite what Islam prescribes. And with inflation rising, financial situations may change. If you and your partner have never really talked about money, now is a great time to have a conversation. Financial intimacy requires open and honest communication – and even if your bills are all being paid for, you should know what’s going on money-wise.
Things You Should Definitely Know How to Talk About Money with your Spouse
Although Islam discourages carrying debt, many Muslims have mortgages, credit card debt, student loans, or other forms of debt. There’s research that suggests the more debt a couple has, the higher likelihood of arguments about finances, which makes absolute sense. Some couples may hide purchases from each other so as to conceal that they’re using credit cards or carrying debt, which is not an advisable strategy. You and your partner should sit down and have a radically honest discussion about the state of your finances. Here are some questions to get started.
- What debts do we currently have, both individual and joint?
- Is there a solid plan in place to pay them off? If so, what is it? If not, why not?
- How do we plan to finance retirement?
- How much income do we have, individually and as a couple?
- What’s in our savings, both individual and as a couple?
- How can we handle finances in a way that’s Islamically sound?
Just because your spouse may handle all the bills doesn’t mean that you aren’t owed transparency about the money coming in and the money going out. Even if your spouse pays everything and you don’t need to contribute to the household, it’s still wise to involve yourself in financial affairs so you’re never blindsided by any nasty surprises, especially in the case of a divorce.
If You Do Need to Contribute
As mentioned, despite the best of intentions, in our current world today, dual income households are ideal. Although your money is yours to keep and your husband cannot require you to pay household expenses, you may still decide to contribute. If so, it should be decided whether you’re contributing equally (both paying the same amount) or equitably (paying based on what you can afford based on what your earnings are). Having clearly defined expectations can help ease the burden – and there’s no way to do that without talking to your partner about money.
Family finances don’t have to be as stressful when you and your partner are both on the same page and committed to communication. Have you and your spouse experienced money issues? What are your financial tips for couples? Drop a comment and let us know. Be sure to follow us on Instagram at @tuesdayinlove.