When a Spender and a Saver Get Together: How To Make It Work
We’ve all heard opposites attract, and sometimes, it is indeed true. Now, this could be a positive thing in your relationship, but it can also be a source of friction. Especially when dealing with finances. In a relationship, it’s very common to have a saver and a spender, and if it’s causing issues, there’s nothing to be ashamed of because that too is quite normal. Perhaps you try to maximize your savings at any cost, or you do the exact opposite. Well, whether you are the saver or the spender, and you and your partner have been butting heads lately, with a little bit of effort, working something out may be much easier than you think.
Having the Conversation
The first step to helping each other out is to stop avoiding the conversation. Often people run away from these conversations because they’d rather avoid an argument that may come with it. Nonetheless, a conversation needs to be had because sweeping this minor conflict under the rug could cause a snowball effect leading to bigger problems in the future. Be open, be honest, and lay it all out. It may not be easy, but if you’re planning on building a life together, you’re going to be making joint decisions in the future. Having conversations about your credit score, current debt, and savings allows both of you to plan accordingly for the future. The second step is to listen with empathy. Keep in mind that what we choose to do with our money is not done with any bad intention. We all have a different relationship with money and it’s important to try and uncover the cause of your spending and saving habits.
Getting on the Same Page
Couples often pay bills separately with their own money coming from their separate accounts. For example, one might pay the rent or mortgage while the other pays for the utilities and groceries. While that’s great, financial planners recommend taking it a step further by opening a joint bank account together to encourage joint effort. The two biggest benefits of doing this are having full transparency and simplicity. You’ll both be aware of what’s coming in and out in terms of expenditures, and, you won’t have to juggle money and time deciding which expense gets covered by which account.
Eventually you’ll find yourselves having joint goals like buying a new car or going on vacation. One way to meet these goals is by opening a joint savings account and agreeing on what amounts or percentage of your salary will be set aside for said goals. Perhaps you also want money to spend in any way you’d like. Well, like an allowance, you can also agree on a predetermined amount that you and your partner can spend each week. No questions asked. But remember to check-in with each other and keep each other accountable. Down the road you may have to change something in order to meet your goals, reduce your debt, invest in a 401k etc. So, it’s important to keep in mind you may have to compromise in the future.
Be sure to tune in to Episode 010 “Marrying Your Finances” to learn more. However, if all of this is something you believe you can’t do on your own, think about working with a third party like a financial planner. A financial planner who has experience working with couples & their finances will be able to take a non-biased approach and offer plenty of solutions to help you and your partner get past these financial roadblocks.
In this episode, Luis talks about the following and more:
- Having an open conversation with your partner.
- Why money means different things to different people.
- Having monthly money dates.
- Tips to find middle ground and make it work.