They say opposites attract. So, what happens when a saver marries a spender? Differing fiscal philosophies don’t have to spell trouble for a marriage. To co-exist peacefully, follow these five tips:
- Share your past. Experts say we form our attitudes towards money in childhood. Understanding your partner’s roots may help you to appreciate his or her point of view.
- Care enough to compromise. Enumerate and negotiate your short- and long-term goals. Your budget should include the top goals of each partner as well as an appropriate amount of “mad money” for each partner to spend or save.
- Make it automatic. Having money automatically deducted from your paychecks ensures you both contribute regularly toward your goals – and avoid arguments.
- Talk money. Routinely scheduled discussions of just ten minutes a week can help avoid major money battles.
- Periodic reviews. Have an annual “board” meeting to review all of your accounts and remind each other where important documents are stored.
- Swap roles. If the saver hasn’t been to the grocery store in a decade, he or she should take the list and go food shopping, while the shopper/spender takes a stab at paying the monthly bills. This role reversal may result in an appreciation for your partner’s talents and perspective.
If the tension persists, seek out a neutral third party–a financial advisor, a marriage counselor, or both–to help you work through your issues.