One of the biggest sources of conflict in marriages comes from having differing views on money. As individuals, we enter romantic relationships with many learned behaviors that we pick up from different influences throughout our life. We are typically attracted to these differences in our partner, based on the age-old saying “opposites attract”, but sometimes, these behaviors cause a rift.
You may have picked up a penny-pinching habit or have an impulse shopping tendency that you attribute to your parents. Or maybe you feel like you have great habits instilled in you from early on if you grew up managing a budget and learning how to save – financial learnings that you groan about when you think about your partner and how they just don’t seem to be on the same page with you. From disagreements about spending habits to disagreements about saving and investing, financial issues can cause stress and tension in any relationship.
Your view on money can have a significant impact on your marriage, both positively and negatively. When it comes to relationships, financial compatibility is often as important as emotional compatibility because as a couple, you are making financial decisions daily. If you aren’t able to get on the same page with these decisions, the frustration and strain tend to wear you down over time.
How to Improve Financial Compatibility
It is convenient when you and your partner value a dollar similarly, but if you and your partner have different philosophies about money, there are steps you can take to improve your financial compatibility. Here are a few tips to get started:
- Communication is key when it comes to managing money in a relationship and it is important to talk about money with your partner, regardless of whether you have the same or different philosophies about money. When both partners are on the same page about their financial goals and values, it is easier for them to have open and honest conversations about money, which can lead to better decision-making, reduced financial stress and a stronger, healthier relationship.
- Set shared financial goals. Work together to set goals and create a budget that works for both of you. This can help ensure that both partners are on the same page about their financial future and can work together to achieve their financial goals. If one partner loves to eat out but their spouse feels that eating out is a waste of money, setting a fixed restaurant budget, can help reduce and resolve conflict.
- Be prepared for compromise. Compromising can help foster trust in your relationship. You don’t have to 100% agree with everything your spouse believes, but you do need to create a safe environment where they are respected, listened to, and heard. This allows you both to maintain your unique identities while strengthening your partnership.
- Seek professional advice. Consulting a financial advisor can help you and your partner understand your individual financial strengths and weaknesses and create a plan that works for both of you.
- Make a plan to address any differences. If you and your partner have differences in your philosophy about money, find a solution that works for both of you. This could involve compromising on spending habits or finding a way to merge your individual financial philosophies.
Financial compatibility is an important aspect of any relationship, especially in marriage.
If you have children who are at the age where they might have a serious significant other, encourage them to have conversations about credit scores, debt, large purchases, and long-term financial hopes and dreams. Having these conversations early on can help alleviate the frustration and disappointment later in life.
Let us know if we can assist you and your spouse with your financial conversations. At Anderman Wealth Partners, we work to prepare you for tomorrow without sacrificing your ability to experience life’s rewards today.