According to this study by Ramsey Solutions, money is the #1 reason why couples break up. The results of the study show that a lack of communication around money is the actual issue. That said, when was the last time you and your significant other had a money talk? The goal of this article is to help ease into money talks and create guidelines for smooth communication.
Step 1: Spender vs. Saver
Don’t let money talk scare you and your significant other. Embrace it. You are a team. However, the easiest starting point of this conversation may be to identify which of you is the saver and which is the spender. It is common to hear in the personal finance world that opposites attract, which is why each relationship is made up of a saver and spender.
Be that as it may, one thing we can all hone in on is that being a spender or a saver isn’t truly about money. It’s about emotions and how people feel around the topic. This can have a lot to do with how each person was raised, so make sure to discuss how money was handled in your childhood.
You are likely the spender if you don’t really put in a lot of thought before purchasing something. If you need it, you buy it is how you feel. You are likely also very generous. This could mean with tipping, donations or even covering the bill for your friends.
Being a spender isn’t always a bad thing though. Spenders usually are much more willing to take risks and recognize that spending money on a service may help expand their business. For example, hiring a cleaner so they don’t have to spend an hour or two cleaning will give them those couple hours back to focus their energy towards something that could in turn make them money.
Nonetheless, spenders get their kicks from swiping their card. They use spending as a way to feel better about a bad day. This is where being a spender can get unhealthy.
You are probably the saver if you love watching your bank account grow. Your friends may call you frugal or cheap since you don’t want to split the bill, instead you just want to pay for what you ate, after all you aren’t a charity.
The saver sees money as power and want to have full control. Spending money stresses them out as they want to keep every penny. Coupon cutting, thrift shopping and finding free stuff on Craigslist are all things that you could catch the saver partaking in.
Being a saver has the obvious benefit of a growing savings account, yet where the saver falls short is their limiting beliefs. They often won’t hire out when the spender would, which could end up limiting their growth and really slowing down any sort of success they may see.
Step 2: Money Meeting
This may sound crazy, but trust me it works. You and your significant other need to have reoccurring money meetings. The frequency can depend on what works best for each of you but regardless you should try to do it at least on a quarterly basis.
In this money meeting, you can identify who the saver and who the spender is. Knowing that, each of you can talk about why you are the way that you are (again, bringing in childhood here). Then when it’s all out on the table, it’s time to talk about debt, goals and the future.
When you do talk about each others finance’s, do so with respect. Just like when you create a budget. When you do create a budget, don’t make the spender cut back on every single penny because that wouldn’t be fair. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to make the saver spend more on things they don’t truly want.
Create a budget you both feel comfortable with. This is the only way the budget will last.
Step 3: Continuous Effort
This is the most important part. Don’t just give up because you’re stressed out or because you don’t enjoy these meetings. Make them enjoyable! Go to your favorite coffee shop and talk about it over a latte. Cook a wonderful meal at home and discuss it over dessert.
Regardless, the point of the matter is just to make sure you continue to talk about money. That is the only way it will start to feel natural and less taboo.
Saver vs. Spender, Scarcity vs. Abundance, a timeless debate. However, don’t let your relationship fail because of money. Approach it like a team and conquer it like a team. The only way that money will no longer feel stressful is if you work together towards your goals and dreams.
Do you have money meetings? Let us know in the comments! :)
For more reads, check out these articles!
- Care About Your Money
- What Is Actually Worth Investing Money In: Part 2
- The Best Role Models Are Dead