Navigating Different Money Habits in a Relationship

Because money habits can be ingrained in our personalities, differences around money management causes a lot of stress in many relationships.

So what do you do if your spending styles are divergent?

Identify your spending habits – Most relationships would typically have one partner that is a saver and another that is a spender. That’s easily a recipe for chaos, if one partner is trying to save while the other is splurging. However, both ends of the divide aren’t necessarily bad – the saver can help the spender accumulate towards bigger and longer term goals while the spender helps the saver enjoy their lives more. For this to happen, they need to have open conversations about their preferences.

Make planning and budgeting a joint effort – Knowing your individual preferences would allow you develop an inclusive financial roadmap that accommodates the spending habits of all parties. This should be done jointly, such that it includes the dreams of each person. This allows you to work towards an agreed common goal.

Have separate, but not secret, savings accounts – Even when you agreed on an inclusive financial roadmap, the spending habits of one partners would still lead to some level of anxiety for the other. Hence, within the agreed financial roadmap should make some provision for each person to have money they can do anything they want without recourse.

Monitor your investments together – Ensure your investment vehicles are structured such that each individual feels protected both in terms of title to investment accounts, next of kin as well as investment strategy. Also, even the best relationships can hit the rocks and that’s certainly not the best time to be trying to catch up on your finances.

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