According to Marriage.com, arguing about money is a key source of stress for couples today. And is it any surprise when many people find sharing their finances difficult? However, when one person scrimps and saves while the other spends like there’s no tomorrow, problems are bound to arise.
If a couple isn’t on the same page when it comes to how much they should be saving, spending, and investing, it could lead to resentment. The key to avoiding financial arguments is finding the right balance, a middle ground that both parties can live with.
Usually, the person who saves more resents the spendthrift, and it makes sense. One buys whatever their little heart desires. But when the saver socks money away, it just means there’s more for their partner to shop until they drop!
If you and your significant other don’t see eye to eye, don’t despair. There are ways to bring your partner closer to your side.
1. Show the Benefits of Saving
What does the spender value? Is it luxury vacations or the thought of retiring on a beach someday? It’s important that they see the path to their goals. Show them how putting away a specified amount of money from each paycheck can help you achieve your dreams as a couple. Work as a team, do the math, and see how far the two of you can get!
2. Set Common Goals
What do you see yourself accomplishing as a couple? Do you hope to own a home or envision having a family? While it may be difficult to determine how much money you should set aside to start a family, for instance, you can set some concrete goals.
Is one of you planning to stay home with the baby for the first three months? If so, set a goal of saving three months’ worth of salary. For a house, set a 20% down payment as your strategy.
3. Get Help
A financial planner may be able to show your partner the big picture and offer guidance on the financial goals you wish to achieve.
He or she may repeat the exact same things that have been falling on deaf ears for months. But there’s a better chance they may finally listen when hearing advice from an objective professional. Financial planners can also show where there may be waste in your current financial situation and help you cut costs to save faster.
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4. Track Your Spending
Both of you should track spending for a month. Some spenders really don’t realize how big a percentage of their income is being thrown away on unnecessary purchases.
There are many useful apps that can help you track your monthly expenses and provide a clear picture of where your money is going. One example is Mint, a budget-managing app that tracks your monthly spending to help you gain control of your finances.
5. Make Saving Painless
There are many simple ways to save money without sacrifice:
Learn to cook
Eating at home is much cheaper than a night out, and the food is usually healthier, too.
Try to negotiate lower rates with your creditors
You might be surprised by how many creditors are willing to work with you once they know you are struggling to keep to the current plan. They would rather have you remain up to date than stop paying them because you can’t afford it.
Take care of your health
When you prioritize your mental and physical health, you are less likely to miss workdays. Focusing on your overall wellness could also save you money on costly medications and insurance deductibles.
Set up a change jar
Stop digging through your purse or pocket for exact change at the store. Instead, use bills and put that change away when you get home.
Apps such as Acorns will do this for you when you use your debit card. Not only does your change get put into a savings account, but it can be invested, too.
Consolidate your debts
If you have a lot of credit card debt, consider combining the balances through a consolidation loan. By paying your current creditors, you can avoid late fees and penalties. The new loan can help lower your monthly payments and reduce the chance of your missing a payment.
Automate your savings
You and your spouse should agree to automatically have a set amount of money taken from both paychecks. By having it automatically transferred into a savings account each pay cycle, the temptation to spend it doesn’t exist.
A Kansas State University study discovered that new couples who frequently argue about finances are about 2.5 times more likely to be dissatisfied later in the marriage.
Making It Work
Working together to manage finances can help you move forward in your relationship too. Savers and spenders can work in harmony with a little effort from both sides to achieve common financial goals.
If you have a significant amount of unsecured debt, National Debt Relief can help. Our debt specialists will also show you how to budget, save and spend smarter to meet your future goals.