According to Psychology Today, arguing about money is a key source of stress for couples today, and it’s no surprise. Sharing finances can be difficult for any couple; however, when one person scrimps and saves while the other spends money as if it’s going out of style, problems are bound to arise.
If a couple isn’t on the same page when it comes to how much they should be saving, how much they should be spending, and how much they should be investing, there can be resentment and even guilt. The key to avoiding financial arguments is finding the right balance, a middle ground that both parties can work with.
Usually, the person who saves more resents the one who spends more, and it makes sense. The spender has a great time spending, and when the saver saves, it just means there’s more money for the spender to spend!
If you’re a saver and your significant other is a spender, don’t worry. There are ways to bring your partner closer to your side.
1. Show the Benefits of Saving
What does the spender value? Is it vacations? Is it the thought of retiring on a beach someday? The spender needs to see the path to the goal. Show the spender how putting away a specified amount of money from each paycheck can help both of you achieve your dreams. Use math, and show your work!
2. Set Common Goals
Where do you want to be as a couple? Do you want to own a home? Do you want to have 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, then set saving three months’ worth of salary as a goal. For a house, set a 20% down payment as your goal.
3. Get Help
A financial planner may be able to get through to the spender by showing the big picture, and by demonstrating what he or she can help you achieve together. Your financial planner may say the exact same things you’ve been saying for months, but the spender may believe it if it’s coming from a professional. Financial planners can also show you where there may be waste in your current financial situation, and help you save quicker.
4. Track Your Spending
Both of you should track spending for a month. Some spenders really don’t think there’s a problem with their spending and don’t realize how big a percentage of their income they’re spending on unnecessary things. Many useful apps are available for phones and tablets that’ll track spending, so you can get a clear picture of where your money is going each month. One such app is Clarity Money, a budget-managing app that tracks your monthly spending and helps you get control of your finances.
5. Make Saving Painless
Look for ways to save money that aren’t difficult for the spender.
- Learn to cook: Eating at home is cheaper than a night out, and the food is usually healthier, too.
- Call your creditors and try to get your rates lowered: This can really save you a ton. You might be surprised how many creditors are willing to work with you once you make it known that you’re having trouble keeping to the current plan.
- Take care of your health: You’ll miss fewer work days, spend less on medications and insurance deductibles, and you’ll live longer, too.
- Set up a change jar: Instead of digging through your purse or pocket for exact change when you’re at a store, use bills and then put that change away when you get home. Apps are available that will do it for you when you use your debit card, such as Acorns. With Acorns, not only does your change get saved into an account, but it can be invested, too.
- Consolidate your debts: If you have a lot of credit card debt, consider combining your multiple debts into one debt through a consolidation loan. This will help lower your monthly payments.
- Automate your savings: Agree to a specific amount to be taken out of both paychecks and set it up with your bank so that amount is automatically transferred each pay cycle to a savings account.
Couples that argue about finances even as infrequently as once a week are 30% more likely to break up. Working together to move forward financially will 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 debt, National Debt Relief can help. National Debt Relief is an agency that helps consumers reduce credit card balances, medical bills, repossessions, certain business debts, and other unsecured debt. Our proven debt relief program can get you out of debt and into a more secure financial future. Call one of our debt counselors today at 1-800-300-9550.