In marriage, often times one person is a super saver. This person wants to put any extra money that comes in straight to the bank account and keep expenses as low as humanly possible. The other person who is the spender is not terribly concerned about budgeting and spends money as they please. It’s very common for these two conflicting personalities to get into arguments and disagreements about money. Opposites attract and spenders and savers usually end up together. With all these conflicting viewpoints on spending and saving, it’s no wonder that money fights and money problems are the number one cause of divorce in North America today! If you have found your self in a situation like this, here are some things that you can do to make the marriage work and last.
You should outline differences with your spouse. Tell them that you would like to sit down with them and have a heart to heart talk and plan your budget. Recognize your differences with your spouse and talk about how both of you handle money. If you’re the saver, you probably think the spender is immature and bad with money, but there has to be some flexibility in the budget, and chances are you are not allowing that to happen at all. Recognizing that differences exist will allow you to come to some sort of compromise with money.
The person who is the saver in the marriage has to know that they are saving enough off the top to ensure security in their financial life. The saver will need to realize that they don’t need to save 80% of their income and be a millionaire in the next decade, but the family should also be saving enough to provide for their children’s college and for retirement.
The person who is the spender in the marriage has to know that when they want to go out and have a reasonable amount of fun with money, they should be able to. They should be able to go out to the movies every now and then, go out to eat, go to plays and the like. This should not get out of hand though, if you are going out to eat too often or buying tons of crap you don’t need, you have more of a problem than legitimate personality differences in the marriage.
The key word is compromise. You have to find a balance between spending and saving. The saver will instinctively budget, so make the spender budget in some money for fun. This way the spender have some money to enjoy life, but the saver will still be able to budget and save money.
If you are having serious marriage issues because of money, it is definitely a good idea to seek the help of a professional marriage counselor. They will help you learn to communicate better and get a better control of the deeper issues at hand.