Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, a popular time for couples in love to get married or engaged. But before your head gives in to the whims of your heart, find out if your attitudes about money are compatible. Finances are one of the major causes of friction in a relationship.
Some people are savers, some are spenders. Savers plan for the future and weigh the value and need for each purchase, trying to never pay more than necessary for anything. Spenders want instant gratification, without a lot of regard for how much something costs or how well it fits into the budget. (Budget? What's that?)
If your partnership consists of a spender and a saver, your habits may grate each other's nerves, perhaps to the point where the relationship doesn't survive. You will have to bite your tongue to refrain from making snide remarks and assigning derogatory nicknames. To the spender, the saver is stingy, penny-pinching, tight-fisted, nit-picky. To the saver, the spender is wasteful, frivolous, gluttonous, irresponsible. But no amount of nagging and needling will change a person who is not ready to change and has not asked for your help. You'll have to cope with the attitude differences if the relationship is to work.
If one spouse is a spender and the other a saver, each needs the respect and support of the other, and the freedom to operate without being judged, to feel in control. To ensure the bills get paid and agreed-upon financial goals are met, why not designate a separate, joint account for these functions, which each person agrees not to raid? Each person should also have his or her own funds—a bank account, credit card, prepaid debit card, whatever works best for your situation—to spend from and direct without oversight from the other.
Disagreement over money is one of the leading reasons for divorce. Not having enough of it is certainly stressful, but even if there's plenty, problems can arise if the couple can't agree on how that money should be managed.
Divorce is expensive, not to mention emotionally devastating. Don't ignore the red flags.
Are you a spender or a saver? And what about your significant other? I would love to hear your comments.