I think a lot of you may be able to relate to this one ;) I know I’ve dated plenty of people in my past who spent, or saved, differently than myself at the time. It never got to a point where it made a difference (cuz we of course split up), but when you’re married it’s a tooooooootally different ball game. And hopefully everyone knew about their significant others’ habits too before tying that knot! If not, that’s a whole other blog post, haha… and sadly not that rare.
But anyways, today let’s help out a fellow reader of the site and see if we can help steer her in the right direction. I know we all have different ways that work for us, but maybe one of them will click for her? Getting new perspectives always helps :) Here’s her concerns:
I need some advice on dealing with finances with my husband. We’ve been married for a year now, and we still have issues with finances. We have different styles when it comes to money that don’t seem to mesh.
I’m a saver. I always tell him when I make purchases or if I pay more money on balances we owe (which isn’t a lot as a young married couple… we have $5,000 in credit card debt and my student loans don’t kick in for another year). I try to make good financial decisions and read all the time about making good decisions with money.
He, on the other hand, is a big spender. He doesn’t always tell me he has made a purchase; I usually find it on our joint checking account later and have to confront him, which I hate doing. He spends often on himself, buying clothes he wants or things he thinks he “needs,” and doesn’t really seem to think long-term or that I might want or need things, too.
I try really hard to talk to him about money, but it can be challenging. I want to make a plan that we stick to, but have a hard time knowing how to approach him with it. We want to buy a house rather than living with family eventually, but with the rate he likes to spend on himself, I don’t know if it will happen.
What should I do?
Yikes! One thing I will say that REALLY helps us out a lot (I tend to splurge more than the Mrs, if you can believe that), is that we have our own separate “do as we please” funds set up. That only we can touch and do with however we want – no questions asked. It’s not a lot of money (unless you just save it up for whatever), but it REALLY gives you that freedom that spenders like to have sometimes. And it’s only a side account, so you still have your major combined accounts to pay for a new home, or food, or just life in general. Some people say they don’t like it cuz it’s kinda “secretive,” but if both people are on board, and it helps him to continue to be free while relieving you of some stress (and nagging him), it may be worth a shot ;) Even if you just xfer in $100 a month or something like that – the ability to spend w/out being judged could do wonders!
I also think some good communication is needed too – that’s the base of *everything* in a marriage, which I’m sure you’ll agree. The trick is figuring out a way to talk about things easier (maybe w/ a glass of wine? Or 5? Haha…), and then consistently working at it. It would actually help squash a lot of OTHER problems too that may come up – or maybe money’s the one thing y’all really struggle with? Either way, that’s my 2 cents – I’m sure the others will have a lot to chime in about ;)
What do you think, guys? Have you been in this spot before? Have you figured out something that works? Help a friend out! :)
(Photo by laughlin)