Whether you have separate bank accounts, a single joint account, or a combination of the two—you and your partner should be on the same page about how you spend money. Joey Klein is the CEO of Inner Matrix Systems, a personal mastery training system for high achievers makes recommendations for managing finances in a relationship when you and your partner disagree on spending and saving habits.
The Saver and The Spender: A Love Story
Communication is Key
It will be pretty apparent from the get-go who is the spender and who is the saver in the relationship. The biggest mistake couples make in this department is avoiding the issue because they want to avoid conflict. Stonewalling in particular—when one partner refuses to engage in the conversation—is one of the four most harmful behaviors to marriage, alongside criticism, defensiveness, and contempt.
Once you and your partner agree to name a vision around money and how it contributes to your relationship, it is critical to ensure that you can both get on board with the vision you name. Not being able to talk about money without fighting usually means there is a lack of cohesion around the vision or that a vision has not been named.
Name the Outcome First
Saving money can be fun! If your partner (or you) is the spender, take a moment to name what you’ll do as a result of saving money. Sure, it’s important to save for emergencies, retirement, etc. But also allocate some of your saved money for “Fun and Adventure” or “Lifestyle”. Putting aside money for a grand vacation or a new car can encourage spenders to save since they know doing so will result in something great.
Set Spending Rules
Even if you have agreed upon savings goals, it is a good idea to agree on a reasonable spending limit for everyday purchases. Anything that costs more than your agreed-upon spending limit should warrant an open discussion. Savers: remember to choose your battles. If it’s something your partner wants, and you can afford it, and your partner doesn’t make a habit out of making significant expenses, consider showing them the Christmas spirit a bit early that year.
Money Date Night
Set aside time once a month to go over your finances together and make sure you’re still on track. Keep things light and enjoyable; make it an actual date night where you just have to set aside a little time during the date to discuss your financial goals. Free investment tools can help give you a visual overview across your accounts between different banks, brokerages, and more. In the interim, using a budget app can help you individually make sure you’re staying within budget.
About Inner Matrix Systems
Inner Matrix Systems, based in Denver, is a personal mastery training system for high achievers. For more than twenty years, IMS has delivered a proprietary methodology that rewires, trains, and aligns the nervous system, emotions, and thought strategies to create real-life results. CEO, Joey Klein, and IMS have worked with more than 80,000 individuals from around the world through both live and online training programs, as well as one-on-one coaching. Clients have included: Boeing, IBM, Dell, Google, Panda Express, Coca Cola and The World Health Organization. Joey is the author of The Inner Matrix: Leveraging the Art & Science of Personal Mastery to Create Real Life Results (June 2021).