Having a financial chit chat in my family can be stressful. That's because I tend to be frugal and my husband likes to spend. I've come up with a few strategies to cope with what I believe are his overspending habits, while he has learned to tolerate my frugal habits.
Once a week, my husband and I sit down to discuss our finances. We don't let our different philosophies about money sour our relationship as a couple. Sometimes it's a matter of realizing we are in this together.
Talking about our budget
My husband does better when he does not have to follow a strict budget. Meanwhile, I thrive on a budget. When given a budget to follow, my husband actually tends to spend more money. For him, it works best to allocate $100 in cash for him to spend on fast food, bowling, movies and other purchases through the week. We don't have to have the same approach when it comes to living below our means as long as we save for retirement and emergencies.
Having different values
My husband likes to spend extra money on traveling because he values freedom and adventure. Meanwhile, I like to spend any extra money we have on paying down our mortgage because I value security. I found a way where we could both get what we want. Whenever my husband buys a plane ticket, books a hotel room or spends money on weekend trips, I track his spending. Then, I send the exact amount to our mortgage company to be applied toward our principle balance. The more he travels, the quicker our home will be paid off.
Staying transparent to an extent
One of the reasons my husband and I are able to avoid money arguments is because we are open and honest. At the same time, we also believe in an adult allowance. We like having $50 to spend on frivolous purchases without being judged or criticized by the other person. My husband doesn't need to know that I had a pedicure and I don't need to know that he spent money on new video game as long as it doesn't interfere with our overall budget.
Setting common goals
When we talk about money once a week, my husband and I review our short-term and long term financial goals. For the most part, we have similar goals to save for retirement, emergencies and a new car. However, occasionally we disagree about major ticket items. I tend to want to put major purchases off, but he feels we can afford new things. Oftentimes, we reach a compromise by adjusting our savings plan or figuring out new ways to earn more money.
Being able to talk openly about money has strengthened our marriage. We are both financially responsible people who sometimes have different goals and priorities. By listening with an open mind, we have been able to build a small nest egg together for our shared future.
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