At some point or another, you’ll probably have to make financial decisions with someone else—someone whose opinion may or may not be close to yours. When it comes to money and relationships, spenders and savers can work together just as well as more like-minded people, but in any relationship, discovering financial compatibility is an important part of the early stages of getting to know each other.During that process there are four tips you can reference to make better joint decisions about money:
Know yourself. Are you a saver or a spender, and how important is financial responsibility to you? Be honest with yourself and know that everyone sees the issue of money a little differently. More importantly, know your own non-negotiable boundaries about what you will and won't accept in a partner. Having a solid understanding of your own financial perspective helps naturally lay the groundwork for what your significant other can expect when/if a joint financial decision needs to be made.
Gently bring up the topic of money. It's obvious but bears pointing out: personal finance is, well, personal. So, don't start off a first date with, "Show me your bank statements," because it's impolite. Instead, find a way to just talk about future plans and long-term goals. As you put this part of the relationship puzzle into place, you will have a better sense of whether or not you'll even have to worry about ever making a decision about money together.
Pay attention. Whether your companion is a spender or saver, knowing how you're different from each other is just as important as knowing how you're alike. Stay in tune with your own sense of how money and relationships work together while you remain receptive to the other person's input when appropriate. Keeping open communication around the topic of money helps you make better financial decisions together.
Be appropriately open and honest. It's okay to be the first one in the relationship to open up about your money, so talk frankly about both your successes and your struggles. With money and relationships—as with any other issue, let trust develop naturally, and talk openly about your feelings regarding money along the way. When you do, your financial compatibility—or lack thereof—will reveal itself, and you will have fostered healthy communication and understanding on which to base your joint money decisions.
Finally, remember that many successful relationships survive in spite of—or even because of—differences in attitudes toward money, and relationships with a healthy balance of strengths vs. weaknesses between spender and saver can thrive when there's a solid foundation of good communication.
At Ally Bank, we are committed to helping you make smart decisions about your money. To learn more about our products and services, visit Allybank.com or call live, 24/7 customer support at 877-247-ALLY (2559) today.