If you married your high school sweetheart, it may be difficult to know in advance what type of spending and saving habits you each have. However, if you and your partner were both living independent, adult lifestyles by the time you married, it should be no surprise how you each handle your money.
According to this New York Times article, statistically opposites do not attract, we are generally drawn towards people who are more like us than different, except it seems in the area of finances. In this regard, the saver tends to be drawn towards the freedom of the spender, whereas the spender feels security in being reined in by the saver.
According to one study, a couple’s frequency of disputes over finances is the greatest predictor of divorce. Every couple has to deal with financial issues, and no one way is right for everyone. In fact many shift between one system and another throughout their years together.
Our grandparent’s generation usually had one bank account and all money came and went from that single account. In most cases only one member of the household really understood the flow the cash. Today it seems that families opt for separate accounts and divide up the bills in a fair manner, to reflect earning power and payment styles. For example, your wife may be better at saving for the large items, insurance bills and property tax, where as your spending style works best for the phone bill and hydro bill.
One very important point in this day of marital uncertainty, it is vital that both husband and wife have credit ratings of their own. Although banks aren’t often fond of lending money without the marriage partner’s signature, do try to have a credit history that is yours and yours alone. You may need to secure financing one day, without a co-signer.
Perhaps, the best piece of advice that one could utilize is to be prepared to change. If the way you are handling your finances isn’t working and is causing conflict, then try a different method until you get one that you can fine tune to meet your needs. Even then, it may not be the one that you will continue to use for the rest of your life, so be flexible and try not to take it all too seriously.
For insight on how to work together on your finances and to understand your similarities and difference, we offer the following DiscoveryGames:
If you enjoyed this post, you should read Ask Tokii – No Choice In Spending