Relationships and Finances: Accepting Your Partner’s Spending Habits

Love is a wonderful thing. Really, it is. Of course, everyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows that that love often comes with a lot of compromise…and one of the biggest places for compromise is in finances. This is completely understandable when you think about it: people are different and they want to purchase different things. Makes sense. But what do you do if your spending habits are worlds apart from one another? How do you accept your differences and skip off into the sunset?

Talk About It

As you know, we here at MomVesting are cheerleaders for communication. We believe that communication is the key to healthy relationships, and one of the best ways to accept your partner’s spending habits is to talk. Really delving deep into the whys behind spending can help you understand and later accept a hubby’s need for rock-climbing gear or a wife’s desire for the latest tech gadget.

For example, maybe through discussion you’ll discover that your husband considers rock climbing his only form of exercise. Rather than spending hard-earned cash on a gym membership, maybe he prefers to exercise outdoors on a big ol’ rock. When this is communicated, it may be easier to accept his need to buy new carabiners.

Work Out a System

Once you understand your partner’s desires, you can work out a way to make spending agreeable. Maybe you can decide to make a rock-climbing account, budgeting away part of your monthly income toward his hobby. Or perhaps you could set up two accounts for free spending, one for you and one for your partner. The key to designing a spending system is to make sure you both agree on where the money is going.

Agree to Accept

Honestly, though, even if you understand the need to spend and can work out a spending system, it may still be irksome to see your joint money spent in a way that you may consider wasteful. Accepting your partner’s spending in this case may be more difficult than it seems at first glance. However, if you can slowly work toward acceptance, you may find yourself more at peace every day. Take a few deep breaths and remember why you love your partner. Talk about additional ways to cut costs while still enjoying your hobbies. Eventually, acceptance should come.

If acceptance does not come in time or your partner’s spending is out of control, you might need professional help. Financial counselors and marriage counselors can help guide you both to the peace you desire in your marriage.

So if you and your partner find yourselves at different ends of your finance rope, you might just need to have a good old heart-to-heart, work out a system and let acceptance come to you both. On the other hand, if spending is extreme or acceptance never comes, you may wish to seek out professional financial counseling.

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Anonymous's picture

Jana wrote:

Tue, 11/22/2011 - 14:39 Comment #: 1

Working out a system was the key in stopping our fights about money. By communicating about it, we realized that it was important to each of us that we have some money just to ourselves, that we could spend on whatever we wanted, without answering to the other person. So we each established our own personal accounts, decided on an "allowance amount" out of every paycheck and we haven't fought about money since.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Mon, 11/28/2011 - 18:29 Comment #: 2

Jana, glad to hear your system works for you! It's always nice to have some of your own money.

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