Money and relationships: When personalities clash

Man and woman with calculator

Opposites may attract, but when it comes to managing finances, the way we view money has a significant impact on our relationships.

How you handle the differences in your “money” personalities will be critical to the success of your partnership.

Are you a spender? Or are you a saver?

When one person has a very conservative approach toward money management and the other is carefree and willing to pay more for instant gratification, it makes for some dicey conversations.

If you're a spender, you might make impulse purchases or rack up big credit card debt, while your partner grows increasingly frustrated over your inability to manage money responsibly.

Here are some tips to reconcile opposite money personalities:

Establish an open line of communication. Just because the two of you do not share the same view on money management doesn't mean you should avoid talking about it.

In fact, it is especially important for opposite money personalities to discuss financial matters to avoid misunderstandings and prevent arguments.

Maintain separate accounts. When two people merge their lives together, it is often assumed bank accounts should merge as well.

This is not necessarily the best move for all couples. If you and your partner disagree on how money will be managed, keeping separate accounts is a logical step.

Create a budget for shared expenses. Finance expert Suze Orman recommends a joint account for shared expenses. This allows couples to budget for household costs that are shared.

By creating a budget, both partners know how much they are expected to contribute to cover shared costs. Keep this cash separate from other accounts and there will be no confusion over the amount available for discretionary spending.

Get started with our home budget calculator.

If you're a spender and your partner is a saver, you might not understand each other, but you must respect each other. Instead of trying to change the way your partner handles money, focus on methods of managing cash that do not create conflict between the two of you.

If you are unable to reach an agreement over how much of your budget should be spent on groceries, major decisions such as buying a home will be impossible.

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