How can I manage money with a partner who has different money habits?

Do you have any advice for managing money and budgets with a partner who has a different view of spending and saving than I do?

Submitted by anonymous.

Ah, love and money! This can be blissful or stressful. For many people, money can make or break your relationship. It is pretty common to partner with someone who has different perspectives about money. Opposites attract, right?

Talking about money early in a new relationship is the best way to put your cards (see what I did there?) on the table and figure out how you want to manage money as a couple. Money problems rank as one of the top 10 reasons for divorce, so having a money talk at any point in the relationship can save headache and heartache.

Here are some tips for having a productive, collaborative talk about money:

  1. Start by finding a neutral place to have the conversation. Minimize distractions and create an environment that is comfortable for you both, like a coffee shop or park.
  2. Agree to focus on your desired outcome rather than what the other is “doing wrong.”
  3. Identify an area that you EACH would like to focus on and choose a goal. Where do you want to end up? For instance, if you’re both stressed about emergency savings, find a target amount you both want to save and discuss how you can work together.
  4. Working with a financial coach is also helpful if you find that you need an objective third party to help you build a roadmap.
  5. Most importantly, listen to each other. Try to understand what is important to you as a couple and what approach is likely to get you there.
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