What to Do When Your Spending Habits Differ - Finances
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Do you and your married spouse have the same type of spending habits? It’s something that not many people consider until they’re already married, but spending habits can really vary wildly from person to person; and the impact of those spending habits is usually not felt until after the honeymoon, when it can become an issue if you don’t know how to deal with this type of conflict. If you and your spouse have different spending habits, consider the following guide to whether or not different spending habits have to be a deal breaker - and what you can do in your marriage if you find out you and your spouse have different viewpoints on how money should be spent.

Are Different Spending Habits a Deal breaker?

It can be easy to assume that people with different spending habits can’t coexist happily - but this couldn’t be further than the truth. Married couples with different spending habits have been enjoying healthy marriages for ages. The key is being able to spot differences in spending habits - and knowing how to work out a healthy, effective compromise that is appealing for both spouses in a marriage.

What to Do If Your Spending Habits are Different

If you and your spouse have different spending habits, don’t worry: the problem can be resolved in a healthy manner. The first thing you need to do is discover just how different your spending habits really are; are the spending habits related to long-term financial goals, fun money, or simply what you consider worth spending money on?

Some examples of how spending habits may differ include:

  • Your spouse prefers to spend money every morning on the way to work buying fast food for breakfast, whereas you think fast food should be an occasional treat and not an everyday expense

  • Your spouse buys lots of personal luxury/entertainment items whereas you are more frugal and don’t buy anything you don’t need

  • Your spouse thinks money left over at the end of the month should be for fun and you think it should be tucked away for emergencies

Once you uncover how exactly you’re spending habits differ, then you can get down to the process of working out your differences in order to come to a compromise.

First, sit down with your spouse and take out your financial budget and any financial planning material. Talk with your spouse about their preferences for spending, and then discuss how your preferences differ. Ask your spouse about what compromises you can make so that you can both meet in the middle in regards to spending money.

For example, is your spouse willing to cut down their daily fast food breakfast to 3x a week instead? Are you willing to set aside 30% of leftover money at the end of the month for fun, with the rest going towards emergencies? Compromise and communication are the name of the game here.

Remember, differences in spending habits don’t have to be a deal breaker if you take the time to talk the issue out with your spouse.

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