Money is really tough enough to manage without any additional problems added into the mix. When you add the dynamics of a relationship on top of money management, well things can get downright difficult. Whenever two people come together in a relationship, they bring their own sets of values and beliefs about how to handle money. Typically, one will be a saver and the other a spender.
If the main breadwinner is a saver, then most of the control over how money is spent falls to that person. The saver almost acts like a controlling parent when it comes to spending money. The spender in this relationship may spend money carelessly, never saving a dime. Unless a sort of middle ground is established, the saver usually ends up controlling the relationship. Many times the saver will establish very rigid financial boundaries causing the spender to feel guilty about the money spent. Some spenders even go "underground" continuing to spend money but attempting to conceal it from the saver. here are some helpful tips on resolving money issues.
Respect One Another
The spender and the saver typically have two separate points of view when it comes to money. Of course, the saver wants to spend less and save more, and the spender wants to spend more and save less - or nothing at all. So, if you have fought over this issue before you know that nothing will come of fighting. It's time to come up with a plan which offers a compromise both of you can live with.
The spender needs to agree to spend less money or bring in enough money to make up the difference. The saver agrees to stop lecturing and laying guilt trips on the spender while allowing some lee way in spending. In other words, both of you need to move in the direction of the other.
Establish Basic Rules for Money
Rather than fight about money issues, make some basic ground rules with one another that both of you can live with. For instance, make it a rule that neither of you can spend more than $100 without discussing the purchase with the other. Another rule might be that gifts for family, friends, weddings, birthdays, etc. must be under a set amount. Also, if one of you needs to make purchases for your own personal things, like a custom bowling ball, or a pair of Italian pumps - then that purchase must be made from each partner's personal accounts.
If all the money made in your household belongs to both of you, and you can make that work - great! However, in order to avoid financial death match fights, some couples have found it best to have three separate accounts. One for each partner, and a joint account. The joint account is for household and other bills to be paid from an both of you will contribute to this joint account. Who puts in how much is up to you, but the amounts contributed should be fair and equitable.
After the initial contributions are made to the joint account to pay the bills, decide how much money will be saved, set aside for retirement, or for future large purchases like a new car or furniture. Whatever is left after all of that is split and placed into each partner's individual accounts. This money is all yours to be spent on whatever you like.
The main goal here is to come up with a fair plan that both of you can be happy with. If one feels that they should have more spending money because they bring in more income, then sit down and discuss it. Perhaps if one of you makes more they should be able to spend more. One thing is for sure - if one of you spends more and the other resents it, there's gonna be trouble.
Look at Your Bills
One of you may be the person who pays the bills every month, and one may never look at the bills at all. Some couples rotate the duty every other month, or every six months. Regardless of what your situation is, it's important that both of you sit down and look at your bills together every quarter, or once every three months. Planning ahead for upcoming expenses or possible shortfalls in the budget will ensure that you're both on the same page financially.
Make a commitment to talk about things before they become a sore spot or an issue. Communication is the key to any lasting relationship, especially when it comes to money.