Money Differences in Couples

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Everybody has their own unique relationship with money. Some people are good savers while others find it hard to stop spending. Some people are keen to take risks with their money in order to get a better return while others prefer to keep their money safe. Let’s be clear – there is no right or wrong when it comes to a person’s relationship with money. There are just differences. These differences stem from many factors such as childhood circumstances, past experiences, personality, age and financial literacy. Money differences can cause big problems for couples unless they are resolved.

Typical scenarios might include:

  • One partner prefers to keep all their savings tucked safely in the bank, while the other wants to invest in a range of different investments to get a better return.
  • One partner is an entrepreneurial type who enjoys doing deals, borrowing money to set up businesses or buy properties while the other prefers a more low-key, less risky approach to building wealth
  • One partner believes that life is for living now and spends to the max, while the other is more concerned about saving for retirement.

Such differences between people can lead to a variety of outcomes. In some cases, couples end up managing their money separately to avoid conflict. In other cases, money differences can cause ongoing arguments over money or even a complete relationship breakdown.

There are some basic principles that help in resolving money differences. Firstly, keep in mind that there is no right and wrong, just differences. Each partner needs to have their differences acknowledged and respected. Good communication is essential to understanding each person’s perspective. Then it’s a matter of agreeing some boundaries around how money will be spent, saved, borrowed or invested so that each partner’s needs are met to an acceptable level.

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