If there’s one thing I wish my parents had taught me about relationships, it’s the importance of financial compatibility.
Instead, the one lesson they imparted was the importance of genetic testing early on – you know, to ensure we didn’t have any horrible nasties lurking in our cells that might pass on to our kids, when combined with the other person’s DNA.
(I didn’t really take that one on board – not when I was 16, and not when I was older, either.)
High up among the criteria for a suitable prospective partner, according to How To Be An Adult In Relationships author David Richo, is this:
Has no disability with respect to money (e.g., cannot earn, spend, share, save, lend, contribute, receive)
Isn’t this just the most perfect phrase? I’ve never seen it articulated quite so well.
I still think there’s value in different styles. Here’s a really nice way to look at it.
When you think about it, a spender in a relationship is really working on improving your quality of life right now. Savers, on the other hand, are improving your quality of life in the future.
I’ve got a lot of priceless memories; fun experiences I would have missed out on otherwise for sure.
Savers can complement spenders, but it’s certainly not always easy.
I honestly believe we would have well and truly found our groove a long time ago, had multiple bouts of unemployment not derailed things so badly.
Lately we’ve been finding our way again, working toward a workable financial equilibrium.
As it stands now, what I see happening is a rebuilding of trust. Proving that we are both pulling our weight, adequately protecting our income through insurance, so we can work together towards a shared future.
I wish it were the kind of thing that could be done with the flick of a switch, in the blink of an eye, but it’s a process.
100% agree with this post. Hubby and I are finally on the same trajectory after 10 years of marriage and have been for the past few years. This became more apparent when we paid of his student loans a few months ago – 10 years ahead of schedule. If it were up to me, we’d be further along in our goals, but I have to agree with you – we’ve had a lot of fun over the years, especially once I was able to loosen up (of course this became easier once we both got stables jobs with a good income).
Totally agree that getting on the same page with money is vital. My wife and I were fortunate that some of the pre-marital classes that we took emphasized money. It was drilled into our head that money was the #1 thing couples fight about and to figure out where we stand before we got into the marriage. This led to many frank discussions and helped us iron out the financial plans that we still use today.
I truly think one of the main reasons my parents couldn’t stay together was because they just couldn’t mesh when it came to managing money. My dad can stretch $50 like a magician while my mom can rack up debt like no other without any clue how she’ll ever pay off all her loans.