Acknowledge your partner’s financial strengths
If one of you is a saver and one of you is a spender, lean on your partner’s financial strengths when making any large purchase together, such as a car or a house, advises Real Simple. For example, let’s say a couple wants to buy a new car; the saver wants a used mid-sized car and the spender is interested in a brand-new sports car. Find a compromise that works for both of you. The saver may point out that the family don’t need a small, shiny new sports car with all the “bells and whistles” that jacks up its price; while the spender lobbies that a used car may have some technical issues over time, along with wear and tear, that may require expensive repair fees in the long run. Bottom line: Before making any major purchase as a couple, come to an agreement about the maximum amount of money you’re willing to spend; and outline your individual needs and expectations before coming to a final decision as a united team. Here are 9 ways to really listen to someone when they speak.
Explore your spouse’s financial motivations
Ask your partner why exactly he is anxious to spend or save money. He may have a very specific reason why he is feeling a certain way about finances that doesn’t directly have to do with you. Perhaps an ex stole money from his bank account; or he grew up poor and that constant fear of poverty still haunts them. Talk about what early memories may be driving your behavior—even if that means drudging up your past—and really listen to what your partner says in return. Brad Klontz, a psychologist and certified financial planner, coached a couple who realized that talking about their stories helped them shift from anger and blame to compassion. “If you realize that your spouse grew up in poverty and as a result of that they have this intense fear around not having enough money, all of a sudden their cheapness takes on an entirely new light,” Klontz told The Wall Street Journal.