My husband and I tend to have very different spending habits. I am generally much more of a spender than he is, while he has a preference for saving more money. We also have different investing styles, and we both like to spend money on different things.
Despite our very different financial habits, we have had almost no money fights over the decade that we have been married. And the reason for that is our budgeting method.
Keep reading to learn more.
One email a day could help you save thousands
Tips and tricks from the experts delivered straight to your inbox that could help you save thousands of dollars. Sign up now for free access to our Personal Finance Boot Camp.
By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.
We have a unique approach to budgeting
Despite our different attitudes about money, the way that we budget is the big reason why my husband and I don’t have money disagreements.
See, we work out a family budget together — one that dictates how we spend, save, and invest our money. But when we do it, we don’t start out basing our budget on what we hope to spend on different things or what investments we want to buy. We don’t even start out looking at our current spending or the amount of income we make.
Instead, we sit down and discuss our shared financial goals. Specifically, we’ve both had goals in the past to buy a house together, to pay off any debt that we brought into the marriage, to avoid credit card debt, and to retire early.
These shared financial goals are then used as the basis of our entire budget, including our spending and investing decisions. We look at the amount of money that we need to set aside to accomplish the goals that we both agree is important, and we make that a priority spending item above all else.
After we’ve accounted for all of our shared goals, we can see what money is left over, devote some of it to our needs, and then divide the rest evenly towards our different spending preferences. We can also make a decision about how best to accomplish these goals.
Because we both know why we have limited money for certain expenses, neither one of us gets upset about putting restrictions on specific types of spending. We are both happy to make any necessary sacrifices in the short-term because we are in complete agreement that our long-term goals are the priority. In fact, the limits that we put on spending don’t even really feel much like sacrifices since we’re not focusing on what we can’t do now but instead are focusing on what we hope to do in the future.
By finding consensus on shared goals, we don’t focus on the issues that could divide us. Instead, we prioritize working together to make a budget and investing choices that reflect our values and desires for the future.
We regularly revisit this budget as needed, as our different life goals change and our spending priorities need to shift. But as we work together to accommodate new expenses — such as having a child — we always keep our focus on the things that we both want to accomplish with our money. With that as our guiding principle, there’s no need for disputes about the little stuff since we can focus on the big picture that we both share.
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/personal-finance/articles/why-my-husband-and-i-dont-fight-about-money-even-with-different-habits/