You’re in an amazing relationship – you and your significant other have a lot in common, sugardaddy al similar values, and they do the sweetest things (like leave you notes wishing you luck with a work meeting). But there’s one compatibility factor you and your partner need to have… and you may be missing it and not even know it. If you guessed �money,� you’re already one step ahead. According to a 2021 study of 1,713 couples conducted by Fidelity, one in five couples said that money is their greatest relationship challenge – yet only 54% of partners said they made day-to-day financial decisions jointly. And while 44% of partners said they argued about money at least occasionally, 24% said they were often frustrated by their partner’s money habits, but let it go for the sake of keeping the peace. But not talking about it can – and tends to – lead to bigger problems down the line.
�Money has always been considered one of the leading causes of divorce,� Dr. Sanam Hafeez, NYC neuropsychologist and director of Comprehend the Mind, tells TZR in an email. �Even if each partner has had a different approach to finances, there needs to be a strategic meeting of the minds so that the relationship does not cave as a result of financial differences that could have been worked out with a plan in place.� She says that having differing views on money can bring advantages and disadvantages to the partnership. �On the positive side, being in a relationship with someone who has an opposite view on handling their finances can give you insight into a different financial perspective,� she explains. �For example, if you’re a spender, you can teach your partner ways to look at money positively and allow yourself to splurge every once in a while. On the contrary, if you’re a saver, you can help your partner practice better saving habits in order to allow themselves to splurge without overspending.�
Clear Communication About Finances Is the Overlooked Factor When It Comes To Compatibility
Speaking of which, in the Fidelity study, 34% of couples disagreed on whether they were �savers� or �spenders,� and, as you can imagine, not knowing the difference is not good. Hafeez says the downside about money-related conflicts is that they can eventually drive a wedge between you and your significant other. �Discussions need to be had on where/how discretionary income will be spent by both partners,� she says. This can include asking yourselves: What are your priorities as a couple? Home improvement? Vacations? Clothing? Fancy dinners? And you may want to sit down with a financial planner and invest some of that money, too. However, you may each have certain money deal-breakers that you simply can’t look past, she says, including your partner having a poor credit score, debt, a shopping or gambling addiction, spending more than they can afford (to keep up with their peers), hiding or lying about money, or avoiding discussing it. But how do you know if a money issue is solvable or a deal-breaker? Ahead, relationship and finance experts weigh in on how you and your significant other can become more financially compatible.
Set Money Rules
Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez, personal finance expert for Discover and host of Real Simple’s Money Confidential podcast, says the key is getting on the same financial page as your partner and setting money-related rules. �This doesn’t mean agreeing on everything,� she tells TZR in an email. �Rather, it means having an open line of communication regarding your finances and getting clear on whatever shared money rules, expectations, and goals you set as a couple.� For example, you es are a good use of money, and your significant other may think paying $15 for a cocktail is absurd, she explains, but you might both agree that you should be able to spend $200 apiece per month on whatever makes each of you happy.