Couples often divide duties, and financial duties are no exception. One partner might handle day-to-day household spending, while the other focuses on long-term savings and investing. But those roles are naturally at odds with one another. Such a division of labor is often a source of conflict, experts say.
To avoid the disharmony of conflicting money roles, some couples trade the jobs back and forth. One month you might handle household spending and your partner might focus on savings and investment. The next month, you can swap jobs.
Another good option is to share roles equally. Set up a regular day and time each month to sit down, pay the bills, discuss your expenses and review your savings plans. Try to schedule something fun for after the meeting; if you know you’ll be going to the movies or on a bike ride afterwards, your money date will feel less like a chore.
As you and your partner discuss your household finances, avoid using the word “budget.” Some people have negative associations with this word which may set up a feeling of deprivation. Instead, think in terms of developing a spending plan. Deciding together what goals you want to save for and what goods and services you want to spend your money on can make for a much more satisfying conversation.
If your financial discussions become heated, take a time out and revisit them later. When it comes to money, you and your spouse may not always see eye to eye. But with good communication and an understanding of each other’s beliefs and values, you can work together to realize your shared financial goals.