Do You Speak the Same Money Language

Among the many causes of conflict, the one over money ranks very high. So as your relationships evolve be attentive to how your partner handles money. You will over-time see some kind of a pattern emerging.

Patterns can be found

Around spending
Spending habits always differ from person to person. One person may be unwilling to pay for things and will always want to control the flow of money. Another may be happy to let their money flow out with no careful regulation and may consistently want to consume.
Watch how your partner behaves when it is time to spend money, to pay for something or to give some money to someone? Are they tight-fisted with their money, are they careful about the cost or are they overly generous and perpetually open-handed with money?
Whether it’s you or your partner who’s the spendthrift, a difference in spending habits isn’t something to ignore because resentment and frustration can grow if one of you feels helpless in the face of the other’s habits. If you and your partner are regularly butting heads about each other’s spending habits it may simply be that you do not speak the same money language.

Around borrowing
You may discover that your partner has a penchant for buying things on credit and think nothing of getting more and more stuff; especially if it is on a “buy now, pay later” basis. If you have different mindsets when it comes to debt, from whether it’s acceptable to always be in debt or whether you should never be in debt you must be upfront and honest about your attitude.
Lots of people just don’t pay close attention to their finances. They make a mess of their money and never get around to cleaning it up so before tension mounts, talk about it and let the other person know how you feel. Try to get the other person to see how much their debt accumulating habits are a source of strife for you.
If you can, try to help the other person reduce or eliminate their debts. If they resist and think debt is just part of how they do things, then ask yourself if you can tolerate this from them. If not…you have a decision to make.

Around saving
You may find that you both of you are on the same page when it comes to spending and to borrowing but, what about saving? People don’t only have conflicting ideas about spending and borrowing – they also, often disagree about saving and what to save for because people have different assumptions about saving money.
Who is expected to be the primary saver? Is the responsibility shared? Is the savings account shared? How will decisions about spending this money be made? One person may agree to save and up-grade the car, but not the living room sofas, the appliances but not a weekend away or eating out at a restaurant. If one person appreciates a little splurge now with money that was put away over a period of time and the other one doesn’t. A conflict will arise.
If peace is to prevail and to avoid conflict, surprises and fights in the future have a good talk and decide your saving lifestyle. And if it will be together or apart? Ideally it should be the former-together!

Kwachalelo

A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo