Relationships and Money Styles

  • February 1, 2022
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Money is one of the biggest sources of stress in relationships. The main reason is that a lot of people have trouble talking about money. Talking openly and honestly about money can reduce stress in your relationship. It can also lead to big savings when you and your spouse on the same page. So relationships and money directly relate to one-another.


Why do people have a hard time talking about finances? Some of us are embarrassed by how much we spend, how much we owe, or how much we earn. Honesty is important in a healthy relationship. That includes being honest about your finances. Partners need to understand each other’s financial situation. Credit card debt. Poor credit history. Bankruptcy. Struggles with money management. It all needs to be on the table to have a healthy relationship with your money, and with each other.

Here are some tips to for talking about money with your partner:

  • Understand your own weaknesses. Do you overspend on certain things? Do you get defensive when talking about the bills? Knowing your own flaws helps you have a better financial relationship with your partner.
  • Set aside one day per month to discuss money. This is the time when you can talk over expenses and discuss goals. Make a pledge not to disagree about money the rest of the month.
  • Continue to learn about money together. By reading books and watching programs, you begin to get better educated about personal finances.

Understand Your Money Personality

The way you think about money is unique to you.

We learn attitudes about money from our families and communities. Spending. Saving. Debt. We form opinions about all these things over many years. And it’s hard to change those beliefs. It’s even harder trying to change your partner’s relationship with money.

Some researchers describe a range of categories when looking at money personalities. Again, many of us can look to our family relationships with money as forging these money styles since our families are our first window in how we learn about money.

As an example, a few of the more common money personalities fall in the following groups:

  • Investors – those interested in strategic ways to see their money grow
  • Savers – those looking to shore up finances for safety and to reduce risk
  • Big spenders – people with a habit of making large expenditures
  • Debtors – those who have a high comfort level and habit of taking on debt
  • Shoppers – people with a high interest and habit of shopping, usually as entertainment

Most people don’t fit neatly into one category. It’s easy to see how these groups might overlap in personality traits when it comes to managing household money.

Knowing which type of money personality you have, or at least the various groups that resonate with you, can help you understand any blind spots in your relationship to money.

If you and your partner are polar opposites when it comes to money, it’s still possible to live together happily.  Experts say that opposite money personalities can actually balance each other. Savers keep spenders out of the poor house. Spenders encourage savers to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Getting to the point where both contribute to a balanced approach entails compromise.

Create a System for Managing Finances

There are a lot of different systems to choose from. Sharing account or having one joint account are two popular strategies. You’ll have to find what works for you. But it’s important to make sure that you have a system.

Maintain Individual Accounts

A solution that works for many couples is to have separate accounts. Use the joint account to pay household expenses. If there’s money left over, split the remaining funds into personal accounts. It’s from these accounts that you can pursue individual wish-list goals. For a spender, that might mean paying for a dream vacation. For a saver, it could mean investing money.

Share Bill Paying Duties

One of the issues that causes problems is when one person handles most of the bills. That person may get upset with being in charge. When it comes to monthly bills, both people should know the details about those important payments.

Set Goals Together

Experts agree that couples should set goals. Consider making separate wish lists and then rank the items. Work toward those that you both feel are most important. One goal that most couple have is to retire comfortably. That goal can only happen if both people agree about the importance of that issue.

Celebrate Success

It’s fine to feel good about success! Maybe you paid off a credit card or built up a savings account. Celebrate together when you reach your goal. That will help keep you both motivated.