While money definitely isn't the most important thing when it comes to deciding whether or not you want a relationship with someone, it can definitely cause a ton of problems once you're together. Money fights in a relationship are pretty common, because two different people may very well have different ideas about how to handle finances. A strict saver is likely always going to have problems if their partner is a reckless spender.
But sometimes the polarized "spender" versus "saver" dynamic doesn't fully encompass the issue. Maybe one of you thinks that you should be spending your money on traveling and seeing the world, while the other wants to save up every penny to buy a new tech gadget. Like most other areas of a relationship, your spending habits may or may not be compatible — but if you're both willing to try and understand where the other is coming from, then you just might be able to work through money spats without letting them become a serious problem in the relationship. Here are some common things partners disagree on when it comes to finances and some ways to deal with them so you're both happy.
1. Spenders Versus Savers
According to dating expert and licensed marriage therapist, Anita A. Chlipala, one of the most common sources of conflict between couples regarding money has to do with "differences in values."
"One needs more financial security and the other wants to live more in the moment," Chlipala tells Elite Daily.
This can be really frustrating because objectively, it's easy to see that both sides of the argument are necessary ingredients to a responsible (but not overly restrictive) financial plan.
Chlipala recommends acknowledging that both of you have valid points.
"Couples get stuck in the same fights because they don't accept that their partner is different — they usually think their partner is wrong," she says. "Values are values, and one is not better than the other, they're just different."
2. The "Dominant" Partner Should Carry More Of The Financial Responsibilities
Gender equality is so important, and still, many people believe that in an ideal situation, the male (or "dominant") partner should be the one to front the check — even after the relationship is past the initial courting phase. And it's totally OK to have strong opinions about it either way, but, according to personal consultant and founder of Live For Yourself Consulting, Benjamin Ritter, it's best to talk about your money values upfront.
"Discuss money issues before they arise," Ritter tells Elite Daily. "Bring up your opinions on splitting checks or taking turns paying [once you are no longer new to] the relationship."
3. A Power Struggle When One Of You Makes Significantly More
Dating someone who makes way more money than you do is rarely something that people complain about. But the truth is, as the relationship continues to evolve, this creates a strong dynamic between two people.
It's easy for the partner that's constantly giving to feel entitled to more of a say in other areas of the relationship, which can sometimes lead to an imbalance of power.
According to author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, Diana Dorell, that's one of the reasons it's so important to keep an open dialogue about your "long-term goals" as a couple, and to make sure that you're both making financial decisions that support a shared vision.
4. Wants Versus Needs
"[Disagreements over] what constitutes a 'reasonable' purchase versus a 'want' [is what] usually happens when a spender meets a saver," says Dorell.
But, like Chlipala noted, it's best not to assume that either one of you is "right" while the other must be "wrong." Try your best to not be judgmental, but rather to talk it out so you can move forward with a better understanding of what the other feels.
"Identify what is important to each of you and why," says Chlipala. "These are related not just to values but our dreams, preferences, personality, how we were raised, etc. Find what your non-negotiable area is, and try to keep it small. What is the most important thing you need to honor your dream?"
In the end, Ritter, Chlipala, and Dorell all agree that the most important thing you can do when it comes to keeping both people happy is to reach a compromise. The bottom line is if that you are unable to make compromises for each other to account for your differences, then the inability to do so is likely going to be a running theme in other areas of the relationship as time goes on.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!