Finding Compromise in Different Approaches to Finances
If you find that you and your significant other have significantly different approaches to finances, you don't necessarily have to call it quits. But before you take the next step, have a long, hard, honest talk about finances.
Discuss ways in which you can compromise. For example, suppose a couple has radically different views about money. They both make good income, but she has spent most of college in debt, and he had his college paid for. She's adamant about getting out of debt, and then saving for retirement, buying a house, and planning for children.
She doesn't enjoy golf, and he's an avid golfer who can either play on the public course for about $3,000 per year or join a country club for $10,000 per year. He's a spender who doesn't think much about money, so he really wants the country-club option; she thinks the country club is a waste of money that moves them away from more important financial goals.
At this point, they appear to have three options: 1) Go with the public course; 2) join the country club; or 3) break up. But perhaps there's a compromise to be had.
Given how important money is in relationships, if you can't agree on that, it really doesn't matter how good everything else is. Take any substantial money disagreements very seriously before getting married!
For every dollar above the public-course fee that he spends (so, $7,000 per year), the couple can also put a dollar toward her student loan until it's paid off, and then toward savings and a retirement account after the loan is paid off. That way, he gets to join the country club, but they also meet her financial goals.
If they can't afford to do both, at least her financial goals are put on the same footing as his golfing goals.