How to Budget With a Partner Who Isn’t the ‘Saver’ in the Relationship

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

how to budget with a partner

A budget is the pulse of your financial well-being. You check it anytime you feel unsure if you’re on track. When you’re in a relationship, your budget matters to more than just you — it matters to your partner, too.

But what if your partner doesn’t care about finances as much as you do? If you’re the saver in the relationship and your significant other is the spender, you might need to work out some kinks.

Here are a few ways to adjust your budget and communication in your relationship when you approach money differently.

1. More money doesn’t mean more power

If you earn more money than your significant other, you might think you have final approval over how money is handled. But a relationship is a partnership. Just because you make more money doesn’t mean your opinion matters more.

It’s about communication, according to Laurie Itkin, financial adviser, certified divorce financial analyst, and author of “Every Woman Should Know Her Options.”

“If one spouse makes significantly more than the other, decide how much each will contribute to the joint checking account each month,” Itkin said. It might not always be split evenly, so make sure you’re both on the same page about what’s fair.

2. Talk about money early and often

If you’ve already talked to your significant other about finances, debt, and income, you have an idea of their spending habits. There isn’t one time to talk about money, though. Rather, there are many times.

“Before committing to marriage, you must discuss money,” Itkin said. “Schedule a ‘money date’ each month to review the previous month’s expenditures. In the beginning, a monthly meeting is recommended. Once habits get established, twice a year should be sufficient.”

Meeting with your significant other about money should be ongoing. If you’re ever unsure about where your money is going, talk to your partner about it at the money meeting. If twice a year isn’t enough for you, talk more often. Do what works best for your family and situation.

3. Be understanding, not disrespectful

If your partner spends money in ways with which you don’t agree, try putting yourself in their shoes. How did they get to be a spendthrift, and what do they know about budgeting?

You can start to educate your partner without talking down to them about how they handle their money. For one thing, they might not know they’re doing anything wrong.

“If one person is a saver and the other is a spender, there is bound to be bumps in the road,” said Misty Lynch, certified financial planner and a lead financial consultant at John Hancock. “A saver may feel the spender is sabotaging their goals and future with unnecessary purchases. A spender may feel that their partner is trying to be a ‘parent’ instead and resent all the limitations compared to when it was just ‘their’ money.”

It’s important to know where you both stand on your spending beliefs. That way, you can grow together without resenting each other.

4. Set limits and expectations

If you’re a saver and your partner isn’t, your budget should be realistic for both of you.

“Identifying goals can help a spender connect with a saver when it comes to finances,” Lynch said. “Spenders are capable of saving money, but they may have difficulty when it appears to be done without a purpose.”

Your budget should include all the required payments, such as your rent or mortgage and household bills. Showing your spender how money goes to certain things can help them understand the impact of being fiscally responsible. A joint account lets you both contribute to important responsibilities without playing the blame game.

Lynch and Itkin both recommend having three bank accounts: one for each person and a joint bank account.

“The joint account should get the bulk of the money as the relationship progresses and the common goals take center stage,” Lynch said. “Create a budget and determine how much each person needs to contribute to the joint account. The individual accounts are for each person to use however they want. That way, the spender is happy because they can make purchases without seeking approval or feeling guilty.”

5. Share values and be open to compromise

As a saver, you approach finances differently than your spender mate. If you’ve tried to work out a budget plan but neither of you is sticking to it, you might have to move in a different direction.

“Sharing similar values is an important key to harmony in a relationship,” Itkin said. “If you and your significant other are so far apart from each other regarding values over money, it might be difficult to sustain a long-term relationship.”

In the end, communication is key. If you meet often with your significant other about finances, your relationship with money and your partner can improve.

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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.199% APR to 15.365% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.145% APR to 14.685% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of June 15, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.145% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.97% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
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2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
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  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.