Managing money with your significant other is difficult enough. Don’t burden your relationship with half-truths that can make it even harder. Make sure these five money myths aren’t keeping you apart.
- The partner who earns more, knows more.
Your earnings are only a measure of how much you earn right now, period. They don’t represent your negotiation skills, job skills, investing skills-or just plain common sense. The partner with more intuitive skills can more easily sense a bad investment than the one with a high income but a faulty BS detector. Respect your partner’s contribution of knowledge and insight to your team-regardless of his or her financial contribution at the moment.
- Pennies make millions.
A penny-pinching partner may starve the essence and spirit of his partner, instead of encouraging her to achieve her full potential-economic and otherwise. Monitoring day-to-day spending is fine, but don’t keep your partner from pursuing dreams because of temporary financial risks. Concentrate on your partner’s long-term potential. If you restrict her from achieving her best, she will always resent you for it-and the costs will far exceed pennies.
- We have to agree on everything.
Some couples think that any disagreement is a deep and permanent conflict that will destroy the relationship. If he likes to spend and you like to save, or vice versa-this does not mean the end of the relationship. Agree to disagree on small matters, and compromise on the large ones. Remember, if two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.
- We can’t enjoy the present because we have to save for the future.
An intelligent savings plan includes some enjoyment in the present. You don’t have to go on an expensive vacation or spend lots of money on weekend entertainment, if that is outside of your budget. You do, however, have to reserve some time (and some funds) for enjoying yourselves right now. If you don’t nurture your relationship with some pleasures now, you might not have a future together.
- Money is more important than our relationship.
Every relationship has its share of money regrets. Each partner says to himself: “If only she (or he) had let me invest…or kept me from investing… or spent money on… or not spent money on…” These regrets and unfulfilled wishes can be very expensive in terms of energy and goodwill in your relationship. This ruminating is not productive, so let it go to make more space in your relationship for future inflows of money-and love.