When "money pincher" falls in love with "big spender", the ending may not be a happy one. Shine Latina sat down with financial expert Andrés Gutiérrez to find out what couples need to know aTips on balancing marriage and moneybout managing money together to avoid becoming a divorce statistic.
In marriage, as in many relationships, opposites tend to attract. It's usually a strong, silent type that falls in love with the fun extrovert. Unfortunately, the very differences that once attracted them to each other are the ones that can turn a symbiotic relationship into an antagonistic one. And, according to financial expert Andrés Gutiérrez, the results could be devastating when you add individual approaches to handling money.
Two money personalities
"When it comes to marriage and money, one is always the spender, the other the saver," says Gutiérrez, who has found that in every couple there will always be a Nerd (the saver) and a Free Spirit (or spender).
The Nerd wants to save to buy a home, put money away for children's education, and wait until the television breaks down to actually buy a new one. For this "no-frill Bill", there's no room for spontaneity or frivolous spending like taking a vacation or buying a new coat.
The Free Spirit wants to spend on pretty much everything he/she sees. There's no planning in place that would require money put away for a vacation or a big purchase. The free spirit is buying the brand new plasma TV because it's the latest model, and it's going to look "cool" at home.
Bringing these two money types together will always result in friction and division between the couple, unless they learn how to manage their money in unison and with intention.
Adding tradition into the mix
"In Latino households, more and more women are handling the finances," says our financial expert, who finds that Latin men want their wives to manage the money, only to blame them for not handling it as they would. This places a huge responsibility on the woman, who ends up getting blamed for any lack of money in the household.
If on top of opposing personalities, you add the "two-income family" factor, then the conversation develops into a "this is my money and that's your money" attitude. "Utilities and bills get divvied up, as small money expenses get under each other's microscope," says Gutiérrez. Couples quit working as one, expenses become individualized, and communication breaks down, resulting in what is now the number one cause for divorce in the this country-MONEY.
Tips for balancing the relationship and your checkbook
"Couples need to be smart regarding money, but also be able to use it to enjoy life. Nerds need Free Spirits and vice versa…to balance each other out," says the expert, who suggests couples follow these steps to bring unity and purpose when it comes to their money.
1. Make an agreement regarding spending. When a couple agrees on how they'll spend their money, they're also opening up about their fears, as well as agreeing on their common values.
2. Create a budget: Everything falls under one single budget which should include every source of income and every household expenditure. Separate a day aside to do this; make sure to turn the TV off and decide not to go to bed until the budget is done.
3. One manager; two decision-makers: The most mathematically-gifted person should be in charge of paying the bills. This is usually the job of the Nerd in the relationship since he/she enjoys the process. However, all budget-related decisions must be made by the couple.
4. Disagreements? Don't change the rules! Call a "Budget Committee Meeting", and make formal decisions. Don't ever tell the other, "Whatever you say, honey." Be an adult, and work through the disagreement until you both agree on a budget change.
Financial expert Andrés Gutiérrez is the host of "The Andrés Gutiérrez Show" and creator of Paz Financiera. A successful entrepreneur and small-business owner, Andrés Gutiérrez knows what it's like to start with nothing and build lasting wealth. After hosting a San Antonio financial radio program and appearing frequently as a financial expert on the Telemundo television network, Andres joined Dave Ramsey's team in 2009 to bring the message of Financial Peace to the Spanish-speaking community.