When couples disagree about spending

Photo: mconnors/morguefile.com 

Q. My husband and I don’t agree about spending. I think he spends too much. How can we negotiate a peace agreement here?

A. In business, everything is negotiable.

When it comes to couples and how they manage their money, there should be room for negotiation, too.

It seems you’re the more money savvy one in your marriage, but you to understand there’s a lot more involved than just the numbers.

Indeed, financial planning is not solely about making financial decisions with your “head.” A lot of times, the “heart” is involved, said Ron Garutti, a certified financial planner with Newroads Financial Group in Clinton.

“It’s not always a science with absolute black and white answers,” he said. “Almost always the answer lies in the grey by researching all options so that you pick the best course based on all the facts, and then staying current with your decisions to make sure that the original course remains the best path.”

Your question, however, is closer to marriage counseling than financial planning, he said.

He suggests you flip the table and look at it from a saving perspective instead of spending perspective.

What if you considered money not spent on something as money that could be saved into something such as a bank account or an investment account?

For example, Garutti suggested, if you think you husband spends $500 too much per month on something, what would happen if you showed him what that $500 each month could grow to if it was saved? In this hypothetical scenario, you could ask him to delay spending the $500 each month and instead put it in a piggy bank. Then you agree at the end of the 12 months, you crack the piggy bank open and you save half, or $3,000, into some form of investment, and you go on vacation with the remaining $3,000.

Perhaps that might intrigue him to save more,

“Not only could this give you something to look forward to but memories of the vacation and your time together,” Garutti said. “You could do this every year and before you know it you have great vacation memories and nicely built nest egg.”

We also suggest you have “the money talk” with your husband. Here are some suggestions on how to get it done.

Email your questions to moc.p1575880910leHye1575880910noMJN1575880910@ksA1575880910.

This story was first posted in September 2015.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.