So many times, financial decisions are made out of emotion, rather than out of our best interests. When you’re in a relationship, you can find yourself in a situation where one person views the other as too frugal, and one views the other as too wasteful. There are some things you can do for peace of mind in this situation, with the best being separate bank accounts. At first, this idea hits many people as a trust issue, and they get emotionally hurt by the idea that not sharing bank accounts means not trusting each other. This is quite the opposite of reality. Separate bank accounts actually say, “I trust you enough to have your finances in order that I don’t need to watch over them.”
Often times, a solid compromise is to sit down and build a budget. Take the total of the monthly expenses, divide them in half, and have each person put their share in a joint account for bills each month. This allows you to each have your own accounts, as well as a joint account.
Aside from bank accounts, emotions come into play with many financial decisions, especially when it comes to major purchase, like homes and car. Family adds an additional wrinkle when the subject of co-signing a loan comes up. The short answer to the co-signing question is always “no,” with the reason being that it has no upside, and could result in being stuck with a major debt. In the long run, saying no to co-signing on a loan will result in fewer hurt feelings than a defaulted loan with somebody stuck holding the bag.
The approach to loaning money to a friend or family member should always be that the money being given is a gift. To think otherwise will usually end badly.
In all of these situations, there is a very common thread: making good financial decisions for yourself hurts other people’s feelings. Often times, the next phase that comes out of many people’s mouths is “You’re being selfish.” This is something nobody likes to hear, and it works to chip away at your resolve. The best thing to say is you’re sorry that they feel that way, and you both should move on to another subject. No good will come from making the conversation go on longer.