A couple of weeks ago we were walking off the Denver Everyday TV show set. Chris Parente, the host of the show, suggested we give tips to couples who have a big difference in the amount of money they each make. We LOVE hearing your Money Relationship Questions! If ‘my spouse makes money than I do’ is something that you’ve said, read on.
We can really speak into this because I (Scott) made a lot less money than Bethany at the start of our marriage. It was my first year in sales and I was on 100% commission. Bethany had been in the business for five years and had her business established and rolling. Needless to say, it was a lopsided Money Relationship.
Remember, you’re on the same team
Here are 3 tips to survive a lopsided Money Relationship:
1. Get it out on the table.
Don’t be intimidated by what is real! You both know there is a difference in your income, why hide it? Just say it! “I make less.” Talking about the “elephant in the room” is so freeing! Ok, ok, my friends did tease me a bit, but because we had talked about it, it was no big deal. I have to admit, it motivated me to work harder. For some couples it doesn’t matter; some it does. Either way, talk about it!
2. Stop the Tit for Tat.
If you really want to put yourself in a bad spot, try to keep up with one another. The person who is making less should not try to keep up for the sake of keeping up. Remember what you can afford and your comfort level. The same is true for the person with the larger paycheck. Don’t hold back, make yourself uncomfortable, or deny yourself the pleasures you work hard for just because you feel guilty. Remember, you have to be yourself!
3. Beware of Control.
Don’t let the person who makes more money control the money decisions! Just because one person in the relationship makes more does not mean they should drive all the money decisions. It’s easy for the person who makes less to feel like they do not have the right to speak into money decisions. This is not true and will kill your relationship. Speak up and be heard!
We know many of the challenges you have with money, inside your relationship, are the result of looking at money completely opposite from your partner. You can understand these differences. It starts with knowing your two Money Personalities (take our scientific & confidential online assessment). Then, learn all the great tricks and tips in our book The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language.
Leave us a comment below about your lopsided relationship or a couple you know who has one. How’s it working out for you or them?
Make it Happen!
Scott & Bethany