It may seem as if your spending habits have no direct correlation to your life in general, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your views on money are parallel to how you approach life, and that becomes increasingly evident when you have a partner with opposite views. Before tying the knot, it’s important to take a little time to analyze your partner’s view on money, how it relates to your view on money, and how it plays into your relationship dynamic.

Reckless

Reckless spending is as wild as you’d imagine. It’s characterized by impulse shopping, overspending, living outside your means, racking up (unnecessary) debt, and completely disregarding the notion of a budget. People like this often enjoy living on the wild side. You only live once, right? Well, yes. But if that’s putting your financial security at risk, that time of free spiritedness can backfire. Because at the end of the day, if you end up in crippling debt or find yourself with the constant need to live paycheck to paycheck, you won’t find yourself so free spirited after all.

At the end of the day, reckless spending parallels a life lived on the edge. And while that can be fun, it can also be grounds for disaster.

Flexible

Flexibility is a good thing when it comes to approaching money — and life! Being able to roll with the punches is an instinct when you’re flexible, and that’s a good thing. When you’re flexible about finances, it typically means that you have most of your priorities in line, while still liking to enjoy travel, entertainment, and spontaneous meals out. When you or your partner has a flexible view on money, it can be easy to adapt to the different phases of life.

If you’re younger, your view may be more about splurging on travel, for example, whereas when you get older you may meld into someone more financially reserved and concerned with saving for your child’s college.

Conservative

If you or your partner is a tightwad, it is usually indicative of a more uptight personality in general. Don’t take that too personally of course; there are tons of positives to being disciplined and straight-laced. Focusing on saving money, living within your means, investing strategically, and creating a secure life is nothing to sneeze at. However, life can get a little boring at times. If this is your partner’s take on life, you might tease them for being a snooze fest every now and then. And if that’s your take on life — and your partner doesn’t share the same view on money — they might be the one doing the teasing.

Having a conservative outlook on money and life definitely has its pros, just be sure not to miss out on too much in the process.

Which situation is ideal?

Just like most things in life, the answer isn’t quite black and white. Although having polarized views on money is definitely not ideal, it’s not the end of the world. A prenup, for example, is a great way to protect yourself if you’re a conservative spender and dedicated saver, meanwhile your partner throws money everywhere — or is just more of a spender than you are. At the same time, however, having a partner who lives on the edge can be fun once in a while, prompting you to live a little looser every once in a while. As long as you’re feeling secure, that’s what’s important.

While it’s easy to say that the best outcome is for both you and your partner to have the same views on money, that’s all conditional of course. If you both spend recklessly, you could find yourself in constant financial pickles. Meanwhile, if you’re both super conservative about life and spending, you can miss out on some pretty cool experiences. As usual, the beauty is often in the middle — particularly when you’re communicating about finances every step of the way.

Related read: How to Deal With The Backlash of a Partner Who Doesn’t Want a Prenup

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