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Vaz-Oxlade suggests beginning your conversation about spending and saving before you and your partner make any firm commitment, like moving in together or getting married. Figuring out how your partner's financial behaviours compare to your own—and how your styles can work together—will be much easier when you're happy than it will be when money challenges arise and you're both stressed.
2. Start with "I love you"
Vaz-Oxlade recommends starting every money talk with these three little words. "It says, 'I'm not doing this to boss you around; I'm not doing this because I think you're an idiot.' The intent of having the conversation will mark the outcome of the conversation."
3. Look for compromise, not common ground
When one of you is a spender and the other is a saver, it isn't the job of either one to convert the other, says Vaz-Oxlade. But you need to be able to bridge the gap between you. If one person is intent on stowing away money for the future while the other is dead set on travelling, you can accomplish both. One partner can save 15 percent of his or her income, while the other saves five percent and uses the remaining money for a vacation.
4. There is no right conclusion
As long as one partner's wants aren't put before the other person's needs, any solution can be a good solution, says Vaz-Oxlade. "Everything is up for discussion, but it's the discussion part that people are scared of."
Check out what to do when money becomes a problem in your relationship.
This story was originally part of "The Great Divide" in the July 2016 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!