Saver vs Spender – can the two work together?

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There are many posts around what you can do as an individual to save money. If you’re part of a couple you will likely have goals that you have set together and as the saying goes you’re only as strong as your weakest link. So what if both of you aren’t naturally inclined to save? What if you’re a saver and your partner/spouse is a spender or vice versa? Are you doomed to eternal money conflict? 

I’m a saver whereas hubby is more of a spender. Our approaches to money are different however like most things in relationships this is an area where compromise is required if you are to get ahead.

Saver or a Spender – which one are you?

Most people will generally have a hunch over which category they fall under, but here are some characteristics to help those who are unsure.

Spender:

  • Views money as something to be spent
  • May make impulsive decisions over money
  • May spend committed money on leisure activities
  • Shopping is a regular activity (e.g. clothes, gadgets, etc)
  • Tend to be fairly generous with money
  • Doesn’t particularly monitor their spending

Saver:

  • Views money as security
  • May have trouble spending money
  • Set aside a proportion of you income monthly income
  • Believes in having an emergency fund for those rainy days
  • General knows what’s in their bank account

The above lists are far from exhaustive and if you are still unsure there are a number of quizzes that can be done online. Both categories have their perks and drawbacks.It’s important that you understand which one you and your partner fall under to become the best you can be financially. In short, helping them be a spender who also saves, or a saver who is able to spend money. Forcing your other half to live like a pauper will no more result in positive results than allowing a partner to spend everything. With some balance you can achieve the best of both saving/spending worlds.

Involvement is key

Understanding how we view money helps to explain how we behave with it. Maybe one of you is more inclined to review the finances than the other. However, for your financial journey as a couple to be a success both of you need to be aware of your current financial situation – from your spending, savings through to any debt.

If your relationship involves only one person handling all the finances, what would happen if that person is no longer there? If you/ your partner avoid looking at your finances due to a lack of understanding its time to get some Financial education. Whether that starts with budget basics or building on existing knowledge to understand the investments you have, get moving! Circumstances can and do change so you want to make sure you are able to manage your finances whether part of a couple or not.

If the spender in your relationship is putting you in hot water it’s time for that reality check. It may be helpful to relate the impact a goal (e.g.saving for a house deposit), as opposed to bringing the emotion into it, so that the effect is clear.

The saver in your relationship does not need to be cheap. Sacrificing all enjoyment in life to watch a bank balance grow is not really living! They should set aside some funds to do fun stuff with those closest to them. Defining the amount will still leave a feeling of being in control, whilst incorporating some leisure (it’s allowed). Not only that, it will probably boost their happiness and make them an even more wonderful person to be around.

Verdict?

Can savers and spenders work together? Yes of course. Will it always mean an environment of financial bliss with you spouse/partner? Not necessarily. However, with both of you committed and involved in the process of making a success of the financial resources you’ve been blessed with, it’s a huge step in the right direction.

We each have different approaches to money and often opposites attract. It’s about finding that path together.


Is your partner/spouse your financial opposite? What challenges have you faced?  What would you say are the benefits? Were there any particular things that helped align your views? Feel free to comment below or via Twitter or Facebook.

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