A Spender and a Saver Relationship

A Spender and a Saver RelationshipAs most of you know, Wes and I have had combined finances, lived together, and owned a home together for quite some time. Because of this, we have always been very open with our finances and our spending habits.

Thing is, we are completely different when it comes to finances.

I am a crazy saver.

I’ve talked about this before in Confession: I Let Money Control My Life. I compulsively check our financial accounts, we have a large emergency fund, I always think about our financial goals before we spend money, and so on.

Wes on the other hand, is a spender.

He knows how to use money to have fun and enjoy life. He plans fun trips and fun ways to spend his money, and he doesn’t worry or wonder about every little purchase.

When in a spender and a saver relationship, below are different areas you may want to think about:

 

I think spenders and savers can make a great match.

I think me and Wes (financially) make a great match BECAUSE I am a saver and he is a spender. Some would say that a saver with a saver, or a spender with a spender is a better idea because there will be less conflict, but I just don’t agree with that.

Instead, we each are learning and growing from each other and together.

I have taught him that saving can be a good thing. We have financial goals and we keep each other in check so that we can reach them. He understands the importance of saving and how it can help us.

He has taught me that money can be enjoyed as well. If it weren’t for him, I would probably not be enjoying life at all because I would be agonizing about every little penny. While that may work for some, I believe that life is meant to be enjoyed. He helps me live life more!

 

Be open about your finances.

If you have opposite spending/saving habits, then I always think it’s best to be open and communicate about your finances. You might want to have routine money talks, discussions about “allowances,” and more.

In your talks, you might want to discuss why each of you are the way you are, how much debt the other has or has had in the past, and what your long-term goals are.

 

Don’t hide money.

Whether you are the saver or the spender in the relationship, some might try to hide money in their relationship. According to a survey done by CreditCards.com, around 7% of those they surveyed were hiding money from their significant other. Most of them either have a secret credit card or a secret savings account.

The saver might try to hide money so that the spender can’t spend it. They might lie about how much money is saved or how much money they currently have so that the other person has less “access” to spending the money.

The spender might try to hide money so that they can have more money to spend at a later time. They might rack up credit card debt on the side so that they can still spend money.

I think having a secret account can be devastating to a relationship. This is something you definitely do not want to do. How would you feel if you found out your significant other had hidden money or hidden debt?

I’m going to assume that would not be the greatest feeling…

 

Maybe having a separate account is what you need.

For some, having separate financial accounts may be what you need. I know of a few different couples who have separate finances and wouldn’t have it any other way.

This way each person is in charge of their own finances.

 

Are you the spender or the saver in your relationship?

What do you do to make it work?

 

P.S. Please come back tomorrow. I have a Reader Question going live tomorrow and this reader needs your help.

 

Comments

  1. EarlyRetirementGuy says

    I’m most certainly the saving in the relationship.. and my other half is the very definition of a spender! I agree with you that the two can compliment each-other nicely as long as both are willing to compromise occasionally. As with most things in life; moderation is key. Being too much of a saver and you’ll spend your whole life saving and missing the actual living it part. I’m still hoping to convince my spend-happy partner about the joys of saving though ;)
    EarlyRetirementGuy recently posted..Bringing your partner along for the rideMy Profile

  2. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says

    I am a spender and my wife is a saver. We always end up in an argument sometimes and most of time, I just give in to her because of her explanation on saving for future and her power of encouragement. I think she’s turning me into a saver, which I think good because I can see results in our savings.
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Monster Piggy Bank Turns 2!My Profile

  3. Kasia says

    I’m the spender while the other half is the saver. I’ve found that over the years he’s helped me become more conscious of my spending and pushed me to save more. We’ve never argued about money and we generally discuss large purchases before making them. We each have our own bank accounts and one joint one in which we are saving up for a property purchase. For now that is working for us and we aim to strike a balance between saving and spending.
    Kasia recently posted..Can you afford your bucket list?My Profile

  4. Charlotte says

    I’m a saver but I have zero issue spending if it’s something I really want/value. The last guy I dated was a (huge, almost reckless) spender and it stressed me out sometimes haha!

    I like the idea of joint accounts for any communal expenses and/or saving goals but at the same time, keeping separate accounts with your “freebie” money. This way, the spenders can spend it if they want and the savers can save/spend/invest who they want. If it makes a couple more comfortable to split it up a bit, it’s fine by me.
    Charlotte recently posted..What I’d do with an unexpected windfall of moneyMy Profile

  5. Stephanie says

    My husband and I have a similar dynamic – I’m the saver and he’s the spender. Just like with the two of you, I think it works well for us, because we balance each other out. I make sure we’re saving for retirement and keep a decent amount of money in emergency savings, and he reminds me that it’s ok to indulge once in awhile. Left completely to our own devices, his finances would be a disorganized mess and mine would be great but I’d never have any fun. When we work together, our different styles compliment one another very well.
    Stephanie recently posted..Bad HabitsMy Profile

  6. Emily @ evolvingPF says

    My husband and I are both “unconflicted savers,” which I think is perfect. We both have a tendency to save but aren’t extreme and agree nearly all the time. I understand the benefit of the complementary relationship between a spender and saver for those who are extreme, but it’s so much easier when you just are constitutionally similar and in the middle. Your advice is great for all combinations of couples.
    Emily @ evolvingPF recently posted..How to Work Out without a Gym MembershipMy Profile

  7. EL @ Moneywatch101 says

    I am the saver in the relationship. I agree it brings balance with one being a saver and the other being a spender, but it can also bring balance if both are savers as well. As long as people communicate and do not impede the enjoyment of life when it comes to spending on occasion. (Travel, entertainment activities) It works when you have a plan, and do not deviate from them without a good logical reason, because then that’s when things go south, and arguments arise.
    EL @ Moneywatch101 recently posted..How to Avoid Living Paycheck to PaycheckMy Profile

  8. Robin @ The Thrifty Peach says

    I think finances can be one of the biggest challenges in a marriage if you are opposites. My husband and I are opposites as well. I’m the saver and he’s the spender. When we first got married, we avoided talking about finances to avoid conflict… which really only makes things worse! Now, the more we talk about it, the better we handle things and as a result, he’s becoming more and more of a saver. :)
    Robin @ The Thrifty Peach recently posted..Eating Out Is Destroying Your BudgetMy Profile

  9. MomCents says

    Me and hubby are in a spender/saver relationship
    I am the saver and he is a spender…not a big spender….but is more apt to be the one to indulge.

    We have a joint account, but also separate accounts and CC cards. The agreement with the CC card is not to spend over 30% utilization unless the other knows about it and no big purchase surprises. But this way, we don’t have to have a financial meeting for him to buy a cheeseburger.
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  10. Sarah says

    My husband and I are both spenders. However, we don’t spend on large ticket items. We save, but we have an issue with impulse buying on smaller ticket items. (A soda here, a toy for kids there). Things that are huge, but defiantly add up.

  11. cece@pink sunshine says

    I’m the saver and I basically just try not to lose my mind!! No. joking. Having our own accounts does help big time. We have a joint and a separate for our own stuff. Also, I just have had to learn to lighten up. I’ve also taught him a few things about savings and I think he’s really happy that we have a healthy savings account that we probably wouldn’t have if it were up to him.
    cece@pink sunshine recently posted..The Kind of Happy That Just IsMy Profile

  12. Allison says

    We are just a like y’all. I’m a aver and if it were up to me, we would never spend, never have fun, and be boring losers with money piled away.
    My husband is a spender! Like wes he plans trips and adventures.
    A few months ago he wanted to begin some work on our home and I wanted to be more aggressive in paying off our mortgage. So we agreed that every dollar spent on the house we had to match 50 cents and put towards an extra principal mortgage payment. So if a project cost 2k, we have to budget 3k before we even start the project, so that 1k can go towards mortgage payments.
    Allison recently posted..Friday ConfessionsMy Profile

  13. Anne @ Money Propeller says

    We are both spenders and savers… just in different areas, if that makes sense. A lot of the time, it means we support each others spending, though! Thankfully, we have a high savings rate to keep everything in balance. It has been very interesting figuring out what types of things the other person values. For example, I value travel a LOT more than my spouse does, who is always worried about the cost. My spouse, on the other hand, is a gear head, who always needs one more gadget.
    Anne @ Money Propeller recently posted..I Hired a VA (and it’s Awesome)My Profile

    • Michelle S. says

      Yes, Wes is a total gear head as well. He loves traveling, but he’s more of a “hiking/camping” traveler, which means he’s all about buying expensive gear but goes on super cheap trips.

      I on the other hand am all about the actual trip and I don’t care about gadgets at all haha!

  14. Mrs. Frugalwoods says

    So funny–I posted today about how we handle our finances in the context of our marriage and a lot of what we do is very similar to you! I totally agree with you on the importance of transparency and sharing your finances with each other–key to a good relationship. I think Mr. FW and I are both savers, but we tend to encourage the other one to spend, which balances us out.
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted..Behind the Scenes of a Happy Frugal MarriageMy Profile

  15. Nicola says

    We’re both savers! Which definitely helped us save for our house deposit and be so careful with our money. But, we do make sure we treat ourselves and we do enjoy traveling so that is one of our priorities :)
    Nicola recently posted..The Weekend Edition #8My Profile

  16. DC @ Young Adult Money says

    My wife and I are both savers. With that being said, we do recognize times when it is okay to spend money. For example, we wouldn’t not go to a friend’s out of town wedding because we’d have to pay for a hotel. We are also willing to go out to eat without beating ourselves up over it (granted it’s still a fairly rare occurrence). Also, in all honesty if our income increases we’d probably spend more, ESPECIALLY on our house (hardwood floors anyone?).
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..How to Make Money Entering GiveawaysMy Profile

  17. nicole says

    My husband and I are the same way. I am the saver in the house and he is the spender. There has been compromise over our 6 years but we’ve got it down to a science now :)

    • Michelle S. says

      Yes, I won’t lie, it would be awesome if Wes was a little bit more of a saver. I think he’s coming along though! It’s been over 8 years but he’s learning :)

  18. jeri accardo says

    We made an agreement that anything over $15.00, we discuss, because I carry the debit card, do all the shopping and so forth. He has never been good having any of the cards. So that works great for us.

  19. Prudence Debtfree says

    I’m glad you have a healthy balance in your spender/saver relationship. I feel so badly for people whose spouses are out of control with their spending. They put the relationship and the family at risk, and the spouse with good money management is burdened by stress and a financial mess that he or she did not create. There are different levels of the spender mentality. It would be tricky to identify exactly when the scales tip and it’s gone too far.
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted..Debt-Freedom = Freedom to do What You Love: Learning from my Co-op StudentsMy Profile

  20. James Salmons says

    I notice that everyone who has posted is a saver, unless I missed something somewhere. Interesting. Perhaps more spenders would profit by reading your posts!

    No one has commented on your suggestion that in some cases separate checking accounts are a good idea. While I think that it is a good idea to have a joint account in which all general expenses are managed, I would like to suggest that everyone needs a separate checking account for their own use as well in which they have a set amount for personal spending.

    Of course spending money can be done with cash, but here is my thought based on some years of counseling people with financial issues. An amazing number of people actually cannot manage a checkbook let alone family finances. Many elderly women in particular are financially illiterate when their husband dies they find themselves alone (it can happen to men of course but most often men die earlier). This simple step will not teach all there is to learn, but just managing your own checkbook for personal expenses can help a lot.
    James Salmons recently posted..Is the Stock Market Safe?My Profile

  21. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet says

    This pretty much sums up my relationship with my wife. Im a saver and she is a spender. We have learnt to work around it and have found that communicating about money is best. It has taken some time but it’s definitely worth it to build a common understanding with money. She would never get out of control with her spending an I would never get out of control with my saving
    Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet recently posted..Criteria for Finding a Good Rental PropertyMy Profile

  22. Sumbul Aslam says

    Well me and my hubby has separate accounts.He is responsible of bill ,mortgage and household expenditure ..where as i mostly save ( for kids college and emergencies).We prefer having a debit card rather than credit .So we are keeping a balance in our finances and responsibilities and we are enjoying life to the fullest .

  23. Cami says

    Thankfully, we haven’t had money issues in our marriage because we are open about our spending. We’re both savers but spend in different ways. My husband makes a few big purchases and I spend a little bit at a time. Somehow, it usually evens out between the two of us.

  24. M.Clark says

    I am a saver, but I know a lot of spenders and I don’t know if I would be able to coexist with someone who spends without thinking about the consequences.

  25. Brianne Maloney says

    My boyfriend & I are both savers because at this time in our lives we don’t really have a choice. We both work 9-5 jobs and live on our own so always have to worry about paying bills which isn’t fun but it’s reality.

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