Money Matters: Spenders Versus Savers

Planning & Saving
on January 15, 2013

You’re marrying your true love, but you could end up with more than you bargained for. If you’re a saver and you’re marrying a spender, or if you’re a spender and you’re marrying a saver, get ready to butt heads. You’re in for some challenges and disagreements about how to manage your household bills. It doesn’t have to be disastrous though, if you’re willing to learn about what you’re up against.

For Spenders:

Savers Can Be Penny-Pinchers

Saving money is an important value for savers. It’s not always that savers don’t want you to spend money, but this might be a driving motivation – at least subconsciously. The penny-pinching mentality is almost a given with these types of people. It’s in their nature. They always have goals they’re striving for, and they might come off as stingy. It’s not that they don’t love you. They do. They’re not trying to antagonize you or cut you off from your values, but they will make you justify your expenses and often rule out a lot of short-term “fun” things.

Savers Will Make You Justify Your Expenses

Do you like impromptu spending sprees? This is a big “no-no” for savers. You’ll have to become accustomed to making lists, and explaining why you need something right now. What you see as fun, they’re going to see as irresponsible. That doesn’t mean you’re an irresponsible person though. It just means that you’ll probably have to meet your significant other half-way.

Savers Think Long-Term

Savers generally have more long-term than short-term goals. These plans could include retirement planning, saving for a down payment on a home, saving for your children’s college education, saving for a new automobile, or saving up for a vacation. One way to resolve conflicts here is to remind your other half that the future is important but so it the present. It’s not irresponsible to be spontaneous. In fact, it can be (and often is) quite exciting and adds passion to the relationship.

For Savers:

Spenders Are Impulsive

Your spouse is a spender, and you might be temped to look at him as irresponsible. In actuality, he’s probably just a bit impulsive and excited about living in the moment. He wants to live life to its fullest. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be concerned about your other half always spending money. You should. Saving money is important, and one way to emphasize this is to demonstrate consequences associated with always living in the present.

Spenders Don’t Want To Justify Expenses

Many times, it’s hard to get spenders to justify expenses. Being spontaneous is part of their nature. Curbing this takes some finessing. You can do this one of several ways. First, you can separate bank accounts so that each of you have a private account with a joint account used to pay mutual expenses. Whatever doesn’t go towards paying for monthly expenses is divided between the both of you equitably. Not only is this fair, it is non-threatening.

Another way to win over a spender is to tactfully negotiate. Most people can agree to fairness, in concept. In practice, it’s sometimes more difficult but if you stick to your guns and always promote the idea of compromise, then your spouse can never see you as anything but fair. While you might have to become more spontaneous, part of the compromise can be a justification of expenses on the part of your spendthrift spouse.

Spenders Think Short-Term

Spenders tend to think short-term. Why bother saving money for the future when there’s a world full of gadgets, gizmos, and other cool stuff out there just waiting to be bought. While you should never be condescending to your spouse, agreeing to a monthly spending budget in writing, if necessary, can be an excellent way for your spouse to curb spending while not feeling alienated. The spending budget has to be fair, however, and you should have one too. You don’t need to spend all of the money allotted to you of course.

While spenders and savers are fundamentally different from one another, it doesn’t mean that these two opposites can’t attract to form a permanent bond. All it takes is some creativity and a little compromise.

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