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What do you do if you are a natural saver and your partner is a spender? Not agreeing on money can hurt a relationship, but it doesn't have to be that way!

What to Do When You’re A Saver & Your Partner Is A Spender

March 20, 2017

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While that doesn’t mean you’ll be heading to divorce court soon, it’s never advisable to have added stress if you don’t need it.

So what do you do if you are a natural saver and your partner is a spender? These tips should help!

Openly Discuss Your Finances

First things first, talk about your finances! I honestly believe that many relationships and marriages have issues because no one seems to communicate anymore. How is your significant other supposed to know that you don’t like their random purchases if you don’t tell them? How are you going to understand their impulses if they don’t talk to you?

Finances are a topic that every serious relationship needs to discuss. Talk about your debts, your financial goals, and even your bills. That way, each of you knows what the other one wants and needs to make the financial aspect of your relationship work. You can even make your financial discussions a date night!

Create A Budget

Once you know the basics of your financial situation as a couple, it’s time to create a budget! Now, if your partner is a spender, they will be hesitant to start a budget. That’s perfectly normal. Your budget doesn’t have to be extravagant or super detailed, but at least make sure you have all of your income and expenses are written down. That way, your partner will know what is going in and what is going out on a normal basis.

At this point, you can create little changes to help your spender feel a little better about their purchases. For example, if you know your partner likes spending money on candy, give them a weekly budget. You can both decide how much is acceptable to spend, but giving them this amount will work in your favor two ways:

  • You won’t have to worry about them hiding purchases from you or overspending
  • They can still enjoy spending a little cash each week.

Also, create a budget that includes some type of savings. It doesn’t have to be hundreds of dollars every month, but choose a good number with your partner. Agree that this money is to only be touched in an emergency, or for something that you are both specifically saving for.

Stop Trying To Change Your Spender

While spending money on things you don’t need may seem like a waste to a natural saver, a spender just thinks differently. People can change their financial habits, but you forcing your significant other to change will only create friction in your relationship.

If your partner is a spender, give them a little grace. Many of them were never taught how to manage their finances. Some spenders were raised in a household where one or both parents were spenders as well.

If you are communicating and managing your finances together, there shouldn’t be much room for your significant other to make any huge mistakes. Help them when they need it, but never force them into a situation that could cause resentment. If anything, be the example they can watch and grow with. You never know, they may just follow in your footsteps.

While it isn’t fun trying to deal with someone with a personality much different than your own, there are ways to manage your finances as a couple and still have some fun. Choosing ways to satisfy you both will keep you, and your partner, happy for years to come!

Have you had to deal with financial friction in your relationship? How did you handle it?

These tips were super helpful for my relationship. My partner is a spender and now I understand how to help!
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Kimberly Studdard

Kim is a Texan native who has lived in Kansas City, MO with her husband and daughter for almost five years. While she loves being at the beach and traveling, she spends her days as a full-time virtual assistant and mother. Juggling entrepreneurship and motherhood isn’t always easy, but she’d take that over a desk job any day.

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8 responses to “What to Do When You’re A Saver & Your Partner Is A Spender

  1. This is great! One thing that has helped my husband (the spender) and I (the saver) coexist is that we both keep a separate, small account to use at our discretion. We agree how much we put into our accounts and can spend it however we like, whether it’s on hobbies, clothes, or entertainment, etc. I usually end up saving mine but this allows him to not feel too constrained.

  2. We lived for years with me resenting the amount that Mr. ETT spent, and he resenting my miserly ways. Like Rachel above, we finally gave ourselves equal pocket money where we don’t have to account to each other, and it has been wonderful!

    Over the years, I’ve found that we’ve both adjusted a little towards a mean – I’m more willing to spend, and he’s more willing to not spend. It helps that we now have a common goal to retire early, yet also continue to enjoy life along the way.

  3. Great article! It’s tough loving someone who is completely financially opposite than yourself. You made some great points on how to make your relationship work!

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