Stress over finances can be one of the leading causes behind divorce today. But can spenders and savers be compatible partners? Many may say that this arrangement will never work out. However, surprisingly, there are arguments to support the idea that such a dynamic in a relationship can actually help it thrive.
It will take some work, but the information below can help you and your partner live in financial harmony.
Acknowledge And Embrace Your Differences
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A “saver” may embrace the fact that they’re wanting to pay down a mortgage, save for a vacation property, put away enough for a comfortable retirement, or just have a safety net for peace of mind. A “spender” may like to spend lavishly on big vacations, want to acknowledge someone by buying them something as a wonderful gesture of kindness, or puts greater value on life today than the future. It doesn’t mean that one is right or wrong, but acknowledge that compromise needs to take place between savers and spender in order to make things work long-term.
Spending Isn’t A Four-Letter Word
Spenders will have to get used to the fact that rules need to be put in place. Food needs to be put on the table, shelter needs to be secured, bills need to be paid, savings need to be put aside…and then spending can be enjoyed. It might be prudent to have the saver look after the finances, but keep the spender in the know so that they can understand why they are doing what they are doing. Also, it will be beneficial if both people can acknowledge that some months will allow for less spending than others.
Spenders and savers are financial opposites who can, and do, attract. In fact, Northwestern University and the Wharton School of Business did a study that found big spenders and avid savers actually gravitate towards each other in marriage, despite the fact that many people feel more comfortable sticking with someone whose financial inclinations match their own. Sometimes opposites just make each other happy because they are able to show each other something different, and this can add a bit of excitement and novelty to a relationship.
Be Open To Budgeting
Many couples don’t create a budget because they feel it isn’t necessary. However, spenders and savers acknowledge how different they are by nature, and recognize that a budget is a necessary tool for the future success of their relationship. If you haven’t done this already, consider creating a monthly budget together that you can both live with. Most couples in healthy relationships are able to respect each other’s wishes and goals. Similarly, couples who have different attitudes towards money should talk about finances as early as possible in the relationship (well before marriage).
Pass Financial Knowledge On To Children
Spenders and savers should implement a budgetary plan to monitor all money coming in versus all money going out; in fact, everyone we can benefit from using certain budgetary tools. For example, if you get your older children to set a monthly budget that tracks all money coming in and all money going out, they will be able to understand how and why their savings build up, or money runs out. Maybe one of your children likes to spend while the other prefers to save. This exercise can help both of them see why their bank balance is what it is.
Although complete compatibility in a relationship is virtually impossible, a willingness to compromise will go a long way. Sometimes acknowledgement of differences is half the battle of getting to a solution.