Money | Can a spender and a saver live together?

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Money is often the root of relationship troubles, and especially when you have one who spends and one who saves a lot.

Financial stress is one of the leading causes of relationship and marital breakdown. Money, unfortunately, is often the root of disagreements and conflict in a household.

Money troubles can especially escalate when there is one saver in the home, and one spender. It is not unusual for one partner to be more concerned with saving and taking fewer risks, and for the other to be less worried about the future and willing to spend on occasion.

No one wants to separate over money. Learning to sacrifice and making strategic steps can help ease the tension, and keep you both happy.

Everyone needs control and freedom over their financial situation. To keep everyone happy, set up four accounts – one for you, one for your partner, one for household bills and one for savings. This way, you get an amount each month that is yours to spend or save as you please. The stress is reduced, and everybody has individual power and control over the situation.

Communication is key. Sometimes we get frustrated when we perceive someone’s spend as foolish, but they don’t. Together, look over the bank statements from the previous three months and highlight the areas where you are spending and saving money.

This will help both the spender and saver see where their money is going and you can discuss it openly and honestly.

If the financial situation is bad, meet with a professional or an organisation to discuss your situation, such as MABS.

They can help clarify your goals and develop a road map for the next few years. This is especially good for spenders as they will become more informed about their choices and spending patterns.

If you only discuss finances when there is a problem, tension tends to build up quickly. The more you talk about money, the more comfortable you both are with it. Having a weekly 30-minute money date is a great way to connect to your goals as a couple, and to get to know your partner’s relationship with money.

Be willing to compromise. Living together with someone who thinks differently requires meeting in the middle – on both sides. Communication, once again, is key to this.