There are two kinds of people, spenders and savers. So what happens when a saver and a spender get together? Talking about finances isn’t a first-date conversation. Honestly, it’s not something that will come up for a while, but you will have to bring it up, especially if you are getting serious with your partner and seeing a future with them.
Spenders and Savers
It’s no secret. I’ve talked about it before, but I am a spender. The very nature of saving is difficult for me. In the last few months, I’ve learned that it’s because I’m ADHD. What’s the correlation? I hyper-fixate on things and follow the dopamine it leads, but that usually means buying new things for different hobbies. (Don’t ask me how much I spent building my custom mechanical keyboard.)
Spenders like to live in the moment. We have a “treat yo self” kind of mentality. Money for spenders is about seeing it as an end to a means. Money doesn’t have intrinsic value to us, but we see it as something that can do something for us. As a result, we usually have a hard time sticking to financial goals and budgets, leading to us living outside of our means, leading to debt. (And if you are in debt and need help getting out of it. Here is an article to help you out.)
In college, I have a friend who would say that he couldn’t hang out with us at the bar because it wasn’t in his budget for the month. And he knew that if he did come out with us, he would end up spending money he didn’t have. So he was always thinking about his financial future and goals and making sacrifices to accomplish them.
Savers are always thinking about the future. How can I stretch my dollar as far as possible? Savers have no problem living in the moment, but they show a level of self-control that most spenders don’t. But with savers, there sometimes comes a level of anxiety when they end up spending money, especially if it’s money that you weren’t planning on spending.
So what happens when you end up with someone who is the complete opposite of you? Imagine how annoying it would be for a saver to see their partner just spending money. But with a bit of teamwork and honest communication, the two financial personalities can bring out the best in each other while ensuring the cons don’t take over.
A saver can help a spender stick to a budget, while a spender will help a saver understand that purchases can be an investment rather than a cost. Yes, there should be things that you agree on, but you will never find someone who agrees with you on everything. (And if they do, then they are just a yes man and are no good for you.) But if you do end up with someone who is the opposite of you, just follow a few steps to help ensure that you don’t put any unnecessary strain on your relationship.
- Be Honest About Your Habits – Don’t lie about your spending habits or what gives you anxiety regarding finances. Lying will only lead to more problems later down the road, and it’s just not worth the trouble.
- Talk through your Financial Decisions – You are partners in your relationship. No decisions should be made unilaterally, especially if you combine your incomes. Communication is vital in all aspects of your relationship, especially your finances.
- Set Ground Rules and Boundaries – Come up with a financial system that works for your relationship. Maybe you have separate accounts and a shared account to put money for rent, insurance, car payments, etc. If you set some rules, then you can avoid significant conflicts.
- Be Understanding and Flexible – There is no right answer or one answer that fits everyone and every relationship. Figure out what works for your relationship and fine-tune it as best as you can.
Finances are stressful
The number one thing couples fight about the most is finances. Being with someone who has the opposite financial personality can be challenging at times. But like anything in a relationship, if you work as a team, have open and honest communication, you can overcome those challenges. And who knows, you might learn to appreciate life from a new perspective. Differences aren’t bad if you have an open view and grow from it. (And if you want to learn more about savers and spenders read this article from Investopedia.)