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How Can I Budget When My Partner is a Spender?
How Can I Budget When My Partner is a Spender?
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How Can I Budget When My Partner is a Spender?

Sheila Brenda Andoi
December 17, 2021

You have likely had several money disputes with your spouse if you're a saver and he or she is a spender. When it comes to finances, some people are spenders, while others are savers. But what transpires when these two polar opposites are together in a relationship?

It certainly comes as no surprise that one of the most prevalent reasons for divorce or separation is financial hardships. It can be a difficult thing to discover that your partner has opposing views about money. 

The tips below will assist you and your partner in resolving your financial differences and becoming more attentive to setting goals that you both want to achieve.

Accept Who They Are

Accepting your spouse for who and what they are is the very first step to navigating a spender-saver relationship. Accept that their spending habits could be directly linked to their personality in that they are ingrained and difficult to modify within the twinkle of an eye.

According to Michelle Perry Higgins, the principal of California Financial Advisors and author of several financial books, it is crucial to understand how your partner sees finances and how they were brought up with money. 

Were their parents economical or extravagant spendthrifts? Was it common for their parents to discuss money issues, or was it a touchy issue? What is their biggest financial fear? Every one of the responses to these questions will impact how that spouse currently handles money in the relationship.

It is important to also realize that if you are the saver, that doesn't mean that your way is the best, the only way, or flawless. You could put your relationship under further strain if you try to change them without first accepting who they are.

Recognize and Appreciate Their Strengths

Having to spend a significant amount of time with your spouse reveals not just their flaws but also their capabilities. Encourage your partner to use their strengths to improve their finances and your relationship.

Even though your spouse might be the spender, you could also find out that they are good with paying bills on time. Therefore, you can allow him/her to utilise that strength and let them be responsible for managing your bills. 

If you choose to focus on their positives, you could make them feel challenged to work on their spending habits as well.

Set a Spending Limit That Allows for Freedom

Agree and commit to establishing spending boundaries for both of you, but leave room for flexibility. Setting limits will keep both of you in control and prevent you and your spouse from exceeding your consented "spending limit."

In this manner, both of you can still buy anything without feeling guilty. Creating a spending limit will allow each of you to spend money without hurting one another.

Get On the Same Page About Big Purchases

It's fine if you don't agree on every single thing when it comes to money, but you will need to sacrifice when it comes to some critical financial concerns. Typically, this would entail agreeing on a general budget together, managing your debt, and your savings objectives which you can both work together to achieve.

If you and your spouse can agree on how much money you would love to save every month as well as how much you are willing to spend, you can offer one another a sense of flexibility in other daily financial choices. 

For instance, agreeing that you will be saving  30% of your income, using 50% on your basic needs and 20% on other purchases can go a long way in simplifying many of your other financial decisions. This also establishes unforced boundaries on how both of you spend without being too hard on either of yourselves.

When you come to an agreement on the big issues, the saver will have the satisfaction that comes from being assertive that the partner who is a spender will not prevent them from reaching their essential financial goals. 

This will in turn make the saver considerably more likely to be at ease whenever the spender goes to buy stuff.

Establish Goals Collaboratively

After discussing your future vision, you can then talk about the specific financial goals that you can put in place in order to help you follow your vision plan and achieve your dreams. You can do that by dividing your main goals into bite-sized chunks which are reasonable and measurable.

Divide your objectives into manageable chunks that are realistic and trackable. Coming up with a common goal will profit you as a couple by allowing you to have a clear intent and commitment.

Take into account where you and your partner would like to be financially in a year or more in order to evaluate which financial goals you can sensibly set. Ask yourselves where you would want to be in three years, five or ten, your major vacation plans, and whether or not you would consider setting up an emergency fund. 

 Keep in mind that the secret to success in reducing financial tension and achieving your goals is to set them together. Collaborate and work together as a team. 

Agree to Disagree on Certain Things.

In a relationship, there is a place for more than a single money mindset. Realize that both of your standpoints concerning money are legitimate. You don't always have to agree on everything. 

However,  it is critical to respect your spouse's financial concerns; or else, you may not be able to devise a financial strategy that you both are happy with.

If the spender's joy is dependent on being free to spend money and enjoy life, and the saver's joy is dependent on feeling financially stable, it would be great to set aside some cash monthly both for savings and recreational expenditures. 

Doing this will ensure that none of the partners is left out and it makes it easier to also do proper planning. 

Avoid Going to Extremes

As much as you may believe that you are right and your partner is incorrect when it comes to the whole issue of finances and money management, you may need to also implement a lot of caution. 

Don't be too much on your partner.  All these types of spending patterns have advantages and disadvantages and it can be detrimental to your relationship if you have a bias on only what favours you.

Whereas saving money is essential for both of you, entirely slashing spending makes it difficult for both of you as well. All work with no play makes Jack a dull boy so once in a while, go out for that movie date or getaway. 


With the tips above, your key financial goals can be met as a couple, and at the same time, you can still be able to have your light spending moments. If you are willing to compromise and be open-minded, financial conflicts can be resolved whether you have the same money personality or not.

So yes, spenders and savers can live together in perfect harmony.

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Sheila Brenda Andoi is a communicator, journalist, editor, and writer passionate about human-interest stories. You can find her on Twitter @sheilaandoi

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