13 Couple Money Management Tips: Successful Saver-Spender Relationship

How To Stay Happy In A Relationship With A Spender When You’re A Saver

Money can put a huge strain on any relationship, as statistics have proven. In many homes, one partner might enjoy saving their money, while the other relishes in having nice “toys.”

If left unchecked with no strategy, and the constant arguing now and then, this is a recipe for disaster. You might be wondering how it can possibly work between the two of you when your partner is the spender and you’re the saver? 

Thankfully the answer is, it can. You’ll use less time arguing over your money situation, and more time and energy on achieving that gameplan. Here are a few things that might help the two of you get on the same page when it comes to your finances.  

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What To Do If Your Partner Is The Spender And You’re The Saver

Realizing the person you love has completely different views on money can be a shock. You may not understand how to communicate effectively or if it’s even possible to get on the same financial page with them.

The following tips will help you and your spouse work through your financial differences and become attuned to setting goals you both want to reach.

1. Realize You Can’t Change Who They Are

This might sound like futile information when you are at your wits’ end with the spender in your life, but hear me out. While your partner can be extremely frustrating when it comes to their spending and you want to shake it out of them, the only thing you’re doing is wearing yourself out.

When you fell in love with your spouse or partner and made a commitment, you agreed to the whole deal, flaws and all. 

I’m not saying it’s okay if your partner is out of control with their spending. Every relationship has its challenges.

Find common ground. You both have to find ways of working through those problems and weaknesses as a unit, and not allow the division to set in.  

broken heart folded dollar with yellow paper couple

2. Recognize And Acknowledge Their Strenths

Spending a decent amount of time with your partner not only shows you their weaknesses but also where their strengths lie. Be sure to not only praise them for it but allow them to use their strengths to better the relationship.

While they might be a bigger spender than you, maybe they’re good with making sure the bills are paid on time. 

Allowing them to have the responsibility for paying bills every month might even help them realize that money is coming out of the account far too quickly, helping them to see that they need to back off on their spending.

Be sure to bring up their strengths instead of constantly confronting them with their spending habits. 

3. Avoid Extremes

While you might think that you’re right and your partner is wrong when it comes to finances, you might need to apply the brakes a bit. There are pros and cons to both styles of spending habits and can be unhealthy if you lean towards the extreme of one or the other.

Not allowing your partner to make a small purchase on something will feel to them as if they’re on a leash, and resentment might begin to creep into the relationship. 

While saving is very important for both your futures, completely shutting down the spending makes it hard for you both to go out and grab a cup of coffee, or go out and see a movie. You have to realize that you have to splurge on your relationship and allow your partner to do the same from time to time. 

white piggy bank in bed on top of a laptop with fresh lavender

4. Find Common Financial Goals And Dreams

Sit down together and share your hopes and dreams together. Come up with common goals that you both can push towards as a team.

Sitting down and creating a budget, along with setting goals will hopefully motivate your partner into seeing the big picture instead of spending everything all at once. 

In order to keep your goals front of mind, create a vision board or put pictures on the side of your fridge that motivates you and remind you of your goal.

Related: Reach your goals with these coloring visuals.

5. Develop A Budgeting System 

It’s also important to find a system that works for both of you when it comes to budgeting. Dave Ramsey recommends the envelope system, where your money is broken up in separate envelopes to pay certain bills. 

This includes student loans, house payment, grocery money and so on. Any money left over at the end of the month will get moved over into your savings account.

You don’t have to use the envelope system if it’s not your thing. Whatever strategy you and your partner come up with, if it works, run with it.

Related: Carry your cash envelopes in these stylish wallets.

6. Use Open Communication

It’s imperative that you and your partner are constantly communicating about each other’s spending. This way, there are no surprises or secrets between you two.

Simply sharing and communicating will keep each other in check and not getting frustrated when a large sum of money comes out from the bank.

It might seem silly to let the other know when you filled up on gas, but it’s not. This creates trust and strengthens your relationship overall.

notes clipboard white flat lay with gold pen, candle, and pink flowers

7. Talk About Money

Most marriages and relationships end because of money. Don’t allow money to create a wedge between the both of you, where your relationship adds to that statistic. And for heaven’s sake, don’t argue and yell about it.

By talking out money openly with your partner, you’re removing the stigma from personal finance. This may be very different from how you grew up and that’s ok.

Many families have financial problems and feel embarrassed by it. They somehow think having little money is shameful so they stay silent.

This can’t be farther from reality. BECAUSE they’re silent, it’s much more difficult to be on the same page as their spouse and work together to climb out any financial mess they find themselves in.

Speaking openly about money without arguing will strengthen your relationship despite being uncomfortable in the beginning.

Related: How To Get Out Of Debt Fast (No Matter Your Income)

8. Set Limits That Allow Freedom

Agree to set limits to your spending between both of you, but allow room for freedom. Setting limits will keep you and your partner in-check and from going outside of your agreed-upon “spending boundary.”

This way your partner can still purchase something without feeling any guilt and keep you getting worked up about it. 

My partner and I set this up in our budget as “whatever money.” Each month we both get a set amount of money that doesn’t need to be accounted for.

We can save it up for a luxury product, use it to indulge in daily lattes, and more. Any leftover money carries over to the next month.

This allows the freedom to purchase items your partner may not normally agree to budget for.

9. Learn How To Compromise

Another key to a successful relationship is learning how to compromise. Yes, this means that you might have to loosen your grip just a little as well.

Working together and compromising will help you reach your goals faster than if you’re both working in different directions. By working together, you’ll strengthen your relationship.

At the end of the day, your relationship is probably more important than getting what you want 100% of the time.

Related: How To Set And Achieve Your Financial Goals

10. Keep “Fun Money” Available

Similar to individual budgeted money to spend, there should also be “fun money” set aside for every so often. This money is to be used together, still giving both of you something to look forward to.

Having a budgeted line for fun keeps your relationship healthy. You and your partner can take turns picking out how to spend the money as long as it is used together.

pink and white piggy banks lying in grass with hundred dollar bills sticking out

11. Revisit Your Goals Often

While creating a budget and having goals is vital, it’s imperative that you revisit those goals often.

That way you can evaluate your successes, and see where you both still need to improve. This will help hold the spender accountable too. Remember that it shouldn’t be a competition. 

By revisiting your goals frequently, you will be able to reassess and pivot your budget trajectory. It’s easy to be led off course and by having goal meetings every month or so, you and your partner will make sure to keep heading in the right direction.

12. Automate Savings

Setting up an automatic savings account is a great tool to have between the two of you. Come up with an amount to set aside each week, and allow the bank to automatically save it for you.

Both you and your partner must be on board with this and agree to never touch the money unless you both agree to it together. 

Often, if you don’t ever see the money to begin with, you won’t even notice that it was already taken from your paychecks. Once automated savings are set up, it is one less thing you and your partner need to focus on.

It is easiest to have the savings go into a separate bank account from your checking. I recommend choosing an online bank since their interest rates are usually higher.

This separation of banks makes it less tempting to dip into your savings. A transfer from an online bank can take 24 hours so not having quick and easy access is an additional deterrent.

13. Seek Professional Help

If for whatever reason, nothing is working in regards to heading in the right direction with your finances, get professional help.

There’s nothing wrong or embarrassing about it. Someone with more experience might be able to help you work out your financial differences and better help the two of you to realize that you’re both on the same team. 

Can A Spender And Saver Have A Good Relationship?

Yes, as long as both parties are willing to work together. Having two different spending habits in a relationship can be a recipe for disaster if there are no precautions in place. Both spouses must be willing to make concessions and come from a place of understanding.

By having open communication and a commitment to sticking to a mutually agreed-upon budget, you and your partner can have a healthy financial relationship.

Who’s the spender and the saver in your relationship? What ways have you both worked together to strive towards your goals?

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Steffa Mantilla

Budgeting & Debt Payoff Expert

Steffa is the founder behind Money Tamer. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. Steffa’s background in operant conditioning and behavioral husbandry has given her an understanding of motivation and motivators. She uses this training to help people understand the reasons “why” behind their money behaviors and how to successfully change them. You can learn more about her here.

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