Saturday, October 20, 2007

Curbing a spender?

If you are a saver in a relationship with a spender how do you curb a spender? Do you just budget all the necessary expenses and savings and allow the spender to use the rest? Do you ask for guidelines that they are allowed to spend $X per month or pay period?

When asked by the old roommate, about merging finances as an older couple, she mentioned her S.O was a spender. She has always been a saver. So so doubted that if they married, she would be able to curb his spending habits.

So the question arose how do you manage the situation? The easiest answer is marry/cohabitate with someone who has common financial habits. But that's easier said than done. I know I have it relatively easy because I'm married to a saver, while I'm considered in the relationship the spender. Which seems quite a stretch when compared I would say against the average. But to curb my own spending, is I typically ask myself "Do I really need it?" And I put down an item and promise to come back another day and get it if I really do want it.

So what creative methods have you found to curb your spendy partner's habit?


Tyler said...

I think this is a really common and difficult situation because frequently opposites attract. Since I am younger, I have never had to approach the problem of merging finances. However, I think instead of forcing the S.O. to spend under a certain amount it would be better to have a conversation about long-term goals and approach it as a team orientation.

Anonymous said...

I agree opposites attract. But unless you have a very uncommon relationship in your marriage where the non-spender can mold their concerns in a constructive way and the spender receives those concerns not as control or manipulation, then it just won't work.

There aren't many relationships where that can or will work. And it goes beyond money. It's everything from not spending too much time away with friends, household chores, the balance between work and free time and other issues.

A lot of the "more responsible" partner simply keeps quiet in an effort to keep the peace. Sometimes that works. Often it just delays what's already in progress, but just hasn't risen to the top of the pot.