Sunday, February 03, 2008

Compromising about money?

How do you compromise about money with a spouse? Does the "Spender" or "Saver" usually win? Is there a fine a line between overspending and living with one's means, or cheap living versus frugal?

In our household I'm the spender. And for the most part I win all spending battles. So if I want something, I usually get it. Sounds terribly spoiled right? But you'd have to take it in full context to really understand why I win spending battles. I'm married to naturally frugal and thrifty person, and he realizes and acknowledges this fact happily.

I enjoy spending money and living a comfortable life. By normal standards however, I'd say I'm way below average. I don't ever shop or go to malls. I enjoy eating out, but realize it's not good for the pocketbook or body. So in general I'm definitely not a spender on the life scale, and I've often been considered "frugal" by most friends/family/coworkers.

However, if i sit on little to the conservative side of spending/saving my DH takes it to the extreme. He hates to spend any money unless I insist or absolutely necessary. There are times where he will want to do a home project but not want to buy the materials to do it.

For example, our fireplace cost $4k, and DH desperately wanted it and felt it would save on heating costs. Turns out he was right. But I had to pull the trigger, by going to the store with DH and forcing us to purchase the fireplace. He had done the research on model, efficiency, installation, etc, but couldn't bring himself to spend $4k. He would say he want it, but wouldn't actually move forward with the purchase, even though I said it sounded like a great idea and trusted his judgement. Turns out, it's a fantastic fireplace and we worry less about freezing pipes and flooding (priceless after you've already flooded your downstairs neighbor the previous year).

So in our relationship while DH has to compromise about money, I think he allows me to win the battles because he would do it, but is unable to really "pull the trigger" and spend money.

In every relationship there is likely a saver and a spender. Which are you and how do you handle who wins the spending argument? Is it easy being married to a saver? Or are there different levels of savers and some are harder to compromise with than others? Or has being married to a saver influenced you to become a saver yourself?

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