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Let's talk money.

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In our last blog, we looked at what makes savers tick and offered up some ways for them to create spend friendly lifestyle, that creates space for enjoying a little splurge here and there, but still leave space for your practical saving goals. For this blog, we’ll pay attention to the spender of the relationship.

If you’re the spender in the relationship, you probably don’t like delaying gratification. Once you have your eyes set on something and you have the money in your account, you’re pretty much good to go. This is a learned behavior, so you won’t change how you spend overnight, but there are ways that you can get your spending under control to compliment the spending habits and goals of your saver partner.

  1. Use Cash: I know, this probably sounds counter intuitive, but it can beat the alternative of using a credit card. It’s been proven that physically exchanging cash from your pockets to someone else in a purchase is more painful than swiping your credit/debit card. Creating just the tiniest sting in your psyche to know your funds have now been reduced. If you want to decrease your spending habits, watch how conscientious you become when you’re spending with physical cash. By using cash, you force yourself to consider just how much you’re spending and if what you’re spending it on brings value to you.
  2. Stop, Look and Listen: In line with the point above, if you start using cash, you’ll start to look how you can spend less on your necessities and maybe even your wants. If you choose to keep using credit cards predominately, take time before every unplanned purchase to stop, look at what you’ve put in your cart and listen to the rational in your head of whether or not you really need it.
  3. Get an accountability partner: Communicate to your partner what your savings goals are, establish a timeline with milestones and allow them to check in on your progress to keep you accountable. If they are a saver, they’ll be more than happy to encourage this behavior.
  4. Consider your future self: Think about the potential life changes you may face and the set of financial obligations that may come with them. If you have a child, will your current spending habits allow you to have solid footing for those associated expenses? Or how about preparing for a wedding, house buying or the big one, having enough for retirement? All of these are things to consider when spending now because your spending is inextricably linked to how comfortable you may be able to living later on.
  5. To thine own self be true: After you set out on a path of new found frugality, do still open your wallet, responsibly though, for the occasional reward for keeping up with your savings goals the other 90% of the time. It allows you to build a healthy appreciation for the process of saving, it is a reminder that saving leads to a pleasurable result and prevents big slip-ups for trying to “go cold turkey” with your spending habits

Now while it may be good to compromise and try to meet each other where you are, compromise can also come in the form of filling in each other’s gaps. If you set financial goals as a couple, lean on each other for support in the area that doesn’t come natural to you. If you’re the spender, allow your saver partner to help with making a budget for grocery shopping for the week. If you’re the saver and want to think of a vacation, give a rough figure of how much you’d comfortably spend, then let your spender take the reins to help you dream a little beyond the simplicities. The biggest suggestion is to just be aware of your relationship to money. You want to know how it is coming in, how much you are allowing to leave out and for what reason. Be clear about your financial expectations and make concessions every now and then to support what makes your partner happy, whether that’s a planned splurge or willingness to find a fun, but inexpensive activity that shows you’re trying to do more with less. Opposites attract and you both will create richness in each other’s lives just by being yourself and showing each other the benefits of either side.

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