Sunday, October 27, 2013

Spender Versus Saver

This picture was created by Dave Ramsey and posted through his Facebook. If you have not heard of Dave Ramsey, he is the guru in personal finance and living a life debt-free. See his website here.
This quote speaks nothing but the truth for our marriage. I am here to tell you this doesn’t have to be a difference that couples fight over regularly! My husband and I have found harmony in accepting who is the spender (my husband) and who is the saver (me) and allocating money to satisfy both each month.  I wanted to discuss some of the uniqueness these differences have brought to our lives and the balance we try to make.

     1.       Acceptance. Acceptance. Acceptance- This one is easy to say but really hard to do. First, we both have to fully acknowledge which one we are (spender or saver) and then accept that our significant other is the opposite. Then, we have to be OKAY with that! Let me tell you, trying to change the other one rarely works!

If nothing else, find a way to laugh about your differences! My husband and I love to tease each other about on this topic. For instance, I have a tendency to make jokes about my husband’s “shopping sprees,” while he teases me about, “being so tight with money, we can’t buy toilet paper.” Both untrue statements (or are they?).

2.       The budget- With a saver and a spender, one person wants to see money go into shopping (can we say, “hello Cabela’s”) and the other wants a good chunk of change to go into savings. Both can win! At the beginning of each month, as you set your budget, make sure you are both getting some money into each of these categories. I have personally found that putting a special amount set aside for my husband works the best. We call it his “allowance.” Regardless, he is free to spend this allocated money any way that he wants and I am not to gripe about it!

3.       Major expenditures- Outside of my husband getting an “allowance” and being able to spend that money on anything he wants, all other expenditures need to be okayed by the other person. This just helps us to check and balance each other as we go through each month.

4.       Grocery shopping- When my husband (the spender) goes grocery shopping, even with a list in hand, he has a tendency to spend waaay more than our usual bi-weekly amount  ($100). Therefore, if at all possible, I try to do the grocery shopping. I stick to the list and keep our monthly budget where it needs to be. Although, occasionally letting him go shopping generally means a special treat for our household (yes, I do love me some oreos… or any chocolate)!

5.       Meals- We have found the spender always wants to eat dinner at restaurants (fast food or sit-down, he isn’t picky as long as we are out). The saver has a tendency to want to eat more meals at home. How do we balance? With trying to pay off debt (read about here) we are much more likely to eat at home. Each month we make a monthly menu at our house to help with planning for meals. We are sure to schedule in times to eat at restaurants a few times each month (typically 2 meals/month) to please the spender. I also try to have more foods that my hubby enjoys such as hamburgers, corndogs, hotdogs, macaroni and cheese… you know, the stuff he is getting at fast-food restaurants! HA!

 As I am looking over my title again, I realize again how easy it is for finances to be a fight. This isn’t really about spender vs. saver! Remember, you and your significant other are on the SAME team. The journey shouldn’t be about you versus him (or her), it should be about the two of you working together towards the same goals! For us, those goals include making our budget balance each month, someone getting spending money, someone putting money into savings, and paying our DEBT off. 

Are you the spender or the saver?

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