I’m a Saver, and He’s a Spender. Now What?
Before marriage, my husband and I blissfully enjoyed dinner dates, day trips and other fun experiences, but we never once discussed money. I felt shocked after the honeymoon when I realized he was a perpetual spender. As the keeper of the family checkbook and a pessimist to boot, I wanted to save for a house, retirement and emergencies, not spend our paychecks on gadgets, snacks and household clutter. If you can relate, consider implementing four tips that make a difference in my marriage.
Agree on a budget
Even if you’re in charge of the checkbook, you and your husband are a team. Act like one when you schedule a regular budget meeting. Sit down once a month and talk about your bills, goals and expectations. These meetings allow you to get on the same page as you prioritize spending for large purchases like a house and saving for retirement.
Automate your finances
To meet my need to save and hubby’s need to spend, we automated our finances. Bill payments come directly out of our checking account, and money automatically transfers from every paycheck into our emergency and retirement funds.
Provide a weekly stipend
We often have a little wiggle room in our budget, so I make sure both of us have spending money each week. There’s no need to report how we spend our stipend, but when the money’s gone, there is no more until next week.
Be willing to let him spend money
I sometimes get so focused on saving that I forget how enjoyable a dinner out or a weekend getaway feels. Our marriage is better when we spend time together, so we take turns planning date nights. I’ve learned not to complain when hubby suggests takeout, and he goes along with my idea to enjoy local free activities.
Money issues can become huge obstacles in any marriage. My husband and I have taken steps to protect our relationship as we follow four tips. If you can relate, consider implementing these tips too.