You are not alone and not surprisingly this is one of the leading causes of breakups and divorce. Many partnerships are comprised of these two opposing personalities which makes sense as opposites attract and when they get together each gets to see how the other half lives. Living with a spender can be fantastic fun for the normally conservative saver. At the same time, the spender might like the practicality and planning ability of the saver and will feel taken care of and supported.
Saver and Spender are as opposite on the financial personality spectrum as it gets. Saver thinks about the cost and the future before deciding to do anything and Spender is all about living in the now and seizing the day. This couple can make a powerful twosome. Spender opens Saver’s eyes about having some fun in life and letting go of worry and Saver helps Spender see that fun can still happen with planning. If there is discussion and openness about each other’s financial personality then this relationship can work with some pro-active planning and discussion.
Difficulties arise when Saver and Spender do not plan. Saver and Spender can drift into a long term relationship without ever laying down the financial ground rules. Once Saver and Spender get married, have a child or even just move in together, things will get rocky and eventually implode if discussion and planning hasn’t taken place.
With no planning, Saver and Spender each think that the other person has bought into their way of doing things. Saver is thinking “Spender wants to live with me and my rules. Spender has realised my way is best.” What’s Spender thinking? The exact opposite. Saver and Spender are headed for relationship disaster.
Why? Spender keeps spending and Saver is doing all the saving for the household. If this pattern continues, Saver will become resentful of Spender and when resentment kicks in, other behaviours are not far behind. Saver is likely to start nagging Spender, specifically, Saver will ramp up his/her efforts to prove to Spender that their household finances are a sinking ship and spends more time thinking and worrying about finances. All this worry on Saver’s part will cause Saver to nag Spender even more and now Spender is getting grumpy too! Saver is constantly talking about money and trying to control Spender!
Spender and Saver live miserably ever after… until they can’t take it anymore and break up in a soul-destroying conflict laden implosion. If they don’t break up, then in all likelihood Spender will die first and Saver will discover that Spender spent all the savings. I bet you’ve heard that story before.
And this could all have been avoided with….