<img src="https://events.xg4ken.com/pixel/v2?tid=KT-N2BAB-3ED&amp;noscript=1" width="1" height="1" style="display:none">
  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

Savers vs Spenders: Managing Money as a Couple

Jenna Taubel

Jenna Taubel About The Author

Feb 8, 2024 5:45:00 AM

Whether you're newly weds or have been married for years, there's one topic that's crucial for a happy life together – managing your finances. Every couple is unique, and some of the most challenging moments as a married couple can arise when it comes to a clash between savers and spenders.

Let's explore what it means to be a saver or a spender, why you might fall into one category or the other, and most importantly, how to navigate the your finances when your partner is a spender and your saver (or visa versa).

savers vs spenders managing money as a couple - first alliance credit union

Managing Money as a Couple: Savers vs. Spenders

Now, before we jump into the helpful tips for managing your money as a couple, let's take a moment to define what it means to be a saver or a spender.

Savers are those who find joy in saving money, planning for the future, and maintaining financial stability. On the other hand, spenders enjoy the present moment, often splurging on experiences or material possessions, finding joy in the now.

Now, don't get me wrong! Being a saver doesn't mean you'll never treat yourself, and being a spender doesn't mean you'll have no savings. These labels simply suggest that you may have a stronger inclination towards saving or spending when it comes to managing your money.

Why You Might Be a Saver or a Spender

Whether you are more of a saver or spender, can come from a number of factors, including:

  • Your upbringing and parents attitudes about money
  • Personal experiences and previous financial choices
  • Your individual financial goals (or lack there of)

Understanding each other's financial identity can be helpful as it fosters empathy and understanding between partners. Moreover, it is an important step in finding common ground. Let's see how this plays out for two different couples, Jessica and Marcus, and Sarah and Chris.

Example 1: Newlywed Couple

Jessica and Marcus, a newlywed couple, came from very different financial backgrounds. Jessica grew up in a family where careful budgeting and saving for the future were the norm due to her parents working lower paying jobs during her childhood.  Marcus, on the other hand, experienced a more relaxed approach to money, with an emphasis on enjoying the present moment. His family often took regular vacations, spent time going to restaurants and pursing hobbies.

When they first started discussing their financial goals, they immediately noticed some differences in their attitudes towards money. Jessica was a saver, wanting to plan for emergencies, where Marcus was a spender wanting to focus on using their money for travel.

While these different attitudes created initial conflict, when they began openly sharing and listening to each other's childhood experiences with money, they discovered that Jessica's conservative approach was influenced by her parents' emphasis on financial stability, while Mark's carefree attitude stemmed from a belief in enjoying life as it comes.

Taking time to understanding their different backgrounds allowed the couple to appreciate each other's perspectives. This lead to more empathy for each other and created a foundation for open communication about their financial goals and values as a couple. 

Example 2: Steady Marriage Couple 

Sarah and Kris, who have been married for five years, have learned to navigate the dynamics of being in a saver vs spender relationship.  Over the years, they faced challenges about managing their money as a couple, but overtime found ways build a financial plan that worked for both of them. They were able to learn to compromise as they encountered various life stages by understanding why one of them was a saver and the other a spender.

Sarah grew up in a financially secure but somewhat restrictive household. Her parents were very diligent savers and had conservative attitudes toward spending. While they were financially stable, they didn't prioritize spending on the "fun stuff." Therefore, when Sarah started her professional career, she made it a priority in her budget to have money for things she enjoyed, such as concerts, dining out, and travel.

On the other hand, Kris, who had firsthand experience with the challenges life can throw at you, such as his mother's chronic illness and his father's frequent job losses while caring for her. Having witnessed these hardships, Kris developed a strong preference towards saving and prioritizing financial security for unexpected situations.

By understanding the factors that influenced their financial perspectives, Kris and Sarah found common ground when deciding how to manage their money as a couple. Kris valued the happiness that experiences like going to the movies brought to Sarah, while Sarah recognized the importance of having a health emergency savings, which provided security and peace of mind, just as Kris preferred. This understanding allowed them to create a balanced budget that incorporated both saving and spending, ensuring a harmonious financial approach as they continued to build their life together.

Start Managing Money as a Couple with a Free Budget Worksheet.

Get the Worksheet

Tips for Communicating About Saving and Spending as a Couple

As we've seen from the examples above, effective communication about money with your partner requires compromise, empathy, and a deep understanding of their perspective on finances. You can use these helpful tips for discussing money with your partner to start finding common ground and establishing a solid financial foundation together.

Open and Honest Communication: Create a safe space for open and honest conversations about money. You can do this by discussing your financial goals, dreams, and fears. 

Establish Shared Goals: Find common ground by establishing shared short-term and long-term financial goals. This could be saving for a dream vacation, buying a home, or planning for retirement.

Compromise is Key: Compromising means respecting both partners' financial values and  preferences while you're discussing your financial goals and budgets. tips for managing money as a couple when there is a saver vs spender

Managing Money When One is a Saver and the Other is a Spender

Every couple is unique, and there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to managing your money together. Each relationship is different, and your financial priorities as a couple will change over time. However, it can be helpful to consider these steps to create alignment in your financial goals together.

Budget Together: Develop a budget that accommodates both saving and spending. This means allocating specific amounts for necessities, savings, and discretionary spending. Make sure to review and adjust the budget together as need each month.

Separate Accounts: Consider having a joint account for shared expenses and individual accounts for personal spending. This allows both partners to maintain some financial autonomy and control, while still ensuring the family financial needs are taken care of.

Set Spending Limits: Agree on spending limits for discretionary expenses to prevent impulsive decisions or potentially risky purchases. This can also helps create a sense of control without stifling individual freedom.

Open Your Account as a Couple Today. 

Open an Account

Get Support for Managing Your Money as Couple

If you find yourselves struggling to strike a balance between saving and spending as a couple, consider seeking professional financial advice. First Alliance Credit Union is here to assist you in managing and budgeting your money effectively. Our Member Advisors can provide you and your partner personalized guidance to create a plan that aligns with both partners' financial preferences.

Remember, managing finances is an ongoing process, and it's okay to seek help when needed. By approaching financial discussions with understanding, compromise, and a commitment to shared goals, you can build a solid foundation for a financially healthy and happy marriage. 


We do our best to provide helpful information but we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in the article, under no circumstance does the information provided constitute legal advice. You are responsible for independently verifying the information if you intend to use it in any way. Additionally, the content is not intended to be reflective of First Alliance Credit Union’s products or services, for accurate and complete details about our product and service information you must speak to an advisor at First Alliance Credit Union.