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Opposites Attract - Can Spenders and Savers Live in Money Harmony?

Updated on January 4, 2011

It is not always apparent, but when it comes to money and finance we usually attract someone who has the opposite spending behavior to ourselves; spenders attract savers and savers attract someone with the tendency to spend money.

An important part of understanding finance is understanding and celebrating your money personality and, if your share your life and personal money, that of your mate..

You are likely to fall into one of two main groups –

  • the spender group
  • or
  • the saver group.

Of course the world is not quite that black and white but many of us fall naturally into one of the two groups. Sometimes, out of necessity we are forced to adopt the characteristics of the opposite group but that role doesn't come quite as easily as those who are born or trained in them.

How do you recognize the personal money differences?

The spender

You’ll easily recognize the spender. They are generous to a fault. Money quite literally burns a hole in their pocket.

At the restaurant, they’re the ones ordering the more expensive bottle of wine. They consider the item first and the price second.

They like money. They like to spend money. They’re the ones booking the next holiday without having the money in the bank. There’s no time for them to wait for the next new airline route offering cheap rates. They want gratification and they want it now!

The want the latest gadget and worry about paying for it later. Heck, they don’t worry about paying the debt, it just grows as they accumulate more and more things.

The Saver

The saver has no trouble saving. You can bet that if they in a relationship, they control the bank accounts - well as much as their spender partner will allow.

They use incentive bank accounts, not to monitor their goals so they keep on track but because they are savy and want the additional interest.

They can’t wait to save their money; check the accumulating bank and investment balances.

Savers are the first ones in your college group with a home and the first to announce the mortgages been paid off while you (if you’re a spender) are left to pick your jaw off the pavement in envy. 'How did you do it', you whisper reverently? They smile as if to keep it a secret. But its no secret. The saver simply prioritized saving and managed to live within their means, whilst squirreling away money every payday.

Their books are usually balanced. They take care of the details. There are no late payment fees on the savers accounts. The credit card, if it’s used at all, is paid in full before additional charges accrue. They are simply good with accumulating money.

How Opposites Attract Relationships Succeed

The divorce lawyers often state money issues as being the cause of disharmony in marriage dissolution. The problem, though, is that we like having the opposites in our lives.

Can you imagine what life would be like for two savers living together? Where would the spontaneity come from? Although the accounts will always balance, they need spenders to lighten the situation up somewhat.

Likewise, how do you imagine two spenders will cope if they find themselves living under one roof? Who will ensure the telephone bill and rent or mortgage payments are made on time. No, they will be too busy out spending and socializing to bother with getting the detail sorted.

The truth is that we need each other to balance out our lives. The trick is to find a way to live with and celebrate our differences.

Somehow, the spender needs to accept the very important role of the saver. The saver needs to learn not to nag the spender for spending. Its in his or hers nature.

The problem comes when there is no money for those inevitable but sometimes unexpected bills or for a retirement in the future.

Reverse Psychology Just Might Work

One of the best tips is for the saver to relinquish control of the money. Yes – hand over the reins to the spender.  Now that might seem like a radical suggestion but it just might work.

If the spender has to find the money to put food on the table and keep the roof over your heads then they might just learn about how difficult it is to juggle everything and they may learn some new ways and curb some of their frivolous ways.

Savers, if you are thinking about trying this, you might want to put a time limit on this - even mentally.

Can Spenders and Savers Live together in Harmony?

I'm sure they can live in harmony when it comes to money but I also think its inevitable that we will continue to attract someone to compensate for what we lack.  

I'm also not convinced that if you're a saver you'll want to live with another saver.  But then I might be biased because deep down I'm a bit of a spender!

What's most important is to find ways to accept and celebrate the differences in each other.

There are some excellent books on the subject of money and relationships and below are some ideas. There's also an easy to use personal budgeting software option above as well.

Good luck with the changes. Let me know how you get on.

To Help Regain Control Over Your Money Get this book

I found this book helpful years ago and its still a best seller. Its very easy to read.

We often don't talk about money. Doing so can be very cathartic. There is more information in this article called Let's Talk About Money.

And finally.....

© Copyright 2010 Travelespresso with all rights reserved.

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    • travelespresso profile imageAUTHOR

      travelespresso 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Recognizing you are a spender is definitely the first step. Its difficult to change and sometimes there is no need to change. But improvement or refinement is always good!

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

    • ponx profile image

      Ponx 

      7 years ago from USA

      You are quite right! I am surely the "spender" in our case :). I hardly used to ever look at prices before buying anything, but I am getting there. On the track towards improvement!

    • travelespresso profile imageAUTHOR

      travelespresso 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Ah savers can still live! They just live within the bank balance and books being nicely balanced.

      Thanks so much for your comments and for stopping by. Glad its working out!

    • yenajeon profile image

      Yena Williams 

      7 years ago from California

      I couldn't imagine being with a "saver" who just couldn't live a little. Yes, I'm a spender but what I think is important is being opposites on different areas of spending. I don't really care that much about food; I'll eat almost anything! But, I love to shop. For my boyfriend, he'll spend tons of money on travel and food, but he barely has any clothes!

      It's working out so far... =)

    • travelespresso profile imageAUTHOR

      travelespresso 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Yes it does - like you said - for the most part. Sometimes people masquerade or, due to particular needs, adopt money handling characteristics which are not really "them" and change when in a relationship!

      Thanks for stopping by and for commenting ocbill.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 

      7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I have personally experienced it and it works for the most part.

    • travelespresso profile imageAUTHOR

      travelespresso 

      7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      Haha - but what if your partner wants to combine finances then what happens? I agree though, it can get complicated but help is at hand.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Great Hub! Hahaa- my plan for addressing this issue someday is to maintain completely separate finances, even after marriage. Things just get so complicated when things blend!

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 

      7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I have to agree with this because if both become spenders than there is severe crisis for savings and if both become savers than the family will have only savings, so we need to maintain a balance.

    • Edwin Clark profile image

      Edwin Clark 

      7 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

      This is an very interesting take, I would definitely think that savers would live better together since they think in sync. Come to think of it I have a cousin who is married and he and his wife are super thrifty. And yeah, I think you hit it on the nail they are quite 'plain' :)

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