How do you reconcile a saver and a spender?

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 4
8389 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Equine_Breeder:  I’m the saver, my husband is the spender, and I control all the finances.  My husband gets money in his account once a week and it works for us.  He is pretty good about not dipping into our other account (we both have access to both accounts), but I pack him a breakfast, lunch and coffee every morning so he doesn’t have to spend money at work.

Post # 5
4656 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

i think the key is communication and mutual respect. The spender shouldn’t make the saver sound like a fuddy duddy, and the saver shouldn’t make the spender sound like an irresponsible child.

Post # 6
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Hmm, the only idea that comes to mind is having both salaries direct deposit into a special account, which you would be in charge of. And then transferring an “allowance” to his personal account for his fun money and the rest being used for bills, savings, etc. But that would only work if the both of you were okay with such a system.

Post # 7
562 posts
Busy bee

A couple I am good friends with just separated and are getting a divorce over this 🙁 So its an important issue to figure out. It’s the same situation where she likes to save, and he spends everything. She would try to put away something small into their savings like 50 bucks, and find out later he took it out for something dumb.  

Its something the two of you need to sit down and compromise on. Talk with a counselor or financial advisor. If it comes to you having a separate account that he can’t access… It’s definitely not the best option but it’s better than divorce. I agree that communication is key! Good luck to the two of you!

Post # 8
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I am the saver and the financially responsible one (and also the breadwinner). We keep our finances separate. I own our home and he pays me a certain amount each month toward bills/repairs/upkeep. He is responsible for his own insurance, gas, food, etc. We cook for each other occasionally but our diets are very very different so we mostly buy our own food and take turns paying for meals out/drinks/movies/etc. I handle big purchases since I have a high-limit CC and he pays back. For now it is working for us okay. We have been discussing some ways we can save more as a couple.

I also got a pre-nup to protect my assets.

I suggest being very open with communication on how his irresponsibility appears. Does he have a retirement account? Rainy day savings? Anything? How does that make you feel? Does he expect to retire on YOUR money? Maybe if you make some cases for WHY you save the way you do, he will see the light? My husband says I set a good example for him which helps him be more responsible, he thinks. What about when/if you have kids? or want a nice vacation? or want to buy a home? What’s his plan? Perhaps having a discussion (non accusatory, non confrontational) about these types of things and your goals as a couple would be helpful!

Good luck!!

Post # 9
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I think he needs to learn to keep his hands off your share of the money!

And he needs to learn that the bill account is NOT to be played with.

Has he ever taken a personal finance class?

Post # 10
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@Equine_Breeder:  If I’m understanding your system right, it looks like you divided up your money on a monthly basis (took out money for bills, savings, etc, then gave each of you ‘spending money’) and he spent his money way too quickly, and then started digging into your other accounts. Did you talk to him about how inappropriate that is, and how it makes you feel when he’s irresponsible with his money and hurting your attempts to save for a stable future for the two of you?

As for a more practical suggestion, perhaps a monthly basis is too long-term – maybe you should divide up the amount he’ll receive for the month into automatic weekly (or even daily) deposits into his spending account, so that he gets access to his allotted money steadily throughout the month? That would prevent him from blowing through it all in the first week and then having nothing left over…

Good luck resolving this, OP! I just want to say that you have a lot more patience and compassion than I do! This type of thing would drive me bonkers…

Post # 11
6073 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Equine_Breeder:  My ex husband was a spender.  He wracked up so many overdraft fees it was awful.  Money was actually not the biggest problem we had.


Anytime I managed to save up $1000 (which took a whole year), he’d pout and kick and cry until he got to spend it on something like a new mountain bike (while I road the same ancient one).


Yes I ended up giving him a monthly allowance and it was in cash only.  I took away his debit card (he did not even have a credit card). We had separate checking account which were linked with one savings (so I could move money easily) to pay bills.  This is the ultimage parent-child relationship and this model does not bode well for marriages!


But then it ended up being my job to put gas in the car so he could drive it because he couldn’t use his precious “fun” money on gas!


Honestly it would not have worked out long term.  Until the spender reliquishes all control and gets on board with the family future plan – good luck!  I think it would be about seeing the big picture – like when do you want to retire, what kind of purchases are coming up, etc.


Post # 12
1779 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1997

@Equine_Breeder:  a friend at work had this issue. It was becoming a huge fight in their house–she was so resentful and angry. I was thinking they were going to end up divorced!

She said they have a joint bank account that both their paychecks post to.  however she is the only one who pays bills as he would do like your husband–not pay or pay late! A smart man but stupid about bills. He is only allowed to go in their account for necessities like groceries and gas and lunch out a couple of times a week. However she gives him a certain amt of money a week for spendng on whatever he wants. (sounds a little weird-an allowance but whatever!) I forget how much she said–maybe $75?

It seems to be working for them so far. However her husband was willing to do it, Good luck!

Post # 13
1549 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Equine_Breeder:  This is EXACTLY how it works in our relationship… I’m the saver. Big time saver – If i get an extra 500 dollars somewhere you can bet i’m going to be using it responsibly. It will probably go towards savings or go to pay down one of our credit cards. I have yet to spend more then 30 dollars in a month in a longgg time.


My husband on the other hand is a big spender – I sware every other day he tells me about what other thing he “needs” to buy. Its all wants and somehow he convinces himself that the world will end if he doesn’t get them. lol. He just finds a way to spend money on everything.You know what he’d do with that 500 dollars – he’s go on a shopping spree and end up spending more then the 500 cus then its like he only has to spend 200 but gets 700 worth of stuff. AYYY


While he does have the cappability to annoy the hell out of me – we have actually figured out a way to compliment each other very well. He tells me when i need to stop being so cheap and let myself have some fun and spend some money….. And I help him to keep his spending in check and convince him to wait on some of those purchases.


You need to get on the same page – discuss long and short term financial goals, going on vacation, paying off debt, save an emergency fund – whatever but you need to be ultimately working toward the same goal that will benefit both of you. 


You need a joint checking account and every single dime you spend comes out of that account. Then you make a budget for the month where you basically spend every dollar on paper before the month begins – including a category for your spending money and his spending money (always keep it the same). You discuss that budget before the month begins. He can make changes then. Get him involved in the finances – but not too involved. Show him where the money is going  and explain why but don’t give him the responsibility to pay bills or track spending. If he sees these numbers on paper then it will be real to him.


You need to be each others accountability partner and teammate – not your opponent. Get on the same page and work toward the same goal.




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