It’s common knowledge that money is one of the primary topics that couples argue about. This is especially true when one of you is a spender and one is a saver.
Now, you might think that having one spender and one saver is actually a recipe for disaster. However, if you question several of your couple friends, I think you’ll realize that in most partnerships, one is more frugal than the other.
In my marriage, I’m the saver, and my husband is the spender. Of course, when I put it like that, it makes it sound like he is swiping that credit card left and right like a mad man, so let me clarify.
My husband encourages me to let go of the budget a little. He gently reminds me that going out to eat every now and then is okay. He shows me that sometimes, splurging on something is fun.
Another important lesson my husband taught me is quality. Everyone jokes that my husband wears long sleeved button down shirts to bed. He literally wears them all day every day, even though we live in a very hot climate. It’s his uniform (and it’s really quite classy.)
At first, when started dating, I couldn’t understand why he purchased these nice shirts. I thought it was a bit excessive to buy an $80 shirt given that we were early in our 20′s. I loved thrift stores, and I’d try to find him new shirts there all the time. He always said thanks but never wore them. Only recently, I realized that thrift stores kind of creep him out.
Eventually, I decided to let my opinions on this go, but I still thought I was right. A few years into our relationship, I noticed that these nice shirts held up way longer than my thrift store clothes. He would wear the same one every week for 2-3 years straight, and it would still look great. I started to realize that he actually spent less money than I did on clothing, which came as a shock. Now, I’m much more focused on the price-per-wear of my clothes, but I still love a good thrift store run. At the same time, I help my husband remember our long term goals. For example, when he wants a new gadget, I remind him that we’re saving for a fun vacation. If he wants to go out to eat at a really expensive restaurant, I ask if we can save it for a special occasion.
In sum, when it comes to your marriage, your differences can actually strengthen your relationship. We have a few set goals that we agree on, and we have several priorities (like education and travel) that we both agree deserve the majority of our savings. We balance each other out when it comes to our budget and the items we want. Sure, we argue from time to time about where our money should go, but overall I think our openness and our communication on this topic has made it one of the biggest strengths in our relationship, not one of the biggest battles.