I have written before about different financial personality types. Chances are, you are either a natural saver or a natural spender. I readily admit that I am a natural spender. That is exactly why I have to put practices in place in order to avoid wasting money all the time (such as only taking out a small amount of cash each week to spend on whatever I want). In most cases your spouse is the opposite of you (if you are a spender, your spouse is most likely a saver). Where it gets real fun in a marriage is how you view your opposite counterpart.
What a saver looks like
A spender sees a saver in a much different light than the saver sees themselves. For example, the spender will tend to see the saver as too rigid. In order for there to be regular savings, the saver usually has a regular plan of savings set up. The spender feels as if that is way too rigid and no fun. This often leads to the saver coming off as stingy as well. The spender will think “we can’t ever have any fun with money because my spouse wants to put away every extra dollar we have”. The saver is often very reluctant to do anything fun with money and this can cause some conflict.
The saver sees things differently. They often think “someone has to be organized in this marriage.” What the spender calls rigid, the saver calls organized. What the spender calls stingy, the saver calls disciplined. The saver knows that in order to enjoy money later in life, you have to be methodical in your savings. The spender thinks that is just plain boring.
What a spender looks like
The saver looks at a spender and thinks reckless. They begin to think “we would be living in a shack somewhere if it wasn’t for me controlling my spouse’s spending habits.” Flashes of the song “Material Girl” by Madonna will go through the saver’s mind when thinking about the spender. They will begin to wonder if all the spender cares about is stuff.
Once again, the spender sees things differently. They often think “someone has to have some fun in this marriage.” What the saver calls reckless, the spender calls spontaneous. What the saver calls materialistic, the spender thinks of having fun. A spender will also see themselves as a giver. It is a little easier for a spender to release their money. That means giving gifts to friends and family and charitable giving as well.
The key to all of this is that you have to be careful. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the idea that your spouse is the enemy. Look at, instead, as complementary. If your spouse didn’t save money, you would be eating dog food in retirement. Be appreciative of that. If your spouse didn’t spend money, you would be the most boring couple on the face of the planet. Be appreciative of that. You keep each other in check and that is a positive thing. When you find yourself getting annoyed with your opposite spouse, stop and thank God for giving you someone to balance you out.