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Spending vs. Saving – The Battle Between Spouses


If you had to guess, would you say that I’m a born spender or a natural saver? If you have read just a single blog post on this site or talked with me for 10 minutes, you’d know that every ounce of my being is prone to saving, and quite honestly, spending can nearly put me into a panic attack.

Saving In My Youth

When I was a kid, I was all about saving and hardly ever spent a dime of my own money. Every birthday, I would acquire about $60 in cash and I would deposit it straight into my savings account without even thinking about buying a birthday present for myself. In my high school years, the saving trend continued. If I liked a girl and asked her out on a date, guess where I took her? She had two options: Burger King or McDonalds. Needless to say, my high school dating scene was nearly non-existant. (Just as a fun fact for you, I didn’t know how to pay the bill at a regular sit-down restaurant until I was 20 years old! I was thoroughly confused when I didn’t see any cash registers…)

Spending Differences in Marriage

When I finally discovered that there were other places to take a date than Burger King or McDonalds, I was able to land a beautiful bride. Since I was mostly an introvert saver, of course my heart was captured by an outgoing spender. It definitely hasn’t been the easiest companionship, but my wife has taught me that life is meant to be lived, and in order to live life, I’m going to have to release my grip on a few Benjamins once in a while.

Are You in a Relationship With Your Opposite?

If you are a spender, are you currently married to a saver (are you researching while your spouse is putting every available dime into a piggy bank)? Or, perhaps you’re a saver married to a spender. Or, maybe you’re both spenders or both savers? Which would you say is the best combination? Let’s take a look!

Saver w/ Spender (and vise versa)

This relationship is not an easy one. There are often many arguments about money and life isn’t always fun. Perhaps the spender finds that it’s an absolute necessity to buy a 3D big screen TV, but the saver would rather purchase a used projection television and invest the rest of the money for their retirement. Talk about a difference of opinions!

Spender w/ Spender

The spenders have more fun than you could ever imagine. They’re always out on the town watching shows, dining out, and buying gifts for all of their friends. They’re often the life of the party, but you’ll never find a comma in their savings account. When trouble happens, the credit card comes out so they can survive until the money starts coming in again. Retirement savings are typically non-existent as well because what fun is that? It’s way more fun to spend the cash on something they can use now!

Saver w/ Saver

Ahhh the two savers. More often than not, this couple is a yawner. They never go out of the house and don’t ever splurge either! They buy everything used and don’t replace any items unless they’ve disintegrated into thin air. This couple will die with millions of dollars in their retirement accounts, but will have never left their hometown state! While they may have acquired some wealth during their lifetime, they’ve never really lived.

Me and My Spender Wife

After considering the alternative of living with a saver, I’m glad that my wife is a spender. She pushes me into living life rather than dying without having any experiences whatsoever! With a little bit of compromise on both of our parts, we can have a life of fun and wealth in our future.

What type of scenario do you have? Are you and your spouse both savers or spenders? Or maybe there’s one of each? Are you enjoying life?



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Well, hubby and I are savers – with regard to what the OTHER person wants to spend! So, he may find himself a little iffy about my perfectly reasonable clothing purchases, and I find myself questioning his completely irresponsible new tech gadget acquisitions! 🙂

    It took us a few years to come up with a solution, which is that each of us has a separate personal account to use as we wish. Although it didn’t start off at a lot of money, because we had to accumulate it over time, we now each have a sizable savings account that we can do whatEVER we want to with and not be questioned by the other. It works well for both of us, and peace reins in the household again!

    • Just coming up with the solution is 90% of the battle. Thanks for the comment!

  2. We both used to be savers (myself more than he) who than became rampant spenders who are now back to becoming savers. I still tend to save more than he does but we balance each other out now. I make sure money is saved and he makes sure that I don’t go too extreme.

    • Haha. It’s funny how one can move from a saver to a spender, then back to a saver again. Sounds like you have a good balance now though.

  3. So glad your wife taught you that. My wife and I never have financial disputes. That is mainly because she doesn’t care about money but doesn’t spend a lot. I care about it and don’t spend a lot either. We aren’t frugal by any means but we are intelligently spending and saving.

    • If I hadn’t met her, I would have gone through life with zero experiences, which isn’t living at all.

  4. It’s not easy partnering with a spender – but it does safe-guard against over-doing the frugal life.

    • It sure isn’t! But, without challenges there would never be growth. 😉

  5. I would say my girlfriend likes to spend more than I do but we both balance each other out. I think it helps both of us as we can see both aides and are reasonable people.

    • If you can both see the other person’s side, then I think you are worlds ahead of most. With that understanding, you should be golden for life!

  6. Dave & I are both lean on the saver side, but we do not want to live boring lives so we were intentional to establish spending categories for vacations and entertainment. It’s definitely made our time in Ireland a lot of fun and I can enjoy this vacation without guilt.

    • Sounds like an awesome plan. Thanks for the comment Jessica!

  7. I’m the saver & hubby is the spender. I’m slowly converting his way of thinking – he thinks it’s somewhat magical how we have money socked away in our ear-marked accounts. I’m also trying to have him phase out saying “we can/can’t afford to {xyz}” – it’s not about whether you can “afford” to spend money on something, it’s about whether it’s an expenditure that makes sense given the specific scenario.

    • You sound quite wise Skrpune! Your point of view is spot on. Sure, you might have $10,000 in your account, but it doesn’t mean that you should go trade in your car and get a brand new one! Thanks for the comment!

      • Thanks! Although it’s funny you mention the car trade-in…we actually recently traded in our Wrangler (VERY good trade in value, even though it was 3 years old and a dealer demo/loaner car) and got a new Subaru Forester. The trade in ended up paying for about 2/3 of the new car. The savings in gas mileage are fantastic, and the finance rate was great so we couldn’t resist – just had to put down a small deposit to get us to the cap of the lowest amount they would finance. In doing the math, we’ll save enough on gas during the 4 year loan term to more than pay for the finance costs (only about $300).

        I hate to take on new debt, albeit somewhat small and manageable, but THIS is what happens when I say I will never buy a new car again – I jinxed myself! 😀

  8. I alternate between saver and spender, with most of the time being a saver. Life definitely is worth living and would be too boring if you don’t splurge every once in a while.

    • Yep. It’s definitely best to live life, but it’s also good to have some money in the bank. Sounds like you have a good balance of each.

  9. I am married to the tightest saver in the state of Michigan. But I love him dearly. I am “teaching” him to spend, but we do it wisely. I used to buy ALL new, but now we buy used cars, motorcycles, Jeeps, etc. and let someone else take the hit. We love to travel, but again, do it wisely. We do a lot of research on items we are purchasing. But after a lot of health issues lately, I will tell everyone, purchasing “stuff” will not make anyone happy. It’s the marriage and relationship that trumps everything!

    • Lol! I thought I was the tightest saver in the state of Michigan! 😉 My wife and I love to travel as well, but if we can’t do it without going into debt, we stay home. Sounds like we’re pretty similar!

    • I like this Marcia lady! 😉

  10. I am a saver and my wife is a bargain hunter. She likes savings it makes us both secure. Life should be interesting in retirement when we switch to spending.

    • Retirement will be an interesting shift won’t it? Suddenly, you’ll be withdrawing more and more from your account rather than putting your savings into it. I think I might freak out at that stage. 😉

      • Not necessarily (withdrawing more and more from my account)! I hope to have to use as little of my retirement funds as possible. It’s called P-A-S-S-I-V-E I-N-C-O-M-E, and I intend to have lots of it 🙂

        • Lol. I hear ya gharkness. I’m on the mission for that passive income as well.

  11. My fiance and I are definitely a spender (him) and saver (me), but luckily we have succeeded in balancing each other out. I’ve found the quality in spending on certain things and he’s seen that saving doesn’t have to feel like torture. I think a healthy balance is the best way to go.

    • It really is interesting to see the world from the other person’s perspective isn’t it? It just makes life all that much more fun! 🙂

  12. When we first married, my wife was basically more of a spender, while I was more a saver. I wasn’t a great saver, just more of a saver than she was. It caused some conflict from time to time. We eliminated almost all of the conflict over this issue by doing one thing – she took responsibility for household finances. She started to do the bills every month.

    It seems that becoming more intimately involved with the money caused her to moderate her spending. I then became the “spender” moreso. But I didn’t mind that. Sometimes she tells me to cool it, and I don’t mind at all.

  13. I get nauseous thinking about retirement, and quite frankly think there are more important things in life to worry about. You may have a great retirement account when you reach that stage, but is it really worth it if you have no memories bc you were always too worried about saving?? I think not. My husband and I have been together for 7 years and a dozen job changes that have put us in challenging financial situations. BUT as frugal and smart as we always were with our money and supporting one another, we still weren’t too tight to have some smart fun. You can’t live 20 years ahead…..because you might not make it that far. Live today and make it count or you may regret it later. PS….sounds like you owe yourself some birthday presents 🙂

  14. I consider myself the saver (but not a super-great one) and Mr. LH the spender. We’ve found a happy medium, but I constantly hear, “I need a ….”, “I want a …” on a daily basis that makes my heart skip a beat. Thankfully, he is capable of waiting, researching things for the best price, and sometimes going without for a little while.

  15. I would say that I am the saver and my wife is the spender. Money was always the hot topic early on in our marriage. It still can be at times, but our goals are the same now. I too agree with many of the other comments about spending money from time to time to enjoy life and creating memories is important. Marriage is a constant growing experience which is exciting for me :)!

  16. Hmm… I’m definitely a saver married to a spender! It’s weird because our finances are sort of separate, but he pays the bills and has his account. I have my own account and I save everything I earn working at home. It’s frustrating at times, but we’re moving toward merging things eventually (I hope).

    • It sure is tough isn’t it? I can’t say one method is better than the other, but communication has to be there regardless. Thanks for the comment!

  17. My wife and I both flip between spenders and savers depending on the specifics. We both want to save money on some things, and spend it on others!

    Slowly though, we’ve found a balance that benefits us. It involves lots of communication, and the occasional realization (such as we should always avoid shopping alone). It’s a slow process, but we’re moving in the right direction!

    • Communication is definitely key. Without it, it’s just a constant argument. Sounds like you guys are doing awesome!

  18. Saver vs Spender- I am a little shocked to see that most people balance each other out. I so wish my spender husband would realize that it takes two to equal things out. I am the saver. My husband seems to be addicted. He will sell anything that isn’t his to get cash. Including my rings. Now that he is unemployed, I have gone to work. It has been two years since he was let go from his job. While I’m at work, he looks for cash. I want to be committed to our 22 year marriage but don’t know how much more I can do. Counselor’s we’ve gone to have told my husband that he is selfish, therefore he refuses to go back.

    • Wow. That is one tough situation Kathy! I wish I had a magic wand that would make everything better, but I obviously don’t….. Hang in there Kathy. Hopefully things will turn around soon.

  19. I just laugh at all these comments just so that they can get a backlink in the blog.

    Go Kathy! Go Kathy it’s your birthday.

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