From the moment I first started getting an allowance as a little girl, I’ve been a saver. I remember carefully budgeting for gifts for my family for the holidays and figuring out how many weeks it would take me to save for the Nintendo game I desperately wanted. I panic when my savings account drops below a certain figure.
My husband came from a long line of spenders. When I met him, he loved to pick up the tab when he and his friends went out. He would troll eBay to look for old postcards and memorabilia. A night at the movies wasn’t a special treat, it was a regular part of of his weekly routine.
So when we got married, it was a challenge to get on the same page. He would want to go out. I would want to stay in. I would save money with coupons one week, only to discover he was spending all my savings on treats at the gas station when he filled up the car.
But we’ve figured out a way to overcome our differences in spending habits:
At the time that I discovered the book that changed the way I thought about money, my husband was slogging through his student loans at a job he wasn’t passionate about. We had a long talk about our goals and how our finances played a role in them. And we got on the same page about how we were going to handle our money.
Our approaches are very different. While I am the type of person that likes to figure out how to cut costs, he’s the type that likes to figure out how to bring in more income. Sometimes we struggle when he wants to spend money on something and I think we shouldn’t. Or when he wants to take on a paying opportunity, and I think he should spend the time doing other things with the family.
But I’ve learned to bend a little. I’ve learned to use my money-saving skills to help us splurge on occasion. And my husband has learned to use coupons and watch the little wasters of money more.
We talk a lot. The more open and honest we are with each other, the easier it gets to discuss our finances. We try to iron out the little disagreements before they snowball into larger ones. We celebrate each our successes and support each other when we face a challenge. We try to carve out time on a regular basis just to talk about finances.
Our marriage is far from perfect, but we’ve figure out a way for us to enjoy life on a budget.
This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2012. For more posts about Relationships and Money see Relationships and Money Roundup.