What do you do when you are keen to spend money frugally while your partner is the exact opposite, extravagant in every way? One Reddit user wanted to hear from other members of the community about what they thought about this topic. He wondered how people navigated relationships with different spending habits. Do they meet in the middle? Or do they keep their finances separate?
Reddit users chipped into this conversation, and here are some of the best responses.
Have Separate Checking Accounts and One Joint Account
“We each have our own checking accounts and then one joint checking. Paychecks go into respective checking accounts, and then a set amount is transferred into the joint checking. That amount has been calculated to be enough to cover the mortgage, all autopay/check paid consistent utilities, and a little bit of extra (~50-100/mo. each extra). This joint checking and its extra padding is the first line of defense against things like unexpected plumbing bills without “having to pay extra for it (i.e., already came out of our personal checking; it’s half-half from personal checkings),” illustrates one user
Give the Spender an Allowance
Giving the spender an allowance keeps them away from the main account, “I’m sure I’ll take a lot of hate for this, but my husband is a spender, so he has an allowance. I pay all the bills out of our account, and he gets $200 a week on his debit card for whatever. It lets him spend how he wants to spend without me having a panic attack on what he’s doing. This is what we had to resort to after many, many disagreements over money.”
Each person should know what they are supposed to do, “I pay the household bills; he pays me a set amount for bills each month. We split the food. I encourage frugal brands; he insists on name brands. If there’s a name-brand-specific thing he wants, he buys it. If I see his favorite brand on sale, I’ll pick it up.”
Get a Prenup
Finances can be a source of stress in a marriage, “Being in disagreement about finances is like being in disagreement about having kids or not. Get a prenup.”
Split Everything 50/50
Go Dutch on everything, “My partner and I live separately; living apart together works really well for us. I’m frugal, clean, and organized. I like to think about my future and retirement. My partner is the opposite. .. All mutual activities and vacations are split 50/50.”
Some People Cannot Be Frugal
A user illustrates such a case, “I have a friend (of 20 years) who would LIKE to be frugal but is ever only frugal when they run out of money. My friend is about 60 and has spent hundreds of thousands on luxuries. They spent an inheritance… It’s all gone. They cashed out their 401k and spent IT ALL. Some people, in the name of “love” can’t be frugal … they just fritter it all away.”
Get a Divorce
If one partner refuses to compromise, you should divorce as it will cause problems in the future, “I was willing to compromise, but my partner wasn’t. We resolved it by getting a divorce. I know that’s probably not the response you’re looking for, but there’s a reason finances are a large cause of divorce. It’s a major issue when one partner wants to be financially responsible, and the other has no concept of saving or planning for the future.”
Keep a ‘Fun Fund’
The spender can draw from this fund, “He has a “fun fund” that he can blow on whatever he likes when it runs out, that’s it.”
Go the Minimalist Way
“We moved into a smaller house that didn’t have any available storage space for her to buy any more things. Problem solved,” explains another user
This Does Not Work
Some people do not believe that it can work, “Doesn’t work. I was asked if I’d date a particular guy, but the dude straight up was gonna throw a perfectly good soft pretzel away simply because he was not hungry at that moment. That’s a hard no. I can’t let it go, and I imagine we’d fight a lot. Maybe you can rub off on them but I’d just prefer someone who already thinks similarly to me. Frugality is a value for me and a way of life. If my partner wasn’t frugal… I wouldn’t have them as a partner bc it just wouldn’t work.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.