Guest post from Emily
When a spender and a saver marry, each spouse may have their own idea on what’s an appropriate amount to put towards a budget, how quickly to pay off debt, how to allocate money once debt is paid off, among other areas.
My husband and I, both bankers, have a common goal of paying off our debt — which we are in the process of doing. I’ve come up with a few ways to keep us motivated on our way to being debt-free. Hopefully one or more of these suggestions will help you, too!
1. Allocate a Budget
Each month, my husband and I get $100 for “fun” money. This is just the amount that works for us. I don’t feel guilty going to lunch occasionally with friends, and he’s free to save his amount to buy a fun item for his jeep.
2. Reward Progress
If you are significantly behind on payments, this is not for you. However, for us, we add to our monthly fun budget, at least temporarily, each time we pay off a debt. In general we add the amount we were paying on prior debt to current debt in order to pay it off faster.
However, if, for example, we had a monthly payment of $200 that we have paid off in full, we might use $150 for other debt pay off and allocate an additional $25 each as a reward and motivation.
Both the saver and spender win!
3. Set Purchase Goals
Again, the saver and spender both win with this. We have a separate bank account for our purchase goals. I love saving for them, and my husband is proud when we’re able to purchase something with cash — like our new washer and dryer set. Neither one of us feels like we’re missing out.
As with anything, balance is key. Ultimately, it’s likely both spouses’ goals are the same, as is the case with my husband and myself.
When neither spouse feels like the other spouse’s ideas are being pushed on them, a collective effort can occur. We are so much better together.
Do you have any other tips for accommodating both a saver and a spender?
Emily Glass is the wife to Garrett and mother to Katherine, age 2, and Grant, age 6 months. She is in banking and loves to cook.
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