A thrifty spouse may seem like a handful to deal with. They may be extremely logical. You may not always see eye-to-eye. But a frugal spouse can be an asset to your family.
Luckily, when I started becoming thriftier, I set an example in my household and encouraged my partner to follow suit. And it worked. We all love being frugal now.
You may learn to love the frugal side of your spouse. But even if that never fully happens, it’s important to still accept and get along with them. This post lists a few ways to help you both get along financially.
Realize You Both Have Different Perspectives
You need to understand where your partner is coming from so you can work as a team. Your spouse may be focusing more on the future while you live in the present. There’s nothing wrong with that. You could both balance each other out quite nicely.
If you are both trying to make the other one ‘see the light’ or the positives of your perspective, you need to step up, be the bigger person and accept your spouse’s choices and preferences. Opposites attract. Would you really want to marry an identical person?
Try to understand their mindset and support what they are doing. Being thrifty isn’t the worst thing in the world and it’s definitely something you can work through in your relationship. If your spouse sees you accepting and supporting them, they will be more willing to accept and support you as well.
Don’t Use Offensive Words or Phrases
As a part of accepting your spouse’s perspective, you shouldn’t use offensive words to describe their thriftiness. Avoid doing so even if you aren’t just being playful. Everyone finds different things offensive, but saying things like, “Why do you have to be so cheap?” or “You make us look broke!” or “You’re always penny-pinching…” can make you look argumentative and cause tension between the two of you.
Your word choice and the way you talk to your partner can put them in a defensive state, and that could easily start an argument. As a married couple, neither of you should have to feel defensive about your habits or characteristics as long as they are not hurting yourselves or anyone else.
Using offensive words and phrases to discuss your partner’s thriftiness isn’t helpful. Think about it from their perspective. They are trying to save the family money in order to improve your lives. Not only are you not thanking them, you are making fun of them.
Embrace the Benefits of Being Thrifty
Being thrifty is an acquired taste. There are much worse habits or addictions your spouse could have: gambling, hiding money or cheating. Try to embrace the benefits of frugality and understand that your household will save a lot of money and be more financially stable due to your spouse’s thriftiness. Be happy! Think about all the headaches you’re avoiding by having a frugal spouse: the threat of bankruptcy or foreclosure, no emergency fund, massive credit card debt, and more!
Realize that ‘tightening your belt’ can actually lead to greater long-term financial fun opportunities. For instance, if you avoid driving a BMW today, over time, you will be able to buy it used and still have money to build a garage for it.
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When you adopt a positive mindset and embrace the benefits of being thrifty, you’ll get along with your spouse better and understand where they are coming from.
To help improve your relationship, you both could compromise so that each person’s views are honored. Both you and your spouse can hold on to a guilty pleasure. You can even keep doing something you both enjoy that isn’t necessarily frugal. Meanwhile, you also commit to a certain level of thriftiness each month whether that includes shopping around for the best deal, meeting a particular savings rate or eating at home more often than usual. Compromise with your partner.
Embrace low cost entertainment options that don’t make you feel extremely thrifty. Accept simple ways that your spouse intends to save money – even if that means pretending to look away when they present a coupon after a romantic dinner. At least you’re dining out, right?
If you want to attend an event or go on an outing that could be costly, tell your spouse about it weeks or months ahead of time. This way, you can both start saving up. As a result, you get your outing and they get the reassurance that it was a planned expense and have time to budget.
Some couples even allow each other a monthly allowance to spend as they please with no questions asked. If you and your spouse each get $100 to spend freely each month on anything you want or need, that could be a nice compromise.
How do you enjoy a spendy + thrifty relationship?