Saving Money Tip: How to Save when One of You is a Spender (2024)

Overview:This is a saving money tip you have probably never read about before — but it works! There are several examples so you can see how to do it yourself.

Listen. Do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell? (And if you're a Beatles fan, you're chiming in with a woh-oo-wooooooh-oooooo about now…) Today I am going to tell you a secret about secrets. This is an amazing tip for saving money for all sorts of things–a rainy day, your auto insurance payment, that trip to the Bahamas you dream about on your way to sleep—and yet it is not spoken of in polite company.

Here it is: don't tell your significant other (you know, the spendy one?) about the money you are setting aside for savings.

Yes, we are always told that having secrets of any kind from our spouse is a BAD idea. With capital letters. And I would generally agree. But in my little life I have found that saving money (as in setting it aside for future use) is the exception to this rule. Let me elaborate by presenting a few examples of how one might put this saving money tip into practice.

Saving Money Tip: How to Save when One of You is a Spender (1)

An Effective Saving Money Tip in Action

Example 1: We are all familiar with the emergency fund cycle. It goes like this: 1) We scrimp and save and with a lot of effort set aside $1000 for an emergency fund. 2) The spendy spouse comes up with something he really NEEDS, y'all. His reasoning seems sound at the time. 3) We cave. And we are back to scrimping and saving again to build that “emergency” fund back up to its prior glory. 4) Later, we almost always find that he could have lived without whatever the supposed need was, at least for as long as it took to find the money some other way.

Here's the solution The Man and I came up with: I finally asked him one day, after this had happened for the umpteenth time and we were BOTH sick of it, “Can I save up money and not tell you about it? Cuz we both know what happens when you are privy to the details of how much we have stashed away…” and he said YES.

Now when he has a “need,” I am in the amazing position of not having to volunteer the emergency fund to meet it. Because he TOLD ME it was ok to keep this secret from him. I can reserve the emergency fund for actual emergencies. What a concept.

Yes, this agreement has come in handy many times, and The Man has realized most of those times that I am holding out on him — but he knows that this is best for our financial stability. He grins and begins brainstorming other ways he can obtain whatever it is he's “needing.” And our emergency fund remains intact.

Related Reading: 6 Reasons You are in Debt even with a Good Income

Example 2: Certainly we can keep secrets about Christmas and birthdays, right? This we do all the time and don't think twice about it. Sometimes those gifts can cost more than just a little bit, and we need to save up to buy them. Are you gonna tell your spouse that you are saving up x amount for his gift and he is not to use that money? Can you say, “spoiler”?? Just save the money without a peep. Withdraw it and hide it in the back of your underwear drawer until you have enough set aside. And enjoy the look of REAL surprise on his face when he opens your totally non-frugal-just-because-I-love-you gift. :-)

Example 3: Friends of mine have a neat tradition: every year they go someplace different for their anniversary, and they alternate years as to which spouse does the planning. One year, the wife plans their trip; the next year, it is the husband's turn to plan — and in each case, the destination and details are always a surprise for the other. Doesn't that sound like fun?

And it's the surprise part that makes it, right? So do you want to spoil that by cluing your spouse in on how much you're gonna spend on the hotel, and what you've got saved up for activities, and the fact that you got a good deal on plane tickets? No, you do not. You just want to save up your money and keep your secrets and have a big reveal when you get to the airport.

Example 4: My pastor's wife kept a HUGE secret from her husband. They were using the cash envelope system; but often when they would decide to stop at the grocery store and pick up a few things, they didn't have their “food” envelope with them. So they would use their debit card. Did Mrs. Pastor voluntarily take the corresponding amount of cash out of the “food” envelope when they got home, to deposit into the account to cover that transaction? No, she did not, lol. She hung onto it and squirreled it away, and at Christmas she gave Mr. Pastor FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS IN CASH as an amazing gift.

(For all you old movie buffs, this is reminiscent of the scene in The Glen Miller Story (referral link) when June Allyson whips out a hunk of cash that she's been saving up from the household accounts without Jimmy Stewart (as Glen Miller) knowing about it — just the perfect amount to buy the band equipment he needs to really make his dream come true… She was totally using this saving money tip I am presenting to you today. Smart woman. :-) )

So you see, not telling your spouse how much money you have in reserve, whether it be an emergency fund or cash for some other purpose, can be a very effective strategy for saving money that stays saved. For me it has reduced my feeling like we're on a hamster wheel and instead given hope that we might actually be getting somewhere in this struggle to get out of debt.

Related Reading: One Key Tip to Avoid Blowing the Family Budget

The fact that it is with The Man's full agreement is what makes the difference between me just being über-controlling and us working together, albeit in a non-traditional way.

Maybe you should give this saving money tip a try — you might be surprised by how well it works! :-)

Saving Money Tip: How to Save when One of You is a Spender (2)

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Saving Money Tip: How to Save when One of You is a Spender (2024)


Saving Money Tip: How to Save when One of You is a Spender? ›

The rule is that a third of your take-home income should be used towards your home, a third for living expenses, and the last third should be for savings and investments.

What is the 1 3 rule of saving? ›

The rule is that a third of your take-home income should be used towards your home, a third for living expenses, and the last third should be for savings and investments.

What is the 50 30 20 rule? ›

The 50-30-20 rule recommends putting 50% of your money toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings. The savings category also includes money you will need to realize your future goals.

Is it better to be a saver or spender? ›

But savers might have the upper hand when it comes to managing their money — only 29% of their total annual income is used on miscellaneous purchases, while spenders are using up 38% of their income.

What is the golden rule of saving money? ›

The rule of 25X is the thumb rule when it comes to retirement savings, where you need to save 25 times your annual expenses. This rule says that an individual can think about retirement when they have funds worth 25 times their annual expenses.

What is the 30 day rule? ›

The premise of the 30-day savings rule is straightforward: When faced with the temptation of an impulse purchase, wait 30 days before committing to the buy. During this time, take the opportunity to evaluate the necessity and impact of the purchase on your overall financial goals.

What is the 7 rule for savings? ›

The seven percent savings rule provides a simple yet powerful guideline—save seven percent of your gross income before any taxes or other deductions come out of your paycheck. Saving at this level can help you make continuous progress towards your financial goals through the inevitable ups and downs of life.

What is the 80 20 rule in saving? ›

The rule requires that you divide after-tax income into two categories: savings and everything else. As long as 20% of your income is used to pay yourself first, you're free to spend the remaining 80% on needs and wants. That's it; no expense categories, no tracking your individual dollars.

How much savings should I have at 50? ›

By age 50, you'll want to have around six times your salary saved. If you're behind on saving in your 40s and 50s, aim to pay down your debt to free up funds each month. Also, be sure to take advantage of retirement plans and high-interest savings accounts.

Which strategy will help you save the most money? ›

The 5 Most Effective Strategies To Save Money For The Future
  • Set Your Goals Early On. Setting a financial goal early on will boost you to stick to your savings plan. ...
  • Understand Your Cash Flows. ...
  • Open a Savings Account. ...
  • Rethink Debit Cards. ...
  • Monitoring Your Spending. ...
  • Revise Your Emergency Fund.

Is 4000 a good savings? ›

Are you approaching 30? How much money do you have saved? According to CNN Money, someone between the ages of 25 and 30, who makes around $40,000 a year, should have at least $4,000 saved.

How much should I save each month? ›

How much should you save each month? For many people, the 50/30/20 rule is a great way to split up monthly income. This budgeting rule states that you should allocate 50 percent of your monthly income for essentials (such as housing, groceries and gas), 30 percent for wants and 20 percent for savings.

How much of America lives paycheck to paycheck? ›

How Many Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck? A 2023 survey conducted by highlighted that 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, a 6% increase from the previous year. In other words, more than three-quarters of Americans struggle to save or invest after paying for their monthly expenses.

Who is happier, spenders or savers? ›

Compared to savers, spenders were also found to be happier with their relationships (78% and 63%, respectively), work-life (78% and 57%, respectively), and personal life (77% and 71%, respectively). Interestingly, spenders were also happier with their financial lives than savers (73% and 56%, respectively).

What are the four walls? ›

Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey says if you're going through a tough financial period, you should budget for the “Four Walls” first above anything else. In a series of tweets, Ramsey suggested budgeting for food, utilities, shelter and transportation — in that specific order.

How to save $10,000 in a year? ›

To reach $10,000 in one year, you'll need to save $833.33 each month. To break it down even further, you'll need to save $192.31 each week or $27.40 every day. These smaller chunks are much more realistic and simple to comprehend, making it easier to track your progress.

Can a spender and a saver work? ›

Savers and spenders can have successful lives together, as long as both individuals have agreed to a plan and a budget and can stick to it. If one plan does not work for the two of you, try another. If you can't afford a fee-based financial advisor, don't worry.

How can I save on low income? ›

How We Make Money
  1. Focus on small changes in various budget categories.
  2. Automate your savings into a high-yield savings account.
  3. Earn interest on your checking account.
  4. Use those three-payday months to save more.
  5. Keep a budget.
  6. Shop around for insurance rates.
  7. Refinance your mortgage.
  8. Find a way to save on rent.
Oct 19, 2023

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