Relationship spending style: SPENDER + SPENDER

The plan Budget spending into costs the way you might fixed expenses, like rent, food and savings, says financial planner Karen Collacutt, certified financial planner and CEO of ProsperologyU. As long as you don’t exceed the amount you’ve allocated (either to a joint spending budget or two separate ones), you can buy whatever you want—whether it’s a coffee a day or a big-ticket item, like that Beyoncé tour merch.

Why it works It makes spenders feel like they aren’t depriving themselves, says Collacutt. “Spenders don’t necessarily have to spend a lot—they just need to have money that’s free for them to do what they want with.”

Pro tip If you’re apt to retail spiral, nominate an accountability friend—someone you can call when you’re about to go overboard.



Relationship spending style:  SAVER + SPENDER

The plan Set up automatic withdrawals for the important stuff, like savings and debt repayment. (This is good advice for all of us.) The spender won’t even notice, and the saver will be satisfied knowing that a predetermined amount is being socked away. Then pick a short-term savings goal to work toward together—like your dream vacation to Paris.

Why it works Spenders like instant gratification, but if they know they’re saving for something fun and exciting in the near future (i.e., not retirement), they are more likely to keep their credit cards in their Fendi wallets.

Pro tip Savers, sometimes ignorance is bliss. Do you really need to know how much your spouse spent on hockey tickets if he’s staying within his budget? If your partner does go over, says Wealthsimple’s Dave Nugent, a gentle reminder about the consequences is best: “Say something like ‘This purchase is affecting our ability to buy the house we want. We need to either make more money or stop spending.’”



Relationship spending style:  SAVER + SAVER

The plan Reward yourself for saving. Did you manage to put aside $15,000 for an epic trip to Greece? Treat yourself to dinner out.

Why it works Because you are not a robot. Your inner saver needs to be celebrated and acknowledged to motivate you to save more.

Pro tip Meet with a certified financial planner, who can help you make the most of your investments. A fee-for-service CFP is a great intro adviser, says Nugent, because he or she will charge you for a one-time session rather than sell you investments that you might not want.


This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Elle Canada.