For most people, the desire to save money is the result of many hours of analyzing and thinking about their current situation. It can take many hours, days or weeks to figure out exactly where and why you spend your money.
You might spend time at work, looking at ways to save money, reduce your mortgage or generally cut the cost of living.
In this time you gain intimate knowledge of your spending habits, credit habits, saving habits and in turn start to formulate goals and ambitious targets you want to achieve with your money.
While this is a great thing, the problem lies in that you are likely doing this on your own time, at your own accord – meanwhile you have a partner at home that perhaps doesn’t share the same enthusiasm or hasn’t been taken on this self discovery journey into your personal finances like you have.
This can lead to a bad situation that can often cause fights. You want to get ahead and plan for the future, they however are quite happy to live for the now and remain blissfully unaware of your motivated desire to achieve goals.
You’re a motivated money saver, they aren’t. What do you do?
It’s normal. Like how opposites attract, most couples or relationships have a ying and yang style approach to everything.
Here are some ways to save money when your partner won’t help or doesn’t have the same motivation as you. Basically a guide to show you how to save on your own, for the both of you (does that make sense?).
Focus on the things you can control at home to save money
Quite often we do things to save money at home, like trying to use less water when we shower to help save money. If your partner doesn’t want a bar of it, why not shorten your shower even more to make up for it?
The goal here is to pick up the slack of your partner. Perfect for people who are unable to address the topic of money easily (hey, it’s true, many couples get in huge fights over saving money).
While some of the examples below are not overly creative or sophisticated, I think you get my drift about how you can help make up for the shortfall in savings from your partner by amplifying your own efforts to save money.
Ideas to amplify your savings and pick up your partners shortfall:
- Always turn the lights off when not in use
- Use no lights during day time
- Cook less pasta and make your persona; serving size smaller
- Don’t use as much toilet paper
- Shower for less time
- Shampoo your hair every 3rd or 4th day
- Go without aircon or heating when home alone
- If it’s only you home for a meal, eat supplies from the cupboard
- Try to preempt big purchases, do your research ahead of time for best deal
- Use less toothpaste
- Eat the ends of the bread that no one touches
- Defrost that Lean Cuisine that no one will go near
- Bulk wash clothes to save water by not doing yours until there is a big load
- Got other ideas? Tell us in the comments below.
Lead by example to teach them how to save
Want your partner to turn the lights off each time they leave a room? Lead by example and do the same.
The best thing you can do to change a persons behaviour is lead by example. If money is tight and you feel its only you who is aware of it, find ways to cut back on your own items and tell your partner why.
For instance, you may go to your usual takeaway restaurant. Tell your partner you are going to opt for a cheaper meal to help save money – this directly tells them you are thinking about money and leads by example. Eventually your partner will know to look at the costs of a meal when out and about.
Offer to take on more responsibilities
Don’t like how much your partner pays when doing the grocery shopping? Offer to take this task off them or opt to shop with them. If saving money is important to you, a little extra hard work by taking over some of the bigger financial responsibilities can save you a tonne of money.
Same applies to car insurance and home insurance. Your partner may be happy to simply renew them each year, instead why don’t you offer to look after them and in turn shop around and obtain better more competitive quotes.
Make an expense sheet that lists all expenses, due dates and leftover money
Odds are if you say the word ‘budget’ to your partner, you will have them yawning and thinking ‘here we go again’ as you begin to harp on about the need to save money.
Opt instead to use Excel or Google Docs to print off a spreadsheet of expenses. This will show the set costs you have to pay each month. Next to each item, also put the date it is due or debited from your account.
Print the spreadsheet and place somewhere very visible, like the fridge or inspiration board.
The goal here is to make your partner aware of your growing list of expenses. If they decide that you have enough money to take out a Foxtel plan for $90 a month, you can list it up there and show them the growing list of responsibilities that they to are liable for.
Most people who aren’t interested in saving money are that way because they remain ignorantly in bliss or denial of their actual monthly expenses.
The final say on saving money when your partner won’t help
Don’t expect someone else to have the same goals and ambitions as yourself. While we may think our partners should be 100% on our side when it comes to goals, the reality is we are all different.
Use your motivation to save money to teach your partner what is important to you. Explain to them the reason you are motivated, whether it be to get mortgage free so the both of you don’t have to work in retirement or perhaps you are really struggling and need to make some drastic changes.
It’s all about communication when it comes to goals and saving money. The more you talk and the more you take them on your journey of learning, the more interest they may show in achieving your goals.
Often the best way to change something is to just go for it. It’s like losing weight, it’s not often you both get motivated to get fit at the same time, instead it often takes just one of you to begin the process and it infects the other person with motivation to do the same.