Help, my partner is a spender!

Don’t be a statistic. If you and your partner aren’t on the same money wavelength, we’ve got tips to help.

Money can cause stress in relationships, especially if we aren’t in the same money mindset as our other half. In fact, a poll of 2,000 people in the UK showed money was the top reason why married couples split, with a fifth saying most of their arguments were about money.

If you’re a saver and you’ve been dating a spender long enough that money and your future has become important, here are some tips.

Start the conversation

It can be hard work starting money chat with a spender, so proceed with love and caution. Ditch any patronising tone and take things slowly. Be understanding - money and saving can be really difficult for some people. Trying to get your partner to become a saver overnight just won’t work. Start small, with perhaps a podcast or a helpful book, like the Latte Factor or Tales From a Financial Hot Mess.

Set goals together

Setting money goals as a couple can be a great way to help spenders get on board. Things like a first home or a holiday can help spenders motivated. If your spender partner is new to saving, start small.

Does your partner have debt? 

Finding out your partner’s true financial situation is important, so encourage honesty from the start about how much debt, if any, they have. They may be keen on your help to create a plan, or may wish to tackle their debt issues alone. Be kind, they may be embarrassed.

Keep your financial freedom

If your partner is a spender, it may be a good idea to keep your finances separate. Have a joint account for things like rent/mortgage, utilities and food, plus perhaps a joint savings account for things like house furnishings or holidays. This way the main bills are always covered, and you each have freedom with the money you’ve earned. This can also make things significantly easier in the worst-case scenario of a breakup. 

Chill out

If you’re a natural saver, it can be difficult watching your spender partner blow their money every pay cycle. But, if the big things are covered, you may need to learn to chill out. Don’t sweat the small stuff, especially if it’s not impacting your joint goals. 

Know when to quit

Sometimes it can just be too hard for a spender and a saver to have a successful relationship together, especially if it involves addiction, gambling, or trust issues (for example, secret credit card debt). Knowing when to quit is important, as you don’t want your partner’s money issues to impact your own life or, in a worse-case scenario prevent you from something like getting a mortgage. Be honest with yourself about the life you want.

Prenups are key

Prenups, or Contracting Out Agreements, are essential these days. With many relationships and marriages no longer having the 60-year lifespan of many of our older relatives, it’s important you’re protected in a split. When you buy a house, have children, or your relationship becomes legally de facto, seek legal advice.

Are you a Spender? A Saver? Or something else.

Learn about your relationship with money by taking our fun quiz to discover your money personality, and unlock helpful tips to kick-start your progress! Take quiz

Information correct as at 21 December 2020. Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer and manager of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. Click here for our Product Disclosure Statement. Any advice is given by Pie Funds Management Limited, and is general only. It relates only to the specific financial products mentioned and does not account for personal circumstances or financial goals. Please see a financial adviser for tailored advice. You may have to pay product or other fees if you act on any advice. As manager of the Scheme we receive monthly fees that are determined by your balance and whether you are 13 years or over. We will benefit financially if you invest in our products. We manage any conflicts of interest via an internal compliance framework designed to ensure we meet our duties to you. For information about the advice we can provide, our duties and complaint process and how disputes can be resolved, visit All content is correct at time of publication date, unless otherwise indicated. Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Returns can be negative as well as positive and returns over different periods may vary. Please let us know if you would like a hard copy of this disclosure information.