Help! I’m a saver and my partner is a spender … How are we ever going to get ahead?
In many couples it’s not uncommon for one person to be great at saving, and for the other to be a ‘spender’. The only way to truly get ahead financially, is to get in synch. Here’s how.
“You need to think of yourselves as a pair of draught horses, yoked together in a harness, with your ‘life cart’ behind you. If one of you is pulling your cart with all of your strength and the other is standing still, you are not going to get anywhere. If one of you is pulling in one direction and the other one is pulling in the opposite direction, your little cart is going to be split down the middle. Draught horses work together, using each other’s strengths to pull the cart down the road!”
Julie Nipperess grew up on a farm and it’s these types of analogies she uses to paint a picture for her clients about the importance of working together.
Use each other’s strengths
“So many couples are made up of one person who saves, and another who tends to spend. My goal is to get both people to commit to mutual goals first, and then commit to working together to achieve them,” says Julie.
“In some cases, old spending habits are hard to break. In some cases, people don’t even realise how much they’re spending. In other cases, it’s just a matter of getting both people to understand some simple strategies,” says Julie.
The latter was the case with Anna and Geoff. When the couple first met with Julie, Anna was the spender in the relationship.
“My wife Anna didn’t really understand our finances, but Julie is so great at putting things into plain language, she helped Anna to understand simple things we could do to save more, without really impacting the life we have – we still enjoy dinner out sometimes and the odd takeaway, and Anna still occasionally splurges on things she wants, but we have better control of our day-to-day spending.” says Geoff.
“Before, I would just shake my head at the credit card bill, but now Anna knows what we’re trying to achieve and she’s actually really great at sticking to the budget. She’s now motivated to see how much we can save. Because Anna has always been keen to shop, she really knows the value of things, so she’s great at hunting around for bargain prices online or negotiating the best price if something we intend to buy is on sale. Her skills are actually helping us get ahead.”
Understand what you earn, and what you spend.
I have my clients sit down and do a fairly thorough budget, and then they can easily see where they’re ‘leaking’ money,” says Julie. “Daily coffees, lunches, trashy mags, chocolate bars…. All the little things add up.”
But Julie is also quick to stress that while a planner will help you identify savings and then recommend how to put those savings to good use in your superannuation or other investments, the goal is not to live life sacrificing everything you enjoy.
“Life is about balance. It is important to know where your money is going, and to be mindful of your spending, but it doesn’t mean you now have to sit at home doing the knitting like your grannie because you have been to see Julie Nipperess”
Small changes, big impact
“Buy a mag a month, just not one a week – you can also get a lot of celebrity news free online,” says Julie. Start taking a packed lunch to work – instead of nipping out at lunch time to the café. You must also take into consideration your big outgoings too – review your mortgage to make sure you’ve got the best interest rate possible, sort out personal insurances. A financial planner will help you devise a strategy that will keep you on track to achieve your personal goals – whether they’re short term or long term. Everyone is different – and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ plan. The role of a financial planner is to make sure you’re maximising your finances to the best advantage.”
Get smart about spending
An Aussie millionaire and property mogul made headlines earlier in the year telling millennials that if they stopped having ‘smashed avocado’ at cafes they’d have a better chance of saving for their first home.
“I agree, says Julie. “As much as it’s nice to catch up with your mates at the local, go and have a coffee, and make your smashed avo at home. Trust me, it’s going to taste so much better when you’re sitting eating it in your own home, or in a café on holiday. Getting ahead financially is all about having a goal, and a plan to get there.”
This is general advice and should not be treated as personal advice. Julie Nipperess is an authorised representative of MoneyLink Financial Planning Pty Ltd ASFL No: 247360.
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