They say opposites attract, and in the case of my husband and me, that would be accurate — specifically, when it comes to money. I’m a saver and my husband is a spender. Spenders are often unfairly judged and seen as being reckless with money, while savers are often hailed as money masters. But the reality is that both spenders and savers have their pros and cons, and when they come together, they can help balance each other out.
The struggle my husband and I had early on in our marriage was saving money. Obviously, as a saver, I wanted to save pretty much everything and avoid doing anything that required us to spend. My husband, on the other hand, didn’t see the point in saving money if we could never enjoy it and loved finding great deals on things at the store.
When we finally became serious about becoming debt-free and getting our financial life in order, one of the big obstacles to tackle was building up our savings. Here’s what that looked like.
Quitting the Corporate Grind
My husband was working a corporate job that was basically stealing his soul. He hated every time he had to work, which was pretty much all the time, as the owner believed that if he was paying you, he owned you. My husband desperately wanted to start his own business, but with a family of five to feed, that left all of us feeling anxious.
The reality was that our family and our marriage wasn’t going to survive much longer with my husband being stretched so thin and feeling powerless at work. In an attempt to bring him out of the corporate world and back into the world of entrepreneurship, I calculated exactly what we needed every month to live off of.
It was a bare-bones calculation, but it was all we needed to survive every month financially. I multiplied that number by six and told my husband that if we could save up this amount of money, he could quit his job and start his business without worrying if his family would be able to eat.
The Spender Becomes the Saver
Once my husband saw that he could quit the corporate job, he was all in. He asked what we needed to do to save that money as quickly as possible and we came up with a plan to use “no-spend” months to our advantage. No-spend months (or weeks or days) are when you do just that — you don’t spend on anything but the necessities. We had done a few of these while we were on our debt-free journey, so they weren’t necessarily a new thing to us, but we had never used them to save money, just to pay off debt.
This time, we made a plan to have the money saved in five months, which meant that we needed to do three no-spend months to meet our goal.
More on the No-Spend Month
To say that it’s a challenge to pull off a successful no-spend month is an understatement. That said, it’s completely possible and worth the short-term sacrifice to achieve the long-term goal. In our first month, we managed to save $1,000 towards our goal.
To make a no-spend month successful, you must decide where the extra money that you’re saving is going to go, and as soon as you have that money, move it into your savings account or pay off debt with it.
More on Goal-Setting: How to Set Career and Financial Goals You’ll Actually Achieve
The key to saving money as a couple is figuring out what your goals are for the money saved. Communicate your goals and put them into your plan. You can try a no-spend month or some other plan of action. The point is that you’re doing it together and you’re both excited to reach your goals.
Click through to read more about sisters who are complete financial opposites.
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