Friday, December 5, 2008

Yin vs. Yang or Saver vs. Spender

Often relationships are composed of one person more inclined to spend and the other person more inclined to save. Sometimes the difference between the "spender" and the "saver" are vast, while other times, the difference is subtle. Even the categorization of who is the "spender" and who is the "saver" may switch depending on the scenario. However, any difference in personal finances has the potential to cause some degree of conflict.

Having these differences does not have to be an all out battle call, though. Despite being opposing energies, yin and yang are naturally complementary. So, too, can it be with the saver and the spender when they come together in a relationship. A better, more balanced partnership can result.

To spend. To save. Those are two essentials of modern day life. Actually, those two concepts have been a component of life, spanning the stretch of time. Today we usually think of these verbs in terms of money. But energy and time are also things that can be spent or saved. One can choose to conserve or expend energy, which is closely tied to how one selects what activities they devote their time to. There have always been these options in life when one really thinks about what "spending" and "saving" means. And when viewing these verbs from a broad scope, one can see that each act is important. Each act is needed to sustain life. And that each act has its own place and importance in living.

When we jump back to saving and spending in relation to money, we can likewise see that only saving or only spending really makes no sense. You can't really live life being on the extreme of either end. A balanced life requires a thoughtful approach to saving and a thoughtful approach to spending.

In the rare case that the "saver" in the relationship hoards money to an unnatural degree and the "spender" is spending money with reckless abandon, finding a healthy balance will be more of a challenge, but nonetheless, not impossible to merge. Working as a unit, this pairing can create a more natural, balanced approach by helping each other step outside of their normal relationship to money so as to find a more healthy way to deal with their financial life.

Luckily, most couples that differ on the financial spectrum don't approach money in such a contrasting way that they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. And since most couples come together in the hopes of creating a healthy, joyful, responsible, and purposeful life, obtaining a general conscious on financial matters does not have to be approached as a battle between opposites. Spending and saving are both components of creating such a life together, so recognizing the importance of each element in money management can go a long way in coming together as a team regarding finances.

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