What do you call a person who incurs expenses? Is there a specific word in English?

  • In accountancy he would probably be a cost centre or part of a cost centre. But that doesn't help much. I suppose you could call him a spender.
    – WS2
    Jan 21 '15 at 11:47
  • A liability...
    – user98955
    Jan 21 '15 at 11:58
  • I'm tempted to say "my wife", but that's probably not what you're looking for.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 21 '15 at 13:03
  • @WS2 An 'overhead'?
    – 7caifyi
    Jan 21 '15 at 13:32
  • 1
    @Christopher In accountant's jargon, an 'overhead' is only one category of expense. There are others.
    – WS2
    Jan 21 '15 at 14:23

I think the word you may be looking for is,


  • a person who spends, especially one who habitually spends excessively or lavishly; spendthrift.
  • No! The person paying could well be different to the person incurring the expense, and often is.
    – WS2
    Jan 21 '15 at 11:43
  • The other possibility is SPENDER:a person who spends, especially one who habitually spends excessively.
    – user66974
    Jan 21 '15 at 11:45
  • What if he isn't particularly spending excessively?
    – thexpand
    Jan 21 '15 at 12:54
  • A moderate spender!!
    – user66974
    Jan 21 '15 at 13:01

Why not payer?

One named responsible for paying a bill or note. American Heritage

Similar, but more formal sounding is remunerator. Merriam-Webster defines remunerate as

to pay an equivalent to for a service, loss, or expense


One possibility is that you're going for "creditor"/"obligee" -- who pays for something on your behalf and whom you now owe (you're the "debtor"/obligor"). This could be, for example, your credit card company, or "Joe, buy me those M&Ms and I'll pay you back". Not sure if this is the sense you mean.


The right word I was looking for is:

expender - someone who spends money to purchase goods or services (Click here for reference)


You could refer to such a person as a *backer" - * i.e., it is their money that is being spent.

Colloquially, there is also the expression "Sugar Daddy" (or "Mama) for an older person who takes on all the expenses of a younger lover. This can also sometimes be used figuratively (although it's kind of disrespectful) in business.

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