In a perfect world, you and your spouse would have the exact same habits and ideals when it comes to spending and saving money. However, this is not a perfect world and so if you fell in love with someone who spends money freely, and you tend to be a saver, you are not the only one. It can be incredibly frustrating knowing that while you work hard to save your money, your spouse is off buying the latest accessory or gadget. However, the good news is that there are several ways you can get a handle on an unfrugal spouse so that you do not have to lose anymore sleep over their overspending. Altering the spending habits of your spouse may seem like too big a task to handle. However, by following these tips, you can minimize the intimidating factor of reigning in your partner’s splurging.
Talk to Your Spouse with Love
Don’t start a conversation with your spouse by pointing out all of their faults or accusing them of overspending. Even if their behavior makes you angry, doing so will only drive you two apart and make it trickier to properly communicate. Instead, delicately bring up the topic of your spouse’s spending habits. For instance, you may want to suggest watching your spending as a couple to begin the conversation. You could also mention that you would like to start saving for something big like a house or retirement. Make sure that your spouse knows you want to be a team in regards to your finances.
Get Rid of Credit Cards
Convince your spouse to put away their credit card and use cash instead to make all of their purchases. Often, you will find that over spenders tend to not think about credit as real money, and so they do not think about what happens when they run up their credit card until they get their bill. Talk to your spouse about becoming a debit-only family so that you can only spend money that you have. You may just find that his or her spending goes way down once he or she no longer feels they are not spending “real money.”
Create a Budget
If you and your spouse have not yet created a budget, then now is a better time than ever to create one together as it can help to reign in his or her spending habits. On the other hand, if you do already have one, then it may be a good time to look it over and possibly revise it. Sit down with your unfrugal spouse to determine what your combined income is and how much your expense are. If you show your wife or husband how their frivolous spending is driving your family into debt, they may be willing to get on the right spending track.
Create Goals That Are Realistic
Once you have had a heart to heart with your spouse and have created a budget, it is time to think about your financial goals in the long-term. In order to stick to your budget and work towards something, creating a long-term goal will keep both of you motivated to save instead of spend. If your family is currently in debt, then a good place to start is to establish a goal to get out of debt. Once you have done that, create a goal to build an emergency fund, save for retirement, etc.
Figure Out a Way for Your Spouse to Control Spending
If you are able to get your spouse to see that they have been overspending, then that is only the half it, as you must then also help them to get control of their spending habits. One means of doing this is to allocate a certain amount of spending money for both of you each week. It’s a good idea to put these funds into an envelope so that once you run out, you run out.