Money Problems: My Spouse Won’t Stop Spending!
If you are the kind of person who’s budget conscious and likes to save money, being married to a spendthrift spouse is probably your worst nightmare. Overspending can ruin the household budget and cause money problems as well as relationship issues.
Marital problems that are caused by money are some of the hardest to resolve and one of the main causes of divorce. This is because for most of us, our relationship with money is a direct result of our upbringing.
Therefore, when you and your spouse argue about money, you’re not just debating the issue at hand. You’re also voicing your fears about money and subconsciously dredging up your spouse’s fears. For this reason, bringing up a spouse’s overspending requires a lot of tact.
Bringing Up the Issue
The worst way to begin a conversation about your spouse’s overspending is to point out their faults and accuse them of wrongdoing. Doing so drives a wedge between the two of you and makes it harder for you to talk about your money problems.
A better way to start the conversation is to tell your spouse your biggest fear about money and that you worry that that fear will come true if the two of you don’t start monitoring your spending habits. This approach automatically shifts the conversation from finger pointing to compassion, and drives home the point that you’re a team.
Setting Up a Budget and a Savings Plan
If you don’t already have a budget, you need to come up with one together; if you already have one, you need to revisit and revise it, because it is clearly not working. The two of you should work together to figure out what your total income is, what your expenses are and how much you need to save. Hopefully, your spouse will have an aha moment and realize just how much their overspending is affecting your finances, and the two of you can come up with a budget and savings plan that is suitable for both of you.
Getting Your Spouse to Stick to the Budget
Just because your spouse sees the error of their ways doesn’t mean they will stick to the budget. You need to figure out a way to ensure that you both control your spending.
The first thing you can do is to open a savings account that is separate from your checking accounts and a lot more difficult to access. The second step is to set up automatic deductions from your checking accounts into the savings account. This way, you have no choice but to save.
Another neat trick is to introduce an “allowance system” where both of you get a set amount of spending money every month. Once you run out of cash, you have to wait until the next month.
Telling your spouse that his/her spending habits are causing you money problems is hard to do. However, with the above tips, you can approach the issue tactfully and come out of the conversation with a budget and a savings plan that the two of you are comfortable with.