How to Prevent Your Spouse From Overspending

How to Prevent Your Spouse From Overspending
One of the biggest issues many couples face is reconciling disparate spending habits. Some people feel that money is made to be spent. They adopt a laissez faire, you-can’t-take-it-with-you attitude and use every red cent for entertainment.

Others are savers. They want to make sure not only that all the bills are paid in full and on time each month, but also that additional funds go into retirement accounts, college funds, and rainy day savings so that the household is always prepared. Coming to terms with a spouse that overspends when you’re the responsible type can present a major challenge, especially if the other party seems unable or unwilling to change.

However, nobody said that marriage was going to be easy, and this is a difficulty you’ll have to overcome together if you want to make your marriage work. Here are a few tips to prevent your spouse from overspending.

Communicate Openly

There are few marital problems you cannot overcome if you can sit and talk them over like adults. The unfortunate truth of the matter, though, is that people tend to become very defensive when criticized about their spending habits. If this is the case, you might need to speak with a counselor or perhaps a financial planner as a couple in order to reconcile your issues and get on the same page where your finances are concerned.

Take a Finance Class

Sadly, most people receive no formal education where finance is concerned. Unless you happen to be a business or finance major in college, you’ve likely never taken a finance class in your life. This is a tragedy considering that all adults should know how to create a budget, balance a ledger, and set up and manage retirement accounts, an investment portfolio, and other necessary financial accounts. That said, it’s never too late to start. If your spouse simply can’t wrap his/her head around financial matters, enroll in a beginning finance class or go over the basics with your financial planner.

Set Aside Fun Money

If you are living within your means, you should have some money left after you pay your monthly bills. Some of this should go toward savings and retirement accounts, but you might want to try to curb spousal overspending by creating a fund specifically devoted to fun. Whether your spouse likes to buy drinks for buddies after work or spend frivolously on clothing and shoes, this money can be set aside for just such purposes. When it’s gone, your significant other will have to wait until the next paycheck to get more fun money.

Limit Access to Funds

If finance classes, budget forms, and frugal living tips simply aren’t resonating with your spouse, and your pleas to curb spending have fallen on deaf ears, it might be time to wrest control of finances away from your other half. If your spouse simply can’t handle money responsibly, you’ll have to take over household income, bill paying, and overall money management, providing your spouse with an allowance. This is definitely a last resort, since it puts you in a terrible position, but if your partner can’t act in a responsible manner, the two of you must agree to such an arrangement to preserve the household.

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