How to Cope with a Spouse Who Spends too Much

It can be very frustrating when you are trying to save money, perhaps to repay a loan, put some money behind you or to save up for a specific purpose but you have a partner who refuses to help. They might try to help but may just end up spending more money than you. This can be extremely irritating and as money can be the source of arguments between many couples, it is wise to make sure that it is handled very carefully. Below are some tips on how to deal with it.

  • Only discuss things when they and you are in good moods – it is very easy to get into a row when you are discussing money and that is why it is really important to make sure that you do it when you are both in the best moods. If either of you lose their temper then it could lead to trouble so try to remain calm and logical. Try not to accuse or blame but just explain how you feel and how you would like things to be and see what they say. It is just as important for you to understand why they are not behaving as you wish as it is for them to understand why you want them to reduce their spending.
  • Keep reminding them why you are being frugal – it is a good idea to have a constant reminder as to why you are being frugal. This is useful to keep you both motivated and so write it down and put it in prominent place, probably more than one place is a good idea. It will remind you both why you need to stick to spending as little as possible and this should help you both. If you do not have to keep reminding your partner of your goal then this should mean that you will not have to risk falling out over it so often.
  • Give them a budget to stick to – if they want to spend money but just seem to overspend, then it can be a good idea to think about giving them a certain amount of money to spend. Having a budget can mean that they feel they have some freedom to spend but it will limit them so they will not spend too much. It may be a compromise as you may rather they did not spend anything more than necessary but it might be the only thing that you can do to keep the both of you happy. It is better than them spending as much as they want and making you cross all of the time.
  • Make it into a competition – it can be fun to make things into a competition. This can only work if you are good humoured and competitive. See how much each of you is able to save each month. It might be that you list items you would have bought but did not or found cheaper versions of or that you count how much money you are each able to transfer into the savings account. You will need to agree on a fair way to do it and it could help both of you to spend less. You could even compete to see who can make extra money by earning extra to your normal jobs.

It can be extremely frustrating when it feels like you are doing all the work to cut back your spending and go without things if your partner is not doing this as well. However, it is important to remember that they might be cutting back a bit and they may find it harder than you. It could be that they are less motivated to do so or that they just find it hard to let go of buying things. It is important to have understanding on both sides and try to work carefully together without blame to sort out the situation. It can be especially hard if they are in debt and you are trying to help them repay it by cutting down yourself. However, understanding that we are all different and find different things easy and hard should help. If they are in debt or have no savings this could be because they find it hard not to spend and so trying to get out of debt will also be very difficult for them. If you continue to struggle then it could be useful to have some debt counselling. This could help both of you to understand each other more and could give you some helpful techniques so that you can achieve your goals more quickly. Of course, it will cost money to pay for the counselling but you could save much more than that if you are able to move forward. It could even mean that your relationship is stronger as a result.

How to Teach Your Child to Save Money

If you have a child or children then you might wonder how you will manage to teach them about finance. There are many things to learn and if we were not taught, we may realise how important it is to teach our children so that they do not make mistakes like we did. However, it is not always that easy to work out how to teach them. Setting a good example by being sensible with money yourself will be a really good start. However, this can be too subtle and so it is wise to do some proactive teaching as well so that you can really show the children all about saving.

From a young age

When they are very young there is still a lot that we can teach them. Buy them a money box and show them how to put their coins in it so that they can save them up. They may not understand their values or what each coin can buy but showing them the pleasure of saving can be a really great start. Open them a bank accounts so that they can pay in larger amounts and get interest on them. Talking to them about savings can be great and explaining that they will get money from the bank as a reward for their money being in there could help them to want to save more.

At primary school

At primary school they will soon learn to count and so you can teach them to count up how much money they have. They will then be able to add up what they have and start to understand how much more they need if they want to buy certain things. They can start to learn about saving up their money to buy more expensive items. You might also want to start giving them pocket money and you might want them to start to save some and spend some. Perhaps you may prefer they save it all or you pay it directly into a savings account for them. Having pocket money will allow you to discuss spending decisions with them. Starting to explain to them about how much you spend for things will help them to start understanding how much it costs to run a household and

At secondary school

Once they get to secondary school, they should have a really good understanding of maths. This is where you can start to show them sales and reductions and interest rates and teach how to calculate them. So, they will be able to calculate how much something will cost if it has a percentage reduction as well as how much interest they might get based on the interest rate. This will help them to understand whether they will benefit from saving or from buying items in a sale. Encouraging them to make sensible spending decisions while they are younger will help as once they enter teenage years they may be more difficult to influence.

Beyond

It is most likely that as they get older they will come to you in order to ask you for money. This will mean that you will have to be careful about what you do for them. You need to think hard about whether you will be prepared to lend them money or perhaps to give them money. By giving them money all you are teaching them is that there is a way to get money if you need it with no repayment necessary. This could mean that they will be careless when spending as they know that you will be there to fall back on. Lending is slightly better as they will know that they will have to repay it. However, you will need to think about whether you feel this is really helping them. You are likely to be cheaper and more flexible than a bank and they may not pay it all off in full before they inherit anyway. It might be that they will learn a better lesson about having to cope with a loan if they borrow it in a conventional way. You may also need the money to pay for a care home or you may wish you had it to pay for holidays or other things through your retirement and it may affect your relationship with them. It can be hard to help your children without being accused of interfering but if they ask for help then this could be a good time to help.

So, you can see that you will need to change your approach as your child gets older. It is wise to start young though as they will get used to the idea of saving money. Then as they get older, they might want to save more because they can see the amount of money that they have grow. It might discourage them from spending their money on sweets and toys that do not last long and encourage them to let it build up so that they can buy something much more significant hen they are older.