Overspending is a common problem that can wreak havoc on a family’s finances. Studies have shown that the average consumer spends $7,400 more per year than they budgeted. That’s why American consumers carry a combined $1.1 trillion in credit card debt.
Even if you’ve gotten your own spending habits under control, your spouse may not be on the same page. If your wife overspends on clothes and hobbies, it can be difficult if not impossible to achieve milestones like buying a home or retiring. How do you get on the same wavelength so you can escape the debt cycle and start building wealth together? Here are some tips to help control your wife’s spending habits and get back on track.
7 Tips to Help Control Your Wife’s Spending Habits
Don’t Judge Your Wife’s Spending Habits
If you’re a frugal person, it can be hard not to judge your wife for overspending on clothes and shoes. However, it’s important not to make her feel bad about her spending habits and how they differ from yours. Getting angry at your wife will only lead to fights and prevent you from making financial progress as a team.
Create Shared Goals
Saying no to impulse purchases is easier when you know what you’re saving for and working toward. Creating shared goals with your wife like buying a home or retiring early will make it easier for her to stick to the family budget.
Look at Your Bank Statements Together
It’s possible that your wife might not realize how much she’s spending. Getting a coffee from Starbucks a few times a week doesn’t seem like a big deal. After all, a cappuccino only costs $4 or $5. But those small expenses can really add up over time. If you show her how much her spending habits cost the family per month or per year, she’ll probably start cutting back.
Find Frugal Solutions to Change Your Wife’s Spending Habits
Now that you know what your wife is overspending on, you can help her find frugal ways to meet the same need. If your wife loves foamy lattes, you can buy her a milk frother for $40 so she can make her own drinks at home. If she likes to shop for new clothes, encourage her to swap clothing with friends or shop secondhand to reduce her spending while still having fun. Frugality doesn’t mean deprivation, and once your wife sees that, it will be easier for her to change her spending habits.
Set a Fun Money Budget
Another strategy to control your wife’s spending habits is to set a fun money budget together. Every month you’ll each get a certain amount of cash you can spend on whatever you want. But once it’s gone, you can’t buy any nonessentials until next month.
Switch to Debit Cards
If your wife has been running up a big balance on your shared credit cards, it may be helpful to switch to debit cards. You can open separate accounts for bills, savings, and everyday spending so your wife doesn’t buy more than you can afford and get into debt.
Get Professional Help
If none of these budgeting tips work, it may be time to seek professional help. Seeing a therapist can help you improve your communication so you can find a good financial compromise that works for both of you.
It may also be helpful to talk to a financial planner so your wife can see how her spending habits are affecting your family’s future. Hearing from a professional that she’s jeopardizing your retirement or children’s college fund with her purchases may make her change her ways.
Money is the number one cause of stress in relationships. So if you and your spouse are struggling to find common ground when it comes to your finances, you’re not alone. Hopefully these tips will help you cut back on spending together so you can get in good financial standing.
How do you and your partner handle your finances? Let us know in the comments section below!
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