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5 Practical Steps To Take When Married To A Spendthrift

Are you working hard, and penny pinching to get by, while your spouse overspends?  If this is the status of your marriage, you are not alone.  Studies have shown that financial differences are the number one cause of divorce and marital disagreement.  I’ve researched some tips on how to deal with a spouse who spends too much money.  I hope this may help some couples out there dealing with this common problem.

Approach Your Spouse Kindly

If it’s time to bring up the subject of overspending to your spouse, it will be to both of your advantages to doing it kindly.  Harsh words won’t get you anywhere.  Instead try to emphasize with your spouse, by trying to see why he or she needs to have so much.  If you ask why he needs two memberships to separate gyms, or why she has to have two different colors of the same shirt, be prepared to listen to their response.  If you ask a question, give that person the time to respond.  Try to come up with a solution rather than scold the overspending spouse.  Most likely he will respond more favorably if he feels he has a say in the matter, rather than being disciplined.  Always show kindness and never use a harsh tone or name call.

Make A Budget

If you are spending more than you are making, you will be in debt.  It’s as simple as that.  What’s not so simple as deciding where you are spending too much and what needs to be cut.  It’s even harder when there are two people involved.  What may not be important to one person, may be very important to another.  This is where a budget comes in.

When making a budget, I’ve put together some sample categories.  Make yours unique to fit your situation.  However, most budgets do contain most or all of these categories.

  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Vehicle Payments and upkeep
  • Savings
  • Healthcare
  • Groceries
  • Memberships
  • Entertainment
  • Eating Out
  • College Loans

While it may be hard to agree upon what is important and where you need to make cuts, it will be better to talk about a budget and come to some agreements, rather than argue about how you are going to pay for a maxed out credit card.

Get A Second Job

If you simply have more wants than you can pay for, one or both the husband and wife may want to consider a second job.  More income flowing in, will give you the cash flow to pay bills and get more of what you need and want in life.

Change Jobs

Are you being paid enough at your job to support the level of life that you want to live?   If the answer is a definite no, you may want to start looking for a position that pays more.  This may or may not involve a change of career.

Ask For A Raise

When was the last time that you had a raise?  If you can’t remember back that far, it may be time to bite the bullet and ask your boss for a raise.  Before asking though, make sure that you can show why you are deserving of a raise.


I’ve gone through some ways to deal with a spouse that overspends.  Remember to show kindness and patience when approaching your spouse over this issue.  Also, pause to let them respond without lashing back.  Never yell or say something that you will later regret.  Try to be proactive and come up with solutions.  One solution is to come up with a family budget.  I’ve given some sample budget categories in this article.  If you simply don’t make enough as a couple to keep up with your bills and wants, then it may be time to change jobs or ask for a raise. Good luck and happy money saving!

Check out our couple’s finance guide resource for even more tips!

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