Wife’s Spending Out of Control
  • | October 5, 2016
Is your wife's spending habit becoming unmanageable? Does she spend money on unnecessary items or even spend money that she doesn't have? If your wife can’t get her hands on cash without immediately spending the funds and you're both in debt, there is obviously a problem there. The question here is: How can you effectively handle this situation without sabotaging your relationship?

Here are some tips that will help you address this problem in a healthy way and restore your financial security:

  1. Don’t go negative. It’s easy to get angry, complain, or even start fights to try to control your wife's binge spending, but this is not the best approach. If you keep blaming her without coming up with a plan to address the problem, this will have an obvious negative impact on the relationship. Instead, have a calm, rational talk about your mutual spending habits, addressing the issue as a team. Your goal should be to express your worries and offer suggestions for potential improvements without making her feel badly about herself.

  2. Create a budget. If you don’t have a joint budget showing the spending habits of both yourself and your wife, now is the time to make one. Talk about your vital expenses, and set a budget that fits your joint income and expense needs. Be as detailed as possible, and be sure to prioritize your primary expenses like food, water, and electricity bills. Set a maximum allotted amount for each section, and keep your budget in a location where you can both access it. Allow it to serve as a reminder of your budgeting limits.

  3. Encourage your wife to save. The good old-fashioned piggy bank just might do the trick here. Put at least two piggy banks in your home, and encourage her saving by filling the piggy banks with leftover change or cash from your wallet or pockets. You can also make a savings plan together to save your money in a bank account for something big, like a trip to Hawaii. Give your wife reasons for saving, and she'll be more likely to put it into practice.
  4. Cancel out her regular credit cards and switch to prepaid ones. When she has access to regular credit cards, it may be hard for her to resist her shopping binges. Credit card debt will easily accumulate over time, leaving both of you in a very vulnerable position. You can’t cancel the cards, of course, without her permission, so it will be time for a conversation. Kindly suggest she cancel the cards herself, and offer to help her get new prepaid ones. Prepaid cards can be loaded with certain small to medium amounts (usually below $1000), and she can only spend the amount already loaded on the card. Using prepaid cards, your wife can spend a small amount of money if she wishes without crossing the limit.

  5. Consider visiting a counselor as a last resort. If everything else has failed, it may be a smart idea for you to visit a counselor together. A counselor in this situation can help find the root cause behind your wife's excessive spending habits and offer guidance on how to deal with the issue. If an experienced counselor can identify your wife's reason for overspending, it will be much easier for your wife to control her spending impulses.

Dangerous spending habits can lead you and your wife into troublesome financial territory. Massive debt is a tough thing to recover from, and the stress of trying to do so may cause irreparable damage to your marriage. Remember that you and your wife are a team, and together, you can address these issues before they spiral into long-term problems.

Good luck!