I love you but you're making me broke

Don't Argue About Money

by Hannah Augustine


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Is a loved one spending you into a hole? Talking to a spouse or a child about their spending habits can be difficult. It can also be nearly impossible to get the results you want. However, the alternative is those piling credit card charges that don't fit into the family budget. So how do you get the over-spender in your life to restrain their splurging ways? Give that person more responsibility over their finances. Surprised? You shouldn't be. A big reason why most people overspend is because they never see the cost.

If it's a child that is constantly spending your cash, set an allowance or budget and do not back down. Determine how much you will spend on your child, and at the beginning of each month, give your child that money in cash. Do not allow them free reign over a credit card. This approach gives your child complete control over their cost. If they run out, let them deal with the consequences. This helps to get your child into the habit of spending only what he or she has. If your children want something big, then they will have to learn to save their money and/or get a job. This not only limits your budget in how much you will spend on your children, but also it teaches your children the invaluable skill of knowing how to budget their money.

When it comes to a spouse the same principle can be applied. Decide together what your family budget will pay for (toothpaste, make up, etc.). Next, allocate a set amount for your monthly "blow money." If one person spends more on clothes, shoes or hobbies, you can decide to make these purchases part of blow money. Take that money out of the family budget and give it the spenders. This means that clothes, shoes and hobbies no longer come out of the family budget and each person is responsible for these purchases. If you or your spouse has trouble restricting spending with credit cards, then put the cards away and use cash for your blow money. Spending cash keeps the cost of items a reality.

If your spouse or child is constantly running out of money before the end of the month, you can suggest a one week or two week rule. Tell them to try waiting a week or two before making a purchase. In this way, they will forget about the impulse buys that would only end up in the back of the closet. It will also help them to sort out the things they really want from the things they are just kind of wanting in the moment. Practically, it will help to make their money last longer so that when they come across something they really want or need they will have enough to buy it.

In the days of direct deposit and online bill pay, the cycle of money is hardly seen. One way to stop this disconnect is to create incentives that will allow your spouse or child to see more money. For instance, you can give a percentage of money earned by working extra shifts or hours directly to the person earning it. You can also give extra money for finding savings in the family budget. If you find a way to cut your grocery bill, split the saved dollars between your blow money accounts. You can do the same thing with a child. If they cut back on cell phone charges or other expenses, give them that money back into their monthly allowance. This helps to motivate your child and spouse to find more ways to save.

The key to budgeting success is sticking to your limits. If it's just not working, you may need to adjust the limits. If adjusting limits is not possible, then your spending must change. Eventually, your loved one will learn to live within the spending restriction that you give him/her. This will be incredibly valuable for your children as they grow up and have to learn to live within their means. Also, by giving your loved one control over their spending money, they only have themselves to blame if they run out. Stick to the designated amount and you will get your budget under control.

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