What do you do when you are frugal but your partner is burning through money? One Reddit user feels that their efforts at being frugal are futile since their partner spends the money, and he wanted to know how to talk to them. He turned to other Reddit users to ask for tips on how to deal with such a situation. They had a lot of advice to give. We have sampled some of the best responses here.
Have Separate Accounts
One user urges the OP to have at least 3 accounts to handle their money, “3 accounts. Yours, theirs, and budget. Make a budget for everything x% of each paycheck goes into the budget account (plus an emergency fund). You are both free to do what you want with your own money.”
Another user agrees with this, “If it’s early enough in the relationship, or your partner is laid back enough, try the separate accounts thing. If not, then perhaps try setting a savings goal together—it may give you a chance to pay savings first, creating a smaller pool of $$ for discretionary spending. It may also encourage your partner to rein in spending.”
Read Financial Books
One user urges the OP to read financial books and implement the lessons, “You could try reading “Your Money or Your Life” as a couple and do the exercises. Nothing sobered me up more than knowing my hourly rate and how many hours I had to work for stuff I really didn’t need.”
“What my spouse and I did was settle on an amount of ‘fun money’ that was each of ours a year. He has an account, and I do, too, that we preload in January. Anything just for us is taken out of our own account. We also have rules about what doesn’t come out of the account: joint activities, clothes, and items for the house. It works for us, might help others,” illustrates another user.
Another person agrees, saying, “First of all I don’t think I could be with someone who wasn’t frugal because we’d be fundamentally different. Regardless, if I was in the position, I would maintain separate accounts and establish boundaries.”
Money May Cause Breakups
One user asks the OP to work on this as money could bring breakups, “It’s time to make a change. Money and s** are the top 2 reasons couples fight and break up. If you’re not compatible with money, you’re not a good match. Trust me on this. Married 40 years. My spouse and I are wildly different in a zillion ways but we are 100% completely compatible with money and the vital values that matter the most to us.”
Have Secret Hiding Places
One person going through the same issue tells the OP to look for places to hide his money, “Just want to say that I struggle with this too. I don’t have any advice other than keeping at least one separate account and secret hiding places for emergency money until you get on the same page. Looking forward to reading any suggestions in this post.”
Virtual jars could work as one user explains, “I like mean knee advice. If that doesn’t work, then virtual “jars” that separate food, rent, hydro, etc., once that jar is empty, no more spending in that category, unless you pilfer from, say, entertainment.”
Stop Buying Day-to-Day Items for a Month
One user shared a strategy that seemed to work for her, “Possibly immature and petty, but I’ve just stopped buying day-to-day things almost entirely for a month. Unless I’m going to use it or he explicitly asks me to get it, I don’t buy it. And with meals/fun things, if he suggests it, he pays. I don’t do the check dance anymore.”
Put Money in a Joint Account
Another user offers detailed advice on how joint accounts can help manage a couple’s finances, “We put in 10-30% of each check into the joint. This is solely for the unexpected stuff that happens and for things that benefit us both, like a vacation, since we don’t take those often. If someone wants to take money out of it, we have to talk about it first, and both must agree. Like one year, our house’s water heater and furnace died, and the sewer pipe collapsed, so emergency replacement for that, which cost us more than half our savings. The point is, we had saved up the money, so we didn’t have to worry when that giant bill hit us…”
Keep Track of Each Other’s Account
Keeping track of the other persons’ accounts can help prevent overspending, as one user notes, “Just to add. Also, make sure you both can see each other’s accounts to avoid the whole maxed credit card situation.”
Ask Her To Pay the Bills
When one user asked his wife to pay bills, she started being frugal, “I asked her to take over paying the bills. I think that had the biggest impact. Previously I’d take care of it at all and occasionally have to be the bad guy about purchases, and then we’d argue. But after a few months of paying the bills, she started pushing back on my purchases. Mission accomplished.”
Automate Your Budget
“Have a budget and automate savings/bills. A partner should have a set amount to spend on whatever they want,” urges another user.
Track Your Expenditure
One user shares a trick they used to keep themselves grounded, “I’m the not as frugal one in our marriage. What helped me the most was when we wrote on a calendar what we spent each day and compared the monthly numbers frequently. Making the goal to just spend less each month is a low-pressure way to get your partner on board.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.