I can't get my mate to stop spending money! How can I put my foot down?
How serious is the situation? If your spouse is a compulsive spender, they need professional help. But if they simply spend frivolously, you can make changes together. Offer to be a shopping buddy and help figure out ways to avoid unnecessary splurges, whether they're drawn to tech gadgets or clothes. Also track both of your spending habits, big and small, for a few weeks (also a sign of solidarity). Your spouse may not realize how hard they're hitting the bank account until the numbers start adding up.
If none of those things work, it may be time to divide and conquer. Open one bank account for your spouse, another for you, and a third that's joint. Put enough in the joint account to satisfy all of your household expenses and joint savings needs, then divvy up the rest. The idea is to give your partner only as much discretionary cash as they can blow through without dragging your family finances into the gutter.
Nestpert Jean Chatzky is a money coach, financial editor for the Today show, and author of of five books
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