The Top Twelve Steps to Take if Your Partner is Overspending
If you or your significant other has an overspending problem, this can put a strain on your relationship. You want to solve this issue before it gets worse, but you’re not sure how to start. This article will walk you through twelve steps you can take to stop overspending. It may require you to work at it, but your relationship is worth it. You may even learn a few things by the end of this process.
Step 1 – Be Honest About Any Spending
The first thing you want to do is approach your significant other in a non-confrontational way. You can start by saying you want to monitor both of your spending habits. This takes the pressure off of one person’s spending and makes it a couple issue versus an individual one. Once you start the conversation, it’ll be easier to broach, and it’ll open communication.
Step 2 – Find Out What is Causing the Overspending
While you’re having this conversation, try to find out what is causing your partner to overspend. There could be an underlying problem you’re not aware of. This is an excellent time to get to the bottom of it. Maybe they have too much free time, or they’re bored or lonely. You can work together as a couple to solve this issue.
Step 3 – Together, Create a Budget
Once you’ve started the conversation, create a budget with your significant other. If you currently have one, it is possibly time to revise and refresh it. Work with your partner to find out what your monthly income is and your debts. The point of this is to get your overspending partner to see how much money is they’re using for ‘luxury’ items. If this is causing you to go into debt, you want to get this point across. It will be easier to do if the proof is in front of them, without you explicitly pointing it out.
Step 4 – Decide How to Control Overspending
This may be one of the trickiest parts of this whole process, but it’s common sense. If you have a partner who can’t go into a store without overspending, you should do the shopping. You could also do the shopping early each month or week, so you have an idea of whats left over. If your partner agrees, bring them along and teach them how to stick to a list. Don’t buy anything extra while you’re shopping.
Step 5 – Avoid Using Credit Cards
If you’re already going into debt, stop using your credit cards until they’re paid off. If the overspender has to pay everything with cash, they might think more before buying. This will also stop you from getting deeper in debt, or at least curb it. Once you spend the money, it’s gone. It’s not like a credit card that you can rack up a balance.
Step 6 – Set Goals
You and your partner need something to work for. A financial goal will help give you something to focus on. Your first goal is to get out of debt. Once you complete this goal, consider setting up an emergency fund. You can also save for retirement or college if you have children. As soon as you complete a goal, have a meeting and set up another. This will help keep you on track.
Step 7 – Consider a Balance Transfer Card
If you’ve set your goals and you realize you need additional help getting out of debt, consider balance transfer cards. If you can pay off your credit card debt into the introductory rate, you’ll save yourself interest fees. Most balance transfer cards have a 12 to 18 month 0 percent annual percentage rate. If may be smart to try and take advantage of this to cut down your overall costs. If you’re not sure on a card, the Chase Slate is an excellent choice.
Step 8 – Hold Monthly Financial Meetings
To keep your partner’s or your spending on track, set a date each month to review your finances. You will be able to discuss and monitor your progress, as well as look for improvements. At first, you will more than likely see regression. However, you should see positive trends as the months go on. This is a learning process, and backsliding is normal. Take this time to encourage and praise one another for a job well done.
Step 9 – Save Some Spending Money
When you’re doing the budget with your partner, save a little spending money. This will be a rough transition, to begin with, and this may help. Make it clear that this is all of the money for the month, and it has to count. Once these funds are gone, there isn’t anymore until the next month. This will go a long way to helping curb overspending. Your partner won’t feel so cut off, and they’re less likely to try and spend behind your back.
Step 10 – Enlist Outside Support
There are outside resources you can join to help you. Debtors Anonymous (DA) can give you and your partner tools to help you transition from overspending. They have a 12-step program you can enroll in. This program also offers support from other people who have been in the same spot. They can provide advice and tricks to help you in a nonjudgmental atmosphere.
Step 11 – Try Financial or Couple’s Counseling
If your partner is resistant to fixing the problem, look into counseling. There is both couple and financial counseling that may be beneficial. These sessions can help find any deeper issue that may be causing your partner to overspend. Start out by attending joint meetings and split into individual ones as time goes on. You have a chance to improve your finances and your relationship at the same time.
Step 12 – Consider Divorce or Separation
If you’re getting deeper into debt and your partner denies anything is wrong, you’re at an impasse. Perhaps you would benefit from more extreme measures. Money disagreements and overspending cause a lot of divorces or friction, and this can act as a wake-up call. If anything, it will get the overspending party seriously looking at what is wrong. They may be more willing to work with you to fix the problem if they know you’re serious. Divorce planning should never be done just to threaten, and it should be a last resort.
This article has talked about twelve steps you can take to curb overspending. You want to be happy and financially secure with your partner. This will be difficult if there is a money problem. Communication is the key to working out your problems.
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