Managing Finances: Dealing with a Spendthrift Partner

Managing finances can sometimes seem like a difficult task. This difficulty is sometimes compounded when you have to deal with a partner that likes to spend money. Here are a few tips for managing your finances when you have to live with someone that does not like to save.

Help Them Want to Save

When trying to implement a budget with a partner, it can often feel like you're trying to impose your will upon them. If the partner does not see how saving can benefit them, then they are unlikely to go through with the plan. They will be much more likely to help you save if you can show them what is in it for them. Talk to them about what they want. Find out their hopes and dreams. If you can agree upon a common goal, it will be much easier to get them to work with you. For example, show them that if you save a certain amount of money each month, you can take a great vacation. Anything that they can visualize will help this process. Talk to them in terms of end results and it will help justify short-term sacrifices.


Another strategy that you could utilize is giving them and allowance. If you are in charge of the money, you can provide them with a certain amount of money each pay period. Let them know that they are free to use the money as they wish. However, once the money runs out, there will not be any more available until the next payday. This may take some convincing in order to get them to agree to this plan. However, if you are both working towards a common goal, and they understand that they have problems controlling money, they will be more likely to agree. This also provides them with a certain amount of freedom in their spending. When we do not allow our partner to spend any money, they will often get discouraged. Giving them a certain amount of money each pay period will keep their spirits up and make it much more likely for them to follow through.

Handle the Shopping

Another problem that couples often have is they allow the person that spends the most money to do all the shopping. If one partner is not good at handling money, they should not be the ones left in charge of all the shopping. Many times, the person that is in charge of the money will not go along on a shopping trip. If you want to make sure that your budget is adhered to, you need to be there to oversee the process. Otherwise, the person is not good at handling money will feel tempted to make extra purchases along the way. At the end of the shopping trip, the bill will be quite a bit higher than it should be. Each person in the couple should focus on their strengths and what they bring to the relationship. This can help you stick to the budget and avoid personal problems along the way.

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