I have always been a saver. However, my wife spends money like she is competing in the Olympics. Can you help me tell my wife she needs to control her spending?
Queens Village, Queens
First, how brave of you to write! My hat is off to you. Brian, in most couples, there needs to be a financial understanding from the get-go in order for financial concerns to be minimized.
The conversation needs to happen now that the concern has risen. Without any accusations, there needs to be an explanation of your concerns and it should sound like, “Honey, I need to talk to you about something that I feel concerned about and I really need your advice. I have become accustomed to saving for a rainy day and our expenses are making me feel that if there should be a rainy day tomorrow, we will not be able to afford the lifestyle we are accustomed to. What do you think?”
Now, Brian, here is the crucial part. Don’t say anything, let her talk, and even if you feel at any moment that you are going to burst because your mind tells you to speak, don’t. Wait.
Now, the answer may come to her in a few minutes after she has talked it out. Also, she may admit to over-spending. If she loves you and cares about you, her response will be understanding and forthcoming and willing to help ease your concern by finding a solution or a middle ground that makes you both happy.
If she is a selfish person, the answer may be that you make enough and that you have let this go on for a while and why should she compromise. If she needs more explanation, then at least you know now she is open to finding a solution and you can bring up her spending habit.
If all fails, it is up to you to take control and offer a monthly spending limit so that you are still the generous guy you’ve always been and the provider, keeping the family financial affairs intact. Hope all goes well
All for the best,