Impulsive purchases can upset your budget and have a negative impact on your long term financial goals. If your spouse has this bad habit, we have the cure for it. Keep reading.
Tire of your husband wasting away tons of hard earned money on useless gadgets? Can’t stand the extravagant purchase decisions of your wife? A bad financial habit is not just a recipe for disaster when it comes to money, but it can cause discord and may be even a split in a marriage. If impulsive spending crops up as a bone to pick between a husband and wife, the issue should be handled tactfully, and discreetly.
The first thing you should do is find out your spouse spends impulsively and try to understand the reason behind it. Maybe its lack of financial discipline or maybe the cause of it lies in a more serious issue such as low self-esteem, anxiety or insecurity. Nonetheless, tact is the need of the hour, so here are 5 thoughtful ways to solve the issue of impulsive spending and keep your finances in check-
1. Adopt a gentle rather than accusatory stance
Couples rarely ever talk about money post marriage. That too despite knowing that poor financial habits and a consequent lack of communication about them can spell disaster for their relationship. If you haven’t had the ‘money talk’ with your spouse and discovered that they are indeed an impulsive spender, the natural reaction would be to panic. But that is exactly what you should NOT do. Don’t overreact. Don’t panic. Don’t blame your partner for being irresponsible. If you do any of these, the only thing that’s going to happen is a lot of personal conflict and bitterness.
Irrespective of what triggered the habit, the sensible thing for you to do would be to realize that such a habit is a long-standing one and cannot possibly change overnight. You’ll need to be patient with your partner and come up with a strategy that works to kick this risky habit.
Even as you lay spending ground rules for your spouse, remember that adverse spending habits pose a risk to your financial future as a couple rather than as an individual. Work together like a team to put an end to impulsive spending.
2. Chalk up a budget and financial goals chart with your partner
An easy way to curb the erratic spending patterns of your partner is to create a fixed budget that clearly lays out your financial goals. A plan like this should be as detailed as possible and should focus on the equal involvement of both partners rather than just one of them. It should also be a written plan rather than a verbal one as something that’s put in paper is easier to abide by and reduces the chances of error significantly.
Besides, if you keep a written track of how much money is coming in and how much of it is going out, you’ll find it easier to control the urge of reckless spending. Similarly, setting fixed financial goals will keep you motivated to stick to them. This is also a great way to automate your investments as once you’re done making all the payments after you get your salary, you’ll have a limited amount left to spend.
3. Have both individual and joint bank accounts
Don’t go overboard and become too strict with your partner. Limiting and controlling every dime they spend can lead to frustration. As a result, your partner may get tempted to spend more on the sly, causing the opposite of savings to take place. To prevent this issue from cropping up, each partner should have two bank accounts – an individual account and a joint account. The two of you could use the joint account for common household expenses and use your individual accounts for personal expenses without feeling guilty.
4. Keep a list and cash ready when you shop
To control impulsive spending, it’s important to know exactly what you want and need. Otherwise you may always end up overspending. Might sound clichéd for sure, but the best thing to do in such cases is to leave the house with a list and fixed amount of cash rather than credit cards and no idea what to buy.
If your partner’s spending habits are completely out of control, encourage your spouse to close their credit cards account for good. Also, try to prevent them from shopping online in excess. Always be gentle but firm.
5. Get help from a psychologist or a financial adviser
If you tried it all but to no avail, it might be time to fix an appointment with a professional financial planner. A financial planner may help your partner understand the consequences of impulsive spending in a better manner. You could also head to a psychologist if you feel your partner is overspending due to psychological issue such as low self-esteem or anxiety. A therapist might be able to sort out the issue.