How can you talk to a spouse who often spends over budget?

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Here are ways to encourage a spouse who lives beyond their means to be more money savvy

In this day and age, every peso counts. Even if you are well-off, having the right spending habits helps provide security and stability to your growing family. It is vital for couples, who want to give their kids a comfortable life, to become money savvy.

But what if one of you has the habit of spending too much, or living beyond your means? The responsibility of handling money well should not just fall on just one person. Here are some things to consider when you communicate with your overspending spouse to encourage them to become more practical.

Acknowledge their motivation

To communicate efficiently, you must approach your spouse with love. Do not make them feel judged for their spending habits. Talk to them honestly about your concerns, but make sure to phrase it in a way that reassures them that you want what's best for you both and your growing family. For instance, when your spouse makes a impulsive purchase, do not make them feel bad about it. Instead, talk to them about what expensive purchases could spend money on in the future if you start saving today.

Inspire them to be future-centric

Instant gratification as well as a dependence on "retail therapy" can drive most people to splurge (usually after a particularly difficult day). Help them shift their focus from the immediate to the long-term. It's all about perspective.

It would help to jot down all of your financial goals and talk about them together. Not only will this help you communicate your own desires, it could also give you a clearer insight as to why your partner has developed certain spending habits.

photo: dreamstime

Make saving fun and creative

Saving does not have to be tedious and boring. You can come up with your own creative way of pooling and growing your money together.

For example, use colorful envelopes to separate cash, assigning colors for different expenses. Use a to-do list and use stickers to mark what bill you've paid. You can also log how much you have saved to inspire you to add more.

Encourage them to indulge once in a while

Your spouse might find that sticking to a specific budget can be very limiting, so it's best to balance things out. Saving does not mean depriving yourself, it means knowing the difference between needs and wants and spending accordingly.

Stick to your goals

Be strict with one another. Once you've set the rules and have decided on a realistic budget together, keep each other in check. For instance, important not to be overly dependent on a credit card. Make sure to use these for emergency purposes only.

Accept that there will be times when your partner will overspend because habits do not change over night. The important thing is to keep at it together. Pretty soon, practicality will become second nature.

Check in consistently

Having financial meetings can help you both grow more money savvy. Discuss difficulties as well as triumphs. Talk about what you want to purchase someday and what you want to be able to afford and plan your budget around this. Map out how much you have to save to achieve certain life goals---travelling, buying a house, or sending the kids to a certain school, for instance.

Remember the key is to "live less than you earn." With healthy spending habits, you do not have to be raking in millions year after year to provide a comfortable and prosperous life for your family.

sources: Bustle.com, MoneyCrashers.com, FocusontheFamily.com

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