I spend my money differently than Hubby. Where I like to buy clothes and drinks with friends, he prefers electronics and computer hardware. You spent HOW much on a gizmo that backs up our computer drives? Oh my!
We spend differently and we don’t always spend the same amount of money, which is where it gets tricky. So how does a couple reconcile spending habits?
My friend is currently wrestling with this challenge. She is making changes in her life to spend less, but her spouse has developed hard-to-break spendy habits. He enjoys buying a morning muffin and coffee – and he’s known to return for a cookie and more coffee in the afternoon. Problem is his habit adds up to $200 a month, or $2,400 a year. Then there are the parking tickets because he forgets to put money in the meter. And so on.
So she showed him the money. She added up his spendy habits by month, multiplied by 12, and showed him the awful annual truth. He was piddling away their children’s education, their family home, and their retirement on Starbucks and fines.
He countered that he wants to enjoy his life, a legitimate feeling. If he wanted to live like a monk he’d join a monastery!
My solution is to find ways to enjoy each day without risking your financial future. In other words, compromise.
Not very sexy. But very savvy.
Instead of cutting out splurges entirely, reduce. Focus on making slow and steady progress – say 10-15 percent less spending per month – so that you can adjust your lifestyle in ways that will stick. Drink coffee instead of a latte. Forego the muffin. And always put one extra quarter into the meter.
Talk about your financial goals and keep them front and center. Latte now? Or private school later? Hmmmm…
You might also consider going back to basics and have a serious money talk with your partner/spouse. Free From Broke lists 10 important things to discuss.