24 - 599 - 6 months ago

How do you deal with spending issues when she is in complete denial about it, to the point of bankruptcy?

Matthieu - 36yo - level 14

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Answer from Dr. Lonnie Barbach

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If your partner has not been educated when it comes to budgeting and money management, I would advise that you seek the services of a financial consultant to help you create a budget as a way of getting you both out of any power struggle you may be having over how your joint money should be spent. Then, except for those bills that are regularly paid by check, put cash into envelopes for each of the budgetary areas at the beginning of the month: one envelope for food, one for clothing, one for household purchases, etc. Spending by credit card and check can make the concept of money management too abstract. Having the actual paper money right there where it can be counted makes the whole process much more concrete and understandable. You are always aware of how much money is left in each of the envelopes. It is likely to take your partner a couple of months to get used to the new system, but my guess is that she will become much better at money management within that time.

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6 months ago

I have a shopping addiction, related to thrift shopping and clothes. If she's sensitive about dealing with it right now I would suggest something called You Need a Budget (YNAB), you can enter things manually or hook it up to the bank account, agree to track both of your spending for a month, then go over the numbers so you can SEE exactly how much your both spending and on what, I use a cash budget, take charge of the money at first, give a certain amount of cash to her so she can start working in healthy spending habits, but once your out of money you can't just swipe a card right, I've found I loose track of what I'm spending when I use credit or debit. You might even see things that you spend a lot of money on that you don't notice, but most importantly, don't let money divide you, let it unite you, don't just take the power away from her and tell her she's wrong and you're right, work together to build some financial stability for both of you. Hope that helps

Catherine - 33yo - level 12 -
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6 months ago

Write down a budget and describe the expenses. Break everything down and list what you cannlive withouth or didn't need to buy as "superfluous" and show her the figures.
Don't blame it on her though, maybe shop therapy is her way of dealing with stress or other issues that could be related, or not, to your relationship. Have a discussion on how you both can decrease expending with unnecessary items.
My partner controls the budget and we both discuss what and how we are going to spend the money and how much each will contribute to the budget.

Also, try and understand why she's expending so much and what's causing it. Offer support and listen if and when she wants to talk about it.

Fernando - 38yo - level 26 -
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6 months ago

Separate accounts works best for me, plus an account for joint bills. Approach the topic in a loving but firm manner. If she doesn't work, make an account for her giving her a set amount of spending money each pay period.
Blessings!
Tonya

Tonya - 46yo - level 10 -
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6 months ago

Separate your finances if combined. Suggest therapy.

Elias - 21yo - level 12 -
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6 months ago

separate accounts

Austin - 17yo - level 13 -
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6 months ago

Take spending ability away from her. Off the accts, no atm card, etc, until she understands the impact it’s having. Then work together and have purchased be permission based, until she regains your trust.

Alan - 53yo - level 11 -
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6 months ago

I highly suggest therapy to address her denial. Once the denial is taken care of, it should be much easier to collaborate on a financial solution.

http://www.fscanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Difficult-Conversations-Summary.pdf

Elias - 21yo - level 12 -
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6 months ago

She won't receive help because she doesn't think she needs it. You must bring some evidence to back up your beliefs.

Casie - 36yo - level 10 -
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6 months ago

Take over everything and put your partner on a cash only diet. Then go to a financial class together.

Gloria - level 12 -
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6 months ago

Be honest.

sam - 30yo - level 5 -
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6 months ago

Have her do the budgetting for a month. And separate accounts

melissa - 32yo - level 6 -
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6 months ago

I would say babe do you really think we need to spend that money right now..

Dustin - 31yo - level 10 -
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6 months ago

That can be such a touchy subject. Try therapy! It has really helped my marriage.

Yesenia - 35yo - level 42 -
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6 months ago

I agree with the Dr.

Billy - 60yo - level 26 -
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6 months ago

I was married to a man for 15 yrs who spent money like crazy, no matter if we had it or not. He is one of those ppl who have an addictive personality. I knew I had to take drastic steps after he would not change and after being addicted to drugs and losing money that way way in addition to hobbies and trying to keep up with his friends. Periodically he would be off drugs but then it seemed like his new addiction was spending. After living on canned beans and soup with 3 kids for a while, I gave him an ultimatum. I took his debit and credit cards, hid the checkbook. I calculated his necessity spending (gas, etc) and gave him a cash allowance each week. He was angry for a few hours. Then admitted he needed help. It was more than me being a saver and he a spender. A therapist explained that he was emotionally abusive and this was financial abuse. I asked him if he would turn over receipts, so I could make sure he had all he needed. When I saw the snack food he was buying at the gas station I decided to start buying the same stuff at a Wholesale Club and that really helped. I really had no idea how much money he was dropping into things like beef jerky. Things got better and then it got worse just like our relationship. I was tired of treating him like a kid and I wanted a true partner and it became obvious we were never going to be able to be that. For years I thought it really was about the money. But the real issue, the big picture, was that he would never live within his means and I truly wanted a partner that he could never be. We have been divorced for years and he has never paid child support, or even had a place of his own. He truly has no desire to support himself. Do what you need to do to preserve what you can financially so you can make ends meet. But I think the big issue here runs much deeper and I think you should go to counseling asap.

Sara - level 21 -
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6 months ago

Kinda the other way around...

Mike - level 15 -
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6 months ago

Show her what will be lost as in activities, vacations, etc. if the spending doesn't change. She needs to see the concrete cost of her actions.

Duane - level 20 -
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6 months ago

A budget is a most even without spending problems, this is really useful, good luck!

Alexy - 28yo - level 23 -
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6 months ago

She's a real smart girl she'll understand before she fucks everything up

Joe - 59yo - level 1 -
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6 months ago

Divorce 🤷🏻‍♀️

Anna WongHansen - 39yo - level 23 -
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6 months ago

Get out of the relationship.

Karel - 38yo - level 24 -
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6 months ago

If running away is your solution, good luck in life

Alexy - 28yo - level 23 -
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6 months ago

😭

Polly - 29yo - level 12 -
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6 months ago

Run Forrest Run

Joel - 45yo - level 7 -
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6 months ago

If running away is your solution, good luck in life

Alexy - 28yo - level 23 -
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