Doing it on our own self, it’s easier. Influencing others is much harder.
Ask yourself this question. How many times have you tried to convince others – friends or families – to live frugally by spending lesser and saving more and how many times have you succeeded. Many times, the impact to our lives is small as these people have their own problems with their own solutions. But family is a bit different. Take our spouse for example. Imagine yourself being the sole bread winner of the family bringing money home each month to pay off household expenses, only to find your spouse spending it all. This could be disaster.
To me, choosing the right partner with similar mindset and goals as ourselves is a crucial stage before marriage. It is much easier to live a frugal lifestyle if both are frugal to begin with. But in life, we never get things done our way. Usually there would be some sort of differences in opinions that makes our life more “exciting”. Anyway, going back to this, if your spouse has a bad spending habit that you feel you needed to tame off, here are some things you could do.
1.) Share your roadmap plans for the next 5/10/15 years
In this blog, I often shared my roadmap plans for my financial freedom and I do that regularly with my spouse as well. I feel that it is important to share goals that are not only important to myself but also goals that are achievable and the many things we can plan ahead once we reach that stage. When we do this, we try to look at things as objectively as possible, even when there are difficulties along the way.
2.) Lead by example
Here, we are referring to doing more actions and less on talking.
If we lead by example by living a frugal lifestyle, we send out intentions that we really care about putting the money to a better use for the family instead of spending them away rashessly.
For example, if you are able to convince the difference between a necessity and luxury item, sooner or later, your partner will follow your spending pattern.
3.) Keep your other half’s spending in check
This is about keeping each other’s spending in check when one buys an item.
It may not necessarily be for every single item. You could do this once a month when the two of you sits down and review your historical expenses.
Another way to do this is to open up a separate account that both of you can use to spend on items you need each month.
There are many ways you can make this work.
There are many people who I’m sure would argue that if both couples are working, then what’s wrong with spending money that we had hardworkingly earned. My answer is simple. Sure you can spend the money you earned to a certain extent but at the end, we are still talking about a family obligations that both of you would be responsible for. Taking responsibility of our own matter in advance is better than finding solutions to save the situation.