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| || || | If you have a spendthrift spouse, you can easily see why so many arguments between husband and wife are because of money. It's frustrating to see your partner throw that hard-earned cash down the drain. While you can't actually change someone else, you can make efforts, without it being a constant struggle and cause of tension, to convince your spouse to choose a more frugal lifestyle.
- Discuss long-term financial goals. Buying a home, saving for college and retirement dreams should all be part of the discussion. Both you and your spouse should openly say what you expect from your money and where you want to be years down the road. Have this talk when you are both relaxed, not in the middle of an argument.
- Compromise with your less-than-frugal spouse. Establish specific short-term goals you can both agree on, and put a time period on each goal. Put your goals in writing. But don't make unrealistic goals. You'll just be setting yourselves up for failure, and you'll never convince your spouse to make changes.
- Stick to the facts. You won't convince your spouse to change if you accuse and blame him. Say "We are spending more than $100 a week eating fast food," rather than "You spend a ridiculous amount of money on fast food, and now we're going to lose the house."
- Request small changes. No one can change overnight. Your spouse may have some deeply rooted spendthrift habits, and we do live in a consumer-oriented society. Suggest a less extravagant new dress for her rather than not buying one at all. Have patience with your spouse.
- Make saving automatic, by setting up an automatic withdrawal from your pay check. Leftover cash is not extra money to be spent. Think of saving as a bill to pay each month. If your spouse never sees that money, he won't feel deprived.
- Be a good example. By watching your frugal habits, your spouse will see the benefits of frugal living. Never preach; practice good spending habits instead.
- Show appreciation of your spouse when she takes positive steps toward a more frugal lifestyle. And don't lose your cool when she backslides. Gentle encouragement usually works better than yelling.
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