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Getting spouse on board...
Old 03-03-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
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Getting spouse on board...

Hi, I've just been over on ERE and read his interesting materialism / post materialism Post. As I'm already 51, I'm never going to be ERE. My husband recently changed all our door handles to newer shinier door handles (seriously). The post made me laugh (easier than crying about it!). He bought them from Aldi so is convinced it was a good move. If we have a night out with friends (we don't waste money eating /drinking out alone) he likes to have a new shirt. He will wear it for the next 10 nights out (presuming different friend groups each time). He will then use the shirt as an every day shirt. He doesn't spend a fortune - most recent cost £18, $24 from Matalan - cheap ish UK store. He has an Aldi habit where he goes weekly and spends about £40 on stuff which only does snacks drinks cat food washing / cleaning things and perhaps a couple of cheap ready meals. I then try to spend less than that on the weekly meals for five of us. How did others reduce their partners spendthrift ways.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:06 PM   #2
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..... How did others reduce their partners spendthrift ways.
Do you have a couch?
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
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The tough part would be doing it without coming across as the "enforcer." If your hubby feels like he must account to you for every pence, then you can bet resentment will build up quickly and you'll have gone from a spending problem to deeper marital woes.
So, in my opinion your goal (long term and short term) isn't to get your husband to spend less. It's to get him to move closer to your values concerning money, the freedom that comes from responsible saving and spending, and your priorities about which things are worth buying.
Maybe a sit down with some numbers crunched on where you want to go and how to get there? Or meet with some third party who can help you address these issues?
In the big scheme of things the examples you cite aren't huge ones. DO you consult him before you buy clothing?
When my wife and I first started saving we set a budget for ourselves with all the usual categories (including retirement savings, which went directly from my paycheck to the bank). We consulted each other, when feasible, on expenditures in these categories (New doorknobs would have gone under "home improvements" and we would have talked about whether there was enough money in that envelope and whether that was the best use of that money). We also had a comfortable "allowance" for each of us to be spent on whatever we want every month--magazine subscriptions, impulse purchases, etc. I saved up and bought some nice woodworking equipment after many months. It worked well for us, and after our earnings increased a bit and we got into healthy spending habits we stopped doing things this way. But in my opinion it's important for each partner to have money that is truly theirs to spend as they choose.
Remember that there are lots of messages in society telling people to spend, spend, spend. If your husband is like most people, he's listening. You may be seen as the aberrant one. Also, trying to change a person's outlook on these things can be extremely difficult (would you be likely to change your views if he tried to convince you to put less in savings?). In my experience, the person usually has to come to the decision themselves, and this usually follows a crisis of some sort.
Best of luck to you both.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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If you have trouble keeping your spouse on board, perhaps use longer screws...
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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If you have trouble keeping your spouse on board, perhaps use longer screws...
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:57 AM   #6
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If you have trouble keeping your spouse on board, perhaps use longer screws...
There could be a joke there somewhere..........
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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I was counseling a young married couple (friends of friends) the other day and the wife was lamenting a similar circumstance. What I told her is to find out what it really meaningful to her husband as a mid to long-term goal and relate the day-to-day savings to that goal. Only then would he consider the minor sacrifices worth the trouble. So you find the lock, and the key will already be in your hand.

For her, I threw out common stuff for mid-20s folks like paying off debt, saving for a house, wanting to have kids, etc. For you, it might be freedom from money worry if you had a big emergency fund, being able to fund a fun vacation each year, anything that involves saving and delayed gratification.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:14 AM   #8
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There could be a joke there somewhere..........
Perhaps...
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:19 AM   #9
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I wish I could help. But thanks for your post, I'll have to give DW a hug when I see her this afternoon. We're both frugal...if anything we spend too conservatively more often than not.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:56 AM   #10
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My husband loves music, concerts, guitars, clothes, shoes....We have come to an agreement that we both get a certain amount of money and can spend it on what we want to. However, the savings accounts get padded first and the bills have to be paid before we get that spending money in our accounts. I have introduced him to the thrift stores and new way of doing things...we changed the look of our old door knobs by spray painting them with oil rubbed bronze. Sometimes, you just have to show them an alternative that is frugal as well.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:12 AM   #11
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I'll have to give DW a hug when I see her this afternoon. We're both frugal...if anything we spend too conservatively more often than not.
We're both frugal too, but I occasionally feel I'm more comfortable with that lifestyle assessment than DW is. But it's a good mix: she can sometimes talk me into spending appropriately, and I can sometimes talk her out of spending inappropriately. (of course, it's that definition of "appropriately" that gets sticky.)
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:00 PM   #12
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Thank you for taking the time to reply. There are some really useful ideas. My particular problem is that I would like to retire now. I haven't really had a good idea of our budget and what goes where (EVER).... We have good incomes and are generally not ridiculous with spending and certainly living slightly below our means although not nearly as efficiently as we could have...I would get £2000 net income monthly from my pension if I took it within the year. Having looked at our budget £4000 per month would cover everything including some discretionary money for each of us. That would leave DH £2000 per month of his own money. I would also have in addition £200,000 invested - £100,000 immediately and another £100,000 within 1-2 years. My budget does not include holidays so I would intend perhaps using up to 4% of this yearly to match my OH contributions to holidays. I just now need him to believe my figures...
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:20 PM   #13
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Thank you for taking the time to reply. There are some really useful ideas. My particular problem is that I would like to retire now. I haven't really had a good idea of our budget and what goes where (EVER).... We have good incomes and are generally not ridiculous with spending and certainly living slightly below our means although not nearly as efficiently as we could have...I would get £2000 net income monthly from my pension if I took it within the year. Having looked at our budget £4000 per month would cover everything including some discretionary money for each of us. That would leave DH £2000 per month of his own money. I would also have in addition £200,000 invested - £100,000 immediately and another £100,000 within 1-2 years. My budget does not include holidays so I would intend perhaps using up to 4% of this yearly to match my OH contributions to holidays. I just now need him to believe my figures...
Have you considered doing a trial run? Live on your retirement budget for a year before you cut the cord.

I'd suggest you track spending to get a realistic picture. Otherwise you're just hoping.

Good luck!
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