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Suggestions to help me get DW to spend more money
Old 08-02-2019, 10:02 AM   #1
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Suggestions to help me get DW to spend more money

I have a "good" problem to have I guess. After 35+ years of LBYM and living good but not extravagant, we will soon be having a great deal more discretionary income. But when I suggest cruises, re-modeling, travel, DW seems to think we can't afford it.
My kids are done with college this year which will mean we don't have to pay $20K/yr in tuition, DW will be taking SS (and I will file restricted) which will bring in another $19K/yr. In 2 years, the mortgage is paid off which lets another $14K/yr fall to the bottom line, and then one year after that I start SS which will add another $28K/yr.
So like this is A LOT of discretionary income (at least for me) and even though I want to leave some for the kids, I think we can up our spending without risking anything.
What can I say or do to nudge DW into loosening the purse strings?
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:13 AM   #2
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Great problem to have!

You know your wife best, if it were me plan a trip. Is there some place she has always wanted to go? Start small.

As the extra money shows up, maybe she will dream bigger. If not remind her there are 2 of you and you want to dream a little bigger while you both have your health.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:18 AM   #3
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Maybe threaten her that you will go on travel alone if she does not tag along?
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:22 AM   #4
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What if you took all that money you're saving and the extra from SS, and actually put it in an extra side fund account, and convince her that you can do "extras" like the things you mention if you pay it out of cash from that account?
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:23 AM   #5
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Why are you worried about DW spending money. Do you have to both agree on spending? Nothing wrong with that, but where I’m going on this is that if you don’t have that understanding, just start doing and buying things. Is she not going to go on the trip if you plan it? Is she not going to drive the new car if you buy it? Is she going to be upset if you indulge yourself in a new activity or hobby? Just start doing the behavior that you want. She’ll either change or at least come along for the ride.
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:52 AM   #6
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I use a little psychology on my frugal husband. We get travel brochures in the mail.Vikings cruise and all sorts of expensive travel packages. I have no idea how they figure out to send that stuff to us. So, there might be a package, not including airfare of say, $10-$15K, top of the line. I'll go online and price airline tickets, go to Hotels.com and find deals on hotels and put together a nice vacation. Then, compare my hard work with the mail travel packages and show him how we can save thousands doing it ourselves. Although, my DH will drive across town to save 5 cents on produce or 3 cents on gas (seriously).
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:01 AM   #7
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Is your DW fully up-to-date with your financial situation as a couple? If not, even if she's not interested, she should be in case you get hit by a fast beer truck crossing the street tomorrow. If she is, and still reluctant to spend, I think the idea mentioned above to set up a separate account for your new "extra" money is worth a try.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:09 AM   #8
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Maybe threaten her that you will go on travel alone if she does not tag along?

That is a serious idea. I'm sure one of my new college grad daughters would be willing to go on an all expense paid trip with me. Might go on a few trips with my brother also.
When the money starts piling up in the checking account she might notice that also.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtbach View Post
I have a "good" problem to have I guess. After 35+ years of LBYM and living good but not extravagant, we will soon be having a great deal more discretionary income. But when I suggest cruises, re-modeling, travel, DW seems to think we can't afford it.
My kids are done with college this year which will mean we don't have to pay $20K/yr in tuition, DW will be taking SS (and I will file restricted) which will bring in another $19K/yr. In 2 years, the mortgage is paid off which lets another $14K/yr fall to the bottom line, and then one year after that I start SS which will add another $28K/yr.
So like this is A LOT of discretionary income (at least for me) and even though I want to leave some for the kids, I think we can up our spending without risking anything.
What can I say or do to nudge DW into loosening the purse strings?
OK, my understanding is that this is the last year of college for your kids, so they WILL be done with college expenses soon. Your DW WILL be getting SS soon. In two years your mortgage WILL be paid off. Later you WILL be getting SS too.

See what all of these have in common? They are expected but they haven't fallen into place quite yet. My guess is that your wife objects to what we call here in New Orleans, "betting on the come", in other words spending money you don't really have your hands on yet. Give her a couple of years. By then the kids will all be launched, both of you will be getting SS deposits regularly, and the mortgage will be paid off.

That's my best advice anyway, although I don't know if it's worth anything or not.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
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Tell her you'll take your girlfriend is she doesn't want to go!

Mike
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
What if you took all that money you're saving and the extra from SS, and actually put it in an extra side fund account, and convince her that you can do "extras" like the things you mention if you pay it out of cash from that account?
I second this idea. I would even go as far as creating a separate account to store the taxes you would have to pay on the extra income. Once she sees the figures in the fun fund account and sees that the taxes are taken care of also, she may feel more inclined to spend at least some of the money accumulating in the fun fund account.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:57 AM   #12
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Tell her you'll take your girlfriend is she doesn't want to go!

Mike


I chuckled when I read this. I did this one time to my now wife. I had a trip to the Caribbean in college that I could take someone with me. I asked her to go and she was on the fence until I said well itís a king size bed and if you donít want to go I will ask xyz. The next day she said she was going lol.
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:33 PM   #13
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I've been thinking about this problem, as next year, I plan to FIRE, and my wife is also frugal with most things. I'm planning to set up a separate account for quarterly spending. I will refill it each quarter, regardless of whether we have spent down the previous quarter's allocation. That way, when she says 'We can't afford it!', I can simply say that we have $XX,XXX left in our annual travel/discretionary budget. We both don't like to waste money, but my priority is travel for ages 54-60+. I really want to spend up to our cap, to maximize travel/diving while I'm able to.
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:54 PM   #14
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suggest setting up an account and moving the unspent cashflow there monthly. or spreadsheet it. howver she likes to see data. have her watch it accumulate to prove that its truly fluff. "look hun. income was x, bills were x-3k. 3k now in the blow it account. where ya wanna go? or do you wanna let it accumulate for 6 mos and redo the master bath?"
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:56 PM   #15
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There are fewer things in a marriage more delicate than dealing with differences when it comes to finances.

There are some people, whether from life experiences or by planning, who are just wired to be frugal with money. Or you could be like my DW, who came into our marriage at 30 with very little savings and a dozen credit cards with active balances.
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:13 PM   #16
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Tell her you want her to spend the surplus on plastic surgery. Either she'll take you up on it or divorce you. Problem solved.

Seriously, ramping up spending is hard. Do it in baby steps.
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:17 PM   #17
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Talk to my DGF. Problem solved. lol
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:31 PM   #18
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64 years together resolves most of these kinds of problems.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:32 PM   #19
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suggest setting up an account and moving the unspent cashflow there monthly. or spreadsheet it. howver she likes to see data. have her watch it accumulate to prove that its truly fluff. "look hun. income was x, bills were x-3k. 3k now in the blow it account. where ya wanna go? or do you wanna let it accumulate for 6 mos and redo the master bath?"
This will probably work the best. Our expenses will go down and the bank account should go up nicely.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:40 PM   #20
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I don't blame her actually. The bank account hasn't grown YET. When your checking account has $20,000 and growing quickly, show her the account balance. That should convince her. In the meantime, seems she's the sensible one, not spending what you don't actually have quite yet.
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