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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I am looking for your advice on how to get my wife on a good path to start saving some money.

At the moment my wife is making about 2x or more of what I am making. She works at a very high end restaurant and makes most of her money on tips.

I work in an office, I have just immigrated into her country and earn a decent income.This is my first job in the country and I am still looking for a better (with a bigger salary too) job matching my experience.

I am and always been the saver in our relationship. I have always managed to save money and keep it for emergencies.
She is the total opposite, she still has a school loan that has not yet started to pay back and. Despite making so much more money than me she is not able to save a single dollar at the end of the month.

I am upset today because I was looking forward to go skiing for the first time in 1 and a half year and I can't because there is not enough money for the end of the month, and we have to use all the money of my last paycheck to cover for expenses.
This is has happened several times and I am getting frustrated.

I contribute to our expenses and at the end of the month I have little money for myself.

She talks a lot about paying back her loan, but so far she hasn't done anything, didn't even look at how much she owe to the bank/government.

Today we had a discussion and I explained to her that we need to save some money, but I don't think she gets the message. She does not want to take responsability. In fact she said: You make a plan, tell me what to do, and I will do it.
Sounded like a challenge more than a constructive way to solve a problem.

Anyway, what do you suggest to do? Any book to read?

I know how to save money, but I don't have control of my wife's money, especially the cash she makes with tips.
 

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Some people are spenders or have 'habits' that requires money (gambling, food...). It's her paycheck so there isn't much you can really do if she isn't willing to listen to you. There's certainly nothing legal you can do.

I suggest finding where her money is going first. Then if you see a pattern, try and work with that. Perhaps you can convince her to accept an allowance (I get $80 per month from my wife as I tend to be a spender as well). Or maybe she will agree to a direct deposit of 10% of her pay to a joint account...
 

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Get the book "Smart Couples Finish Rich". It has a good plan for how to save money. It also has a good discussion on the ways people just blow money on little things ... this adds up very quickly.
 

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You make a plan, tell me what to do, and I will do it.
Sounded like a challenge more than a constructive way to solve a problem.

Depends on how you look at it. Maybe she's looking for you to take the reins on the finances in your relationship. If indeed it is a challenge, then call her bluff. Prepare a monthly budget that includes both your salaries (being that she has tips, you may not have a definite amount, but I'll bet she can give you an average of what she gets.) and her school loan. Then tell her she needs to give you the $$ money she makes; put it with yours and pay the bills. You both share what's left over.

As far as the school loan - best advice I can give you there is: on any loan, never pay the minimum payment. Pay as much as you can to get it paid down quicker.

If people understood how much $$ they could save by adding an extra $50 or $100 (what it costs nowadays to eat out) to each payment, banks would be broke. A 30 yr mtg of $500/mo would be paid off in 12-15 years; A 60 mo car note would pay out in 36 -42 mo.
 

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We have a joint account, joint saving account, my checking account, my saving account and he has the same. I've always taken the lead of our finances. Both get paid twice a month so every pay day I ask him to put whatever amount that leaves him only about $200 to Joint checking and I do the same. So sometimes I put more sometimes he put more. All the bills are paid from the joint account and the majority of each month's leftover in the J account, I move to our joint saving account so by the 1st of next month we have little in our checking account and repeat the process.

As for our individual saving account, I suggested that he'd have a scheduled transfer of $50-$100 twice a month into his own saving account so that he can save and buy whatever he wants to buy with his own money. I'm doing the same.

This has worked the wonders. We almost never argue about money.

The key in your situation though is that at least your wife trusts you with money and wants you to take the lead. If you want your finances under control, why not the person who knows how to handles it handles it?

hope it helps!

P.S. oh and use mint.com!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi everyone.

Thank you for your replies. I will make a plan to manage our finances this week.

I want to be in charge of the spending so I have a better idea of how much is our total income and how much we spend.
The tricky thing will be her tips. It's all cash and It's not as easy to manage as the paycheck.
 

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Give her more responsibility with the finances, yes it may seem backwards and potentially dangerous. But it seems to have curbed my wife's spending habits a few years ago.

As for cash tips, your wife should know that she can deposit as well as withdraw from an ATM you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@ RandomDude.

I get what you're saying but it has not worked. She has done that for a year, and whatever is left from the month she manages to spend it somehow. We always end up with just a few bucks in the account at the end of the month.

So this week she has started tranferring her paycheck to my account but not her tips. She doesn't really want me to manage the money, that's why I said that her offer sounded more like a challenge than a real way to solve the problem.
I believe that she spends her tips asap because it gives her instant gratification. It's something that she mentioned quite a few times.

We talked and she doesn't want to listen to what I have to say about my plan to save some money, saying that I make her feel guilty, which in truth I am not.

I think it's more of a control issue than a problem managing money at this point.
 

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This is tough, spending habits are just that; habits. It forms part of their personality, just like shopaholics. Their tastes as well, from expensive shoes to 'elegant' fragrances that make my car all stuffy until I have to open the windows so my daughter and I can breath *sigh*

For many people not only women - this is hardwired =/
My wife disciplined herself after being given some responsibility, but that's just her. You need to give her a reason to have a bit of self discipline, right now she has none.

I have no idea how though, this is tough as I said.

BTW, your situation sounds VERY similar to this one:
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/financ...band-made-big-purchase-against-my-wishes.html'
Some of the advice there may also be applicable to yours as well, even though the gender is reversed. Still it might provide some perspective.
 

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In addition to her paycheck, which in most places is a joke... (locally, wait staff are paid $2.50 per hour)... so in addition to the paycheck, ask her to agree on a percentage of each days tips. She knows all about percentages, and about pay outs. Make it sound like you are doing her a favor... which you are!

My husband takes care of our money... not because I won't, but he is OCD and would micro-manage me if I did it, so this works for us. My point is.... he is an awesome money manager. He cleaned up my credit and made it possible for me to buy a house on my own credit, and to have a savings account. Not only are we a team, which adds to the whole relationship, but I let him know how much I appreciate him handling the money means to me, and how good it feels to be able to trust someone with all of our hard earned money!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RandomDude & SunnyT, I appreciate your comments.

The point here is that she doesn't care about paying off the debt.

She just said to me yesterday that she has 300$ in tips that she is going to spend on her hair. At the beginning she texted me asking an opinion. I said 300$ is too much for that. (She had her hair done a month ago). That we should save money to pay off debt. Se replied that she's going anyway.
Then why ask? To not feel guilty?
She said that she expected some support from me.

This is driving me nuts!I barely have the money for a haircut myself!Last time I had an haircut was october.
 

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In fact she said: You make a plan, tell me what to do, and I will do it.
I married a spender too. My husband said the very thing to me so I did it. I took over the money. All of it. He was in debt up to his eyeballs when I married him. I've paid it off TWICE in the 21 years we've been married. Seems I'm good at paying debt off but bad at telling him 'no'. Hence why he'd spend again. We're in debt again but this time it's due to life not his spending. He's totally over it now.

I don't have any real great advice other than to offer sympathy. Being married to a spender kinda sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I finally took control of the money. So at the end of this month we have almost 1000$ saved in the account!
I still have to figure out how much our total income is. I let her keep some of the tips she made but so far it's looking good.I think we can save much more if we want.

The negative thing is that she is procrastinating on her school loan/debt and I fear the interest will be enormous. I want at least to know how much she owes, but she keeps refusing to do anything about it.
 

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So I finally took control of the money. So at the end of this month we have almost 1000$ saved in the account!
I still have to figure out how much our total income is. I let her keep some of the tips she made but so far it's looking good.I think we can save much more if we want.

The negative thing is that she is procrastinating on her school loan/debt and I fear the interest will be enormous. I want at least to know how much she owes, but she keeps refusing to do anything about it.
If you really want to knwo what's going on with her debts, ask her if its okay for you to pull a copy of both of your credit reports. That will certainly do the trick. Also, to help your wife with learning how to budget better; try to implement incentive based budgeting. Go here, (Budget Calculators - Money Etiquette.), for an example of how to create one. Keeping money away from her won't help her if something was to ever happen to you.
 

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Hi everyone,

I am looking for your advice on how to get my wife on a good path to start saving some money.

At the moment my wife is making about 2x or more of what I am making. She works at a very high end restaurant and makes most of her money on tips.

I work in an office, I have just immigrated into her country and earn a decent income.This is my first job in the country and I am still looking for a better (with a bigger salary too) job matching my experience.

I am and always been the saver in our relationship. I have always managed to save money and keep it for emergencies.
She is the total opposite, she still has a school loan that has not yet started to pay back and. Despite making so much more money than me she is not able to save a single dollar at the end of the month.

I am upset today because I was looking forward to go skiing for the first time in 1 and a half year and I can't because there is not enough money for the end of the month, and we have to use all the money of my last paycheck to cover for expenses.
This is has happened several times and I am getting frustrated.

I contribute to our expenses and at the end of the month I have little money for myself.

She talks a lot about paying back her loan, but so far she hasn't done anything, didn't even look at how much she owe to the bank/government.

Today we had a discussion and I explained to her that we need to save some money, but I don't think she gets the message. She does not want to take responsability. In fact she said: You make a plan, tell me what to do, and I will do it.
Sounded like a challenge more than a constructive way to solve a problem.

Anyway, what do you suggest to do? Any book to read?

I know how to save money, but I don't have control of my wife's money, especially the cash she makes with tips.
How long has this been going on?

Are her tips, "her tips"... is this money considered her's and too do as she pleases with?

Have you ever discussed this issue with her?
 
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