13 answers

Husband Spending Too Much Money! HELP!

My husband is a spender. We've tried to save up for a home and we want to move our family there. However, he just gets distracted with all his "interests" such as RC boats, watches and all the other stuff. He doesn't like hobbies involving physical exercise, and always finds excuses not to go out. His hobbies are costing us and really are bringing the family apart. I would really like some help in finding methods to help him. He knows he is a spender, but he just can't stop.

Additional Stuff:
He always counters by saying that we have the "adequate finances", and he always feels threatened when I tell him we have to save. Please help.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If you are saving for something specific like a home, perhaps you should see a financial planner, then at least it will be an outside person showing him the problem.
When you talk to him make it about how you feel not about what he is doing, that way it will be less threatening. I would also discuss how important buying a house is to him, maybe it's not that big of a priority to him.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Sounds like an addiction. Buying things releases pleasure chemicals in the brain, and some people get hooked. And purchasing new stuff can also help people ignore older problems for a little while, like debt, disappointed dreams, a dismayed spouse…

I suggest you start by approaching this as an addiction, reading books about addiction and codependency, and getting some professional help, for yourself, if your husband remains in denial. Good luck. This can be a tough one.

5 moms found this helpful

He could get a second job and any money from that job would be his to spend however he wants. Or if he can work overtime at his present job what ever he makes extra can be his mad money. Or you can take the same amount of money he spends on his toys and do what you want to with it. You can make a nice savings account that way. Tell him how much cheaper it will be to stop spending money on himself now than when the court orders him to pay you spousal and child support if he doesn't wake up.

4 moms found this helpful

I believe Peg M probably hit the nail on the head - endorphins are released just as with any other addiction - I don't think a financial planner would be as important as a therapist (I'm not kidding). I think both are wise, but you have to address why he spends on himself when there are other priorities and how to compromise.

We have a similar situation. My husband is the spender, I'm the spend thrift. He had to get into debt consolidation before we got married which wrecked his credit, and he has had a really hard time with the house, cars, etc. being in my name only because his credit score has brought us down. He's worked really hard and has gotten his in the low 700's for which I'm incredibly proud.

The solution that's worked well for us since getting married almost 6 years ago has been to have a joint account into which we equally contribute based upon monthly expenses (mortgage, car, day care, groceries, utilities, kids clothes, house-hold emergencies, 529 accounts, etc).

What's left over from each of our paychecks goes into our individual accounts. I save mine, he spends his on what he wants to without compromising our joint financial obligations.

When I was laid off last year, we were fortunate to have over a year's worth of my salary liquid in my account in the event finding a job proved to be a problem. His account usually has a few hundred dollars that he spends on his iPod, upgrading his cell phone, movies, etc.

It's worked well to help us balance having completely different approaches to finances while both being responsible to the expense we have jointly created.

2 moms found this helpful

If you are saving for something specific like a home, perhaps you should see a financial planner, then at least it will be an outside person showing him the problem.
When you talk to him make it about how you feel not about what he is doing, that way it will be less threatening. I would also discuss how important buying a house is to him, maybe it's not that big of a priority to him.

2 moms found this helpful

I have to laugh. My husband is a spender, too. But he spends 'cheap'. In otherwords we have to shop all weekend at discount places, and with coupons and garage sales and second hand shops. Perhaps you could enlist your husband in the fun. And we save lots and get that shopping out of his system. I myself could happily go for walks and read books. He does however annoy me with the fact that he sends his family money all the time. Too much of it. So I started to do what the other poster said and save the same amount of money for me. Try that for a bit. And You will be surprised at how much you save. If you do not have the same amount for you then save twenty dollars a week. That adds up. Nice little down payment on something (a vacation perhaps?-small house?) just keep saving yourself. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree, he has the markers for shopping addiction...which is a real, treatable, psychological condition. See:


Listen to this great radio program on the organization, and how to overcome shopping addictions.


1 mom found this helpful

My husband and I have our own seperate "fun money" checking accounts. So we have four accounts -- bill money checking account, savings account, my fun money, his fun money. Each gets money direct deposited into it from every paycheck.

My husband calls his -- his allowance. We worked out a budget and put money in there accordingly. It was made clear what you get is what you get. His gas money, lunch money and some additional funds go in there. He can spend that as he wants, so if he packs a lunch and goes cheap for lunches - he has more money he can spend on fun toys. It works out great for both of us. Before I would get all bent out of shape if I saw him drop $18 dollars on a lunch out with coworkers, now I don't even see it - and I don't care. It's not OUR money he's wasting, it's his. If he spends like that he won't have money. On the flip side, if he saves up and buys himself some $300 do-dad, also no sweat. It came from his own funds and he didn't touch the main funds. Plus it adds a little extra something that we can treat each other to a date night using our own private funds. It brings some romance back... Doing this completely ended our money fights.

If your husband is a really hardcore spender. Give him his account - don't link it to the main checking/bills. Take away his ATM card, credit card, etc. If you pay the bills - he shouldn't need access to the other.

Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful

If he can't help himself, then Shopaholics sounds like a good idea.

If you can agree on a certain amount to save each month, you can set up an account where money is automatically moved from your principal checking to that account. You could set it up as a 5 year account where money can't be taken out without a big penalty and needing both your signatures (so he can't sneak it out). Then the money is just not there to be spent - out of sight, out of mind.

But I wouldn't be ashamed to have him go to shopaholics - it is super common and if he is addicted, no shouting, crying, hiding money or being sweet can change it. If he is addicted, he will find a way to spend saved money, too.

I go to Alanon which is a support group for people who have addicts in their life - I have found it phenomenally helpful for my own life even while the addicts in my life have not found sobriety. You don't need to wait until he is recovering to live a full life even within the marriage. Alanon is national so you can just google it to find meetings in your area (literally every night!).

All the best,

1 mom found this helpful

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