A reader e-mailed me a question, and I’m not really sure how to answer her. I’m hoping you can provide some insight in the comments. Thanks!
I’m having a hard time getting my husband to get on my level of frugality. He’s very into materials and I’m more into simple living. I’ve tried handing over the bills, I’ve tried saying No to him, it seems I’ve tried everything and I’m just worried because we have $0 in our savings account and it seems that if there’s any money left from a check, he’s needing to spend it, even if it’s not on himself. We tithe, we try to pay all of our bills, but sometimes we stiff Peter to pay Paul, you know?
What can I do? He was this way when I married him, so it’s not like I didn’t know what I was getting into. But I’ve changed and I want a more simple, secure, savings in life. Any ideas would be helpful.
It’s a tough situation. I’m not sure exactly what the best advice would be, but it seems as if somehow you’ve got to get the lines of communication open with your husband.
Do you know why he doesn’t want to save? Perhaps he would be open to have money set aside for emergencies, but it’s hard for him to give up his spending habits.
If that’s the case, maybe you could try automatically sending an agreed-upon amount of money first thing from each paycheck to a savings account. This should be a joint account, but preferably something that can’t be as readily accessed as your main checking account. Maybe an online bank such as ING Direct could be a good option for you to explore.
If you aren’t familiar with Dave Ramsey, I’d like for you and your husband to check him out. If there’s a live event in your area, absolutely go and take hubby with you. If that’s not an option, see if you can find a Financial Peace University class in your area for the both of you to join. Or, both of you can read his books (you can probably find them at your library).
Have him be an active part of the solution. It would be harder for someone to accept, “This is what you’re going to do with our money from now on” versus, “What can we both do to have an outcome that works for both of us?”
Maybe he has some ideas of his own.
If he’s unwilling to discuss money and unwilling to start saving, then I guess there are two options: You can drop the matter, or seek professional counseling to explore what’s going on.
I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that readers can chime in and offer suggestions.