BY LOGAN CROSS
There’s nothing more awkward than having the talk. Not the birds and the bees talk you had with your parents (although that was awkward, too). We mean the talk you need to have with your partner when you realize they have a spending problem. While money is a sensitive topic, it doesn’t mean you should sit idly by while your partner is racking up an insane amount of charges on your account. If you’ve reached your breaking point, it’s time to do something about it.
However, you might be asking yourself, “What should I do if my partner is spending all my money?” Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to address the issue. Just know it’s going to take a lot of patience and a gentle approach.
Approach the conversation from a loving angle
No one likes having a partner who attacks them for every little thing they do. Starting off this already delicate situation by accusing them of doing something wrong is not the way to go.
Instead, MoneyCrashers says you should start off by suggesting that you both monitor your spending habits for a little while. It’s an easy suggestion that also implies that both of you have something you need to work on. Plus, it gives your partner a chance to own up to the fact that they need to reign in their spending. Even if they don’t, as long as they agree to the idea of improving your spending together, then you’re on the right track.
Build a money-saving solution together
The best part about this is that you and your partner can work on a solution together. Once you both have addressed the issue at hand, sitting down and planning out a budget for both of you is a great way to solve the problem. This way, you can keep each other accountable. You can have weekly check-ins with each other, and you can use it as an excuse to plan out date nights (that are within said budget).
These days, there are a ton of easy, digital ways you can keep track of this budget together. NerdWallet says that apps like Qapital are best for goal-setting, while other platforms like Digit are good if you want something more simple.
If the spending problem doesn’t get solved, talk to a professional
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your solution to this problem won’t be either. Studies have proven that money is a huge cause of stress in relationships, says CNBC. So, it’s more than okay to see a therapist if you feel you and your partner can’t come up with a solution on your own. As United Families points out, money may not be the real issue here if that’s the case. It’s likely, then, that the “spending money” part is just a manifestation of another problem.
The worst thing you could do in this situation is to sweep it under the rug or to hide it from your partner. “Opening up about your financial life means you’re showing each other the real you, and that honesty and vulnerability helps the relationship grow,” Brianna McGurran, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, told Bustle. “Talking about money in a relationship is non-negotiable.”
SOURCE: THE LIST