Advice from Nashville's leading Financial Aid Advisor Dave Ramsey
By Dave Ramsey
Financial Peace and
The Total Money Makeover
"My wife is a ‘shop-a-holic’! I need help!"
My wife is a shop-aholic. She’s good at shopping; using coupons and finding good deals. But I can’t convince her that just because something is a good deal doesn’t mean we need to buy it. For instance, we only need so many clothes. Any suggestions to help out?
Jorey in San Antonio, TX
Create a written game plan, called a budget, every month. You’ve both got to agree to the plan and put her in charge of the categories for the stuff she likes to buy. For instance, set up a clothing category and let her tell you how much to put into it; as long as the amount isn’t unreasonable. She can’t spend more than you make, for example. Your wife has to decide the amount, not you because you’re the tightwad in this situation. You don’t have to like it, but you’ve got to say yes to the amount she decides.
Once she’s determined the figure, give her that much in cash in an envelope marked “Clothing”. She’s in charge of that money and that’s all she has available to spend on clothing for the month. You’ve already both agreed to it. Now she’s helped to set the limit on spending, so she can’t claim later that it was unfair.
Part of the problem here is that she’s rebelling against you being a tightwad. She’s feeling controlled and manipulated; like she’s got a daddy part of the time and not a husband. Believe it or not, that’s a normal thing in most relationships. One of you is a tightwad and controlling; the other is a free-spirit.