Upon opening my Yahoo! Browser, I noticed an article I couldn’t help but click on. It was about dating “secret spenders” and the toll that such a personality type can have on a couple. Looking into it further and researching the topic left me slowly shaking my head and chuckling as I think of the drama that money brings to relationships.
So exactly is a “secret spender”? CNN Money has an interesting definition. As far as I’ve come to understand it, it is somebody who shops compulsively, even if this addiction comes at the cost of the couple’s mortgage payments, food payments – everything.
The most interesting couple I read about was Babette (“Babs”) and Michael Chandrasoma. Michael had purchased jet skis, a motorcycle, even a 1975 Chevy Blazer. Babs was even unsure if threatening divorce would tame his spending habits.
So what exactly do you do if you’re in this situation? Here are three great tips I found.
Three Things You Can Do
1) Make the time to talk
Managing finances together sounds simple, but there are a lot of stumbling blocks. People are busy. You’ve got a career, a family, maybe kids of your own, plus friends and hobbies. But setting aside an evening to chat every few months can help avoid a financial disaster. Make it fun – order in sushi, sit down with your credit card bills, and make sure you’re in good financial standing.
2) Don’t talk when you’re already angry
Nothing is worse than having a difficult conversation when you’re already heated.Leave the money-talk for a weekend, not when you’re both angry and exhausted after a long day at work.
3) Have a plan
It’s not that bad to talk about finances when you have a routine. Just go over each spending category on your spreadsheet, look at how much you’ve spent, and figure out how cutting back for that manicure or golf day can impact your big picture plans.
Just remember, it’s hard for everyone. But not talking about a spending problem will just make it worse.