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Less Is The New More: My Spendy Spouse Comments

  • By Stephanie Christensen
  • September 17, 2010

hubby-rides-to-work For me, slimming our budget from two incomes to one has meant eliminating all the unnecessaries. So when I noticed that my husband was making daily purchases of $3 here, $2 there, for snacks at work, my blood boiled.

Did I need to point out that he was spending nearly $25 a week?

Turns out, he was fully aware. His rationalization? He works hard, and those treats made his day better. He was all for cutting other expenses—but these, no way.

For weeks, I was incensed. He's a hard worker—but why then waste $100 a month?

Then, it hit me.

I worked in marketing for ten years. I know that purchases stem from emotions. He wasn’t just carelessly buying. These workday treats had real emotional payoff.

To manage him—and our expenses—we needed to cut the costs that held little meaning for him.

My husband and I love to be active, outdoors. We hate driving. I took a leap and suggested he bike to work—and save on car costs instead of coffee.

For all the struggle we'd gone through over those work treats, he jumped right on board. Why? Back to those emotions. Ditching the car commute wasn't a loss—and biking to work was a real gain: he'd get to be the "cool active guy" again. (Plus, he canceled his gym membership.)

Money saved on gas: $60 a month
Money saved on parking pass: $25
Canceled gym membership: $45 a month
Money saved on auto insurance from reduced coverage: $30

Total Monthly Savings: $160

I realize that not everyone can bike to work. The real lesson is that buying is emotionally driven. Get to the bottom of what makes your spendy spouse tick, and there may be hope for them (and you) yet.
 

Vent. What drives you crazy about your mate's spending?

Stephanie Christensen write the "Less Is the New More" series for DailyWorth. Her blog is Wellness On Less.

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