Does your spouse love spending? How to manage a ‘spendaholic’ spouse.

Does your spouse love spending? How to manage a ‘spendaholic’ spouse.

No one is perfect says the world but some vices are more bothersome than the others. Many men can relate with this topic. I wonder if men talk about how much their wives love to spend on hair- whether braids, wigs or natural replenishment. Better still, if they talk about our bags, watches, lotions, spas, dresses, perfumes. What of our vacations? And our constant shopping of toys for the kids!! Oh women!
Ok, now that we have satisfied the men, let us share some of the ache of the ladies. Does your man spend a lot on TGIF! A drink here and there, designer belts, designer ties and shirts- all the same color (white and blue). God bless the women that their spouses love games too! What of the man that likes to loan everyone in the office?
Spending is part of life. Some will argue, what is the point of earning money and stashing it. What is the point of investment? If not to spend it later. There is a popular Ebenezer Obey song that says ‘olowo majeye, eyin lomo, awon to laye lana da, won ti ku won ti lo’. It means rich man/woman that doesn’t want to spend and enjoy life, na you sabi. those that were alive yesterday are dead and gone.
I agree to an extent. It sucks to be stingy. It sucks to have money and live like a pauper. However, there are limits.

A spendaholic is someone that spends arbitrarily. This means irrational, not planned, not needed spending. Spending for the sake of spending. Spending as if he/she did not work hard to earn the money. Spending on any and everything. Buying everything in sight. This is not cool.
Here are tips to handle.

1.Show the problem. First step is to show the spender that there is a problem. Most spenders have different reasons for their habits. Some will say ‘ how much is this bag sef, sebi it is just N20,000. What can I do with that money anyway. It cannot buy me land, cannot buy me a car. So let me enjoy’. Educate the person that N50,000 set aside monthly for 10 years is N6,000,000. Even without any interests. Go through the person’s bank statement and add up all the little costs here and there and it will amaze you how much it adds up to.

2.Proffer alternatives but don’t create a bondage. No one wants to feel like a child being monitored, so allow flexibility. An easy way to do this is to create 3 accounts: one for yourself, one for spouse and one for joint projects. Agree with your spouse an amount on projects and investment and focus your energy on that. Example, we try to do 30%- 40% on investments and dedicate that to the joint project account. Then, each person can manage his/her personal pocket money as they like. They secret here is to take as much as possible for projects so that spouse has just enough for life! (Wink) and a few luxuries. Also, ensure both of you are aligned to the project or dream. Do not impose your dreams on your spouse. This is a NO- NO! and NO!

3.Link loans to spouses account or set up alternative systems. A clean way to block money with a shopaholic is to link project loans to the account. Whether we like it or not, the debit alert for loans happen ‘gbagaun’ automatically monthly. So link this and you won’t have to worry about ‘lau lau’ spending. However, ensure that loans are taken for productive ventures that can pay itself and the interests on capital.
a.Alternatively, set up recurring bank instructions. You can instruct the bank to move some money out of your account into a savings account as soon as allowy/salary lands at month end.

4.Have a budget and financial goals. This is key. Every year, I set financial goals. E.g.
a.I want to build a commercial property
b.I want to build up cash up to XX amount
c.I want to pay off loans
d.I want to invest in children’s education trust fund
e.I want to set up a community CSR fund pot.
f.I want to set up children’s university savings
g.I want to establish my younger one’s business
h.I want to take a vacation.
Let us be clear. This is not about me. So replace ‘I’ in above sentences with your name. This is about you. Make a list of your financial goals for 2017 now. Draw up a budget too. What % of your income will you spend on accommodation, feeding, education, children’s school fees, beauty, tithe, giving back, transport, savings, investment, gadgets etc?

5.Keep some fun money aside. All work and no play makes Adunni a dull girl. So remember Obey’s song. Spend some money on things you love, things that make you happy so you can live long enough to spend the savings. Remember, no one was born a shopaholic. With a lot of love, support and education, your spouse will be a financial guru in no time. At the same time, don’t victimize your spouse in the name of financial training. Everyone is different and your spouse may never get to the level of discipline you have.

What do you think?

Picture credit: dream and hussle.

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