Money issues are an often-cited reason for divorce. When one spouse is financially immature, this can create a substantial amount of tension in the relationship. The more fiscally responsible spouse may feel like they are the only one trying to save, and that their partner’s lack of commitment is harming their financial future and, potentially, the relationship. Luckily, there are things you can do. Here’s how to save when your spouse is financially immature.
Have a Serious (But Friendly) Discussion
First and foremost, it’s critical to sit down and talk to each other, and to be kind as you do it. It’s possible the financially immature spouse simply doesn’t know much about money management, so they may not be fully aware that their habits are a point of contention. There could also be a deeper issue that has led them to overspend that needs to be addressed.
The idea isn’t to be judgmental. Instead, let your spouse know why saving is important to you and find out why they may be struggling. Then, you may be able to come together to form a reasonable plan on how to merge your finances.
Automate Your Savings
Sometimes, the easiest way to save when one spouse is financially immature is to automate it. By setting up automatic transfers from each paycheck, saving becomes more like paying a bill; it’s something that has to happen whenever pay goes into the account.
As long as both spouses are able to function with the money that remains after saving and bills, that could be enough to solve the issue. Just make sure that both you and your spouse adjust your spending habits based on what your new balances will look like. Otherwise, you might run into trouble.
Make the Money Harder to Reach
While you don’t necessarily need a secret savings account, putting your money in a harder to reach place could help a financially immature spouse develop positive habits. For example, make sure the account isn’t tied to an ATM or debit card so that the money can’t be spent on a whim. It may also be wise to choose an online bank, as you can’t just go into a brick and mortar location to make a withdrawal.
In most cases, you can still get the money transferred into a usable account with a couple of days. That means you can access it in an emergency, just potentially not on the same day an incident occurs. While this can be a bit inconvenient, it does give your savings a degree of protection since it can’t be used without some planning or waiting.
Monitor Your Finances Closely
As your spouse learns new financial habits, it may be wise to keep a close eye on all of your financial accounts. Take a look at your bank balances daily and log into your credit card accounts often to see if any new charges appear. Encourage your spouse to do the same, ensuring you both have the same level of awareness.
Then, talk about your finances often. Discuss bills that need to be paid, savings goals you are both trying to reach, and any spending either of you would like to do. This leads to transparency, increasing the odds that you can save successfully and increase your spouse’s financial savviness.
Do you have any tips that can help couples save even if one of them is financially immature? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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