by Sailaja Menon on September 10, 2018


1.) It’s normal for married couples to have different views on money management, but if one of them works so hard to earn the family’s income and the other spends like there’s no tomorrow, there can be a big problem there. What is your advice to people who are married to big spenders? Let’s say a husband has just found out that his jobless wife has taken out a huge loan or incurred high credit card balances, or has been hiding bills and shopping around like crazy. How can this situation be best handled? What can the husband do to achieve a compromise? Is it a good idea to confront the wife right away?

A marriage is built on the foundations of respect and regard for each other and the relationship’s well-being. Therefore, the objective is to communicate this in a manner such that both parties embrace a sense of commitment, understanding and discipline in achieving this fundamental objective

  • Have an open dialogue on how one person’s over spending affects the overall goals for the future.
  • Discuss and come to an agreement to set limits and boundaries on what your family’s realistic spending for the month should be
  • Be open and transparent about liabilities, debts, loans with each other such that both of you feel equally accountable and responsible for clearing them with controlled spending
  • Set a clear budget for the month on the “necessities” and the “desirables” – set priorities

2.) Is it wise for couples to keep joint or separate accounts? If both couples are earning, for instance, is it good to keep a joint account for their paychecks and monthly bills? Should they agree on a monthly allowance?

It truly depends on the couple and how mindful and responsible they are on spending and expenditures. This decision should primarily be driven by:

  • Sense of Responsibilityto keep each other “in the loop” as far as their respective earnings, savings and balances are concerned.
  • A sense of commitment to keep each other informed when the accounts are accessed for withdrawals.
  • Respect and regard for each other’s earnings
  • A shared sense of commitment to controlled spending
  • A shared sense of commitment to save for the future
  • A transparent and open dialogue between the couple on their earnings and their goals for the future

3.) Based on your experience dealing with couples, who is often the big spender in the marriage, is it the wife or husband? Why? Does family upbringing or culture have something to do with this?

Spending is not necessarily gender based. However, upbringing and outlook towards money and spending in the past can influence their current style of spending. To get to the bottom of this trail and establish a controlled sense of spending, it is important to understand how anindividual views money-

  • An object of pleasure?
  • An object of power?
  • An object that is a status symbol?
  • An object of authority?
  • An object that makes you “feel and look good”?
  • An object that is a source of comfort during times of distress and sadness?
  • An object that is respected and treasured?
  • An object that is a necessity for survival?
  • An object that helps to secure your future?

To be continued ……………………

If you would like to talk, feel free to reach out to us. An LifeWorks therapist would be able to help.

Corina Saramet
Corina Saramet
Psychologist - English,Romanian,Spanish
Master Degree in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Bucharest, Romania
Nashwa Tantawy
Nashwa Tantawy
Psychologist - Arabic, English
M.A. in Counseling Psychology from The American University in Cairo
Jyotika Aggarwal
Jyotika Aggarwal
Clinical Psychologist - English
M.A.(Clinical Psychology), RE-CBT - Experience: 7 Years
Sailaja Menon
Sailaja Menon
Counseling Psychologist - English
CAGS (Multicultural Counseling), Johns Hopkins University, USA - Experience: 25 Years
Salma Mahmoud
Salma Mahmoud
Psychologist - Arabic and English
Master's in Psychology, BA Psychology - Experience: 12 Years
Iva Vukusic
Iva Vukusic
Clinical Psychologist - English, Croatian and German
Master of Psychology, Training of Trainers (ToT) Community
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Dr.Marwa Abd El Hamid
Clinical Psychologist - Arabic and English
Ph.D. in Psychology Ain-Shams University - Experience: 16 Years
Dr. Sravani Behara
Dr. Sravani Behara
Specialist Psychiatrist - English, Hindi and Telugu
MBBS, MD - Experience: 12 Years
Dr.Bassem Badr
Dr.Bassem Badr
Consultant Psychiatrist,Holistic Approach - Arabic and English
Master of Science in Neuropsychiatry - Experience: 25 Years

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