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DEAR JOHN: Wife spends too much money

mialisafenty, [email protected]

DEAR JOHN: Wife spends too much money

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Dear John, I am very worried about our use of money. I work as a motor mechanic. My wife gets a good salary and is unlikely to be laid off. To me this is a blessing during these tight economic times. We have three children in secondary school and we are able to maintain them very well. My concern is my wife and her handling of money.
John, every month when she gets paid she goes into town and finds herself in the expensive shops and boutiques. Dresses, handbags, shoes and other accessories are the things she is always buying. To my mind she is wasting a lot of money. She has a full wardrobe and does not need to buy clothes so regularly.
Our mortgage is almost cleared, we pay our bills monthly and we always have food. Personally, I work until the late evenings and I am prepared to work on weekends to meet any expenses that may crop up.
John, I talk to my wife but she does not listen. I cannot get her to understand that we should not be spending so freely. I believe we should build up or finances and be in a position to help the children by the time they are ready for community college or university.
Please tell me what I need to do to change things. I am very worried.
You and your wife are blessed. Please make adjustments immediately and put things in place to deal with changes that may come. Consider carefully the following:
(1) Keep an accurate record of every penny you earn. No doubt this will vary from month to month depending on the type and amount of work you do. Remember your wife’s salary is fixed and is unlikely to be increased for quite a while. The recession is affecting you because you have to meet the constantly rising shop and supermarket costs. In addition, gasoline, diesel and fuel oils are increasing almost every month.
(2) Get your wife to understand that in a marriage all income is technically family income. Sit with her and the three children every month and do family budgeting before you spend any money. Make sure you cover things like savings, national insurance for yourself and health insurance. Ensure you make provision for all utilities, mortgage, food, vehicle expenses, taxes, entertainment, property maintenance and children allowances.
(3) This monthly budget exercise will provide excellent training for the children and will give you and your wife a very good understanding of your true family financial position. A sound and healthy marriage is built on open and healthy financial management.
(4) Put your monthly savings in a joint account which is managed by both of you. This account is for emergencies, investments and any serious expenditures which you as a family may need to undertake. 
(5) Do this every month and you will begin to observe changes in the wife’s spending habits as she will begin to see expenditure in a different light. Ensure that every month you place the emphasis on savings and what can be loosely called wealth accumulation. Good luck as you tune up your financial management.