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How Can I Help My Husband Realize That We Need to Save Money? – Valerie

“Dear Steve,

My fiancee and I are getting married in a few days. We have a newborn on the way and are struggling to save up any money to buy furniture for this baby. We both have jobs and will both be keeping them throughout the marriage. However, going into this marriage he doesn’t save any money. He also has terrible credit. I save every penny I can and have a pretty good credit score. I know that money is one of the most common arguments in any married couple, but how do I get him to see that we really need to start focusing on this upcoming addition to the family instead of our growing DVD collection? I’ve brought it up to him before and he agrees, yet he hasn’t put any money into our savings account, while I’ve contributed over $400.

How can I help my fiancee realize that we need to save money without seeming like I don’t want him to spend anything?


Dear Valerie,

Congratulations on the upcoming wedding. I’m really glad you’ve contacted me to ask your question. It is something that I run into a lot.

When looking for a life partner I guess we tend to look for those things that compliment ourselves. We seem to look for those opposites in who we find exciting or attractive. In all of my years it seems that savers attract spenders. One answer is that spenders are often a bit more impulsive and spend money on the savers which is a new and different experience. That is wonderful when you are dating but when it comes time to shack up the finances, there can be problems.

The worst thing you could do right now is tell him he can’t spend money on things he wants. The better approach is to establish an open communication about money. If you can be intimate enough to make love to each other and in your case, have a baby together, your relationship should be intimate to talk about finances together.

I think the time has come for you to open a joint bank account and deposit both of your paychecks into it. You can manage the account and move money into savings to help achieve your financial goals. While you’ll probably assume most of the control over paying the bills and balancing the checkbook the two of you should sit down together every two weeks and review where your money is going so he can see it clearly. The last thing you want is for him to feel in the dark or that you are treating him like a child when it comes to where you combined money is going.

Together the two of you can determine how much can be spent on fun things like DVDs. Rather than tell him what he can spend his money on, basically you need to give him an allowance and let him determine how he is going to spend it. I’ll let you word that message in a loving way using your womanly charms to make him not feel like it is an allowance.

His poor spending and money management habits are the exact reason why he does not seem to have money and he has bad credit. You can nip this in the bud now.

If you sit down to have the conversation about putting all your money into one account that cares for the family and he has a problem with that, then you’ve got bigger issues. As a husband and a father he needs to understand that he now has a responsibility to earn, provide and financially care for his family. With the commitment of a wife and the care of a child comes the need to put away his childish wants for everything thing that has desired at an impulse.

The key to this approach is for you to encourage him to go out and blow his “allowance” in any way he wants. That is his money to spend without you looking over his shoulder. If you follow my advice then he won’t feel like he is being micromanaged to death by you, he’ll still have some discretionary financial freedom and you should be able to save for the both of you out of your combined money.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


  • Great post! Really good insight. It’s always difficult to discuss finances and share money in relationships. Thanks for your advice. I recently stumbled upon this blog like I stumbled upon yours. I think they offer some good points and laughter about the topic: http://burisonthecouch.wordpre

    Thanks for the post! I’d like to see more like it.

  • I would put it like this. Tell him that you want to take care of the books. Obviously you are a better financial manager. He won’t have to worry about bills or anything else. You pay them. He has his own checking account to do with as he wants. That way you know the stuff will be paid. If you work out the budget and how much you need to take care of all that stuff he gives you the money to take care of those things. This could work if he isn’t running up credit card bills. I know guys who do this and like it because they don’t have to worry about things like paying the electric bill that way.
    I don’t know that joint accounts are for everybody. I think things are better when you each have your own money that you don’t have to answer to the other person about, as long as the common bills are taken care of first. I found joint accounts to be a bookkeeping nightmare. I did that in my first marriage and never will again.
    Each family has their own way of managing finances. The main thing is to get a system down that will keep you from fighting and arguing. That to me is why separate checking accounts after paying the bills is best.
    As for credit cards, I think that just not using them is best. Using them is like playing Russian roulette.

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