Keeping an eye on your own spending can be difficult, especially if you like to impulse buy. But when it comes to your partner, it can often be difficult to monitor what they are spending without being controlling or intrusive. There are some signs, however, that your partner could be spending too much money:
You notice strange transactions on the account
If you have a shared account, you can easily monitor what is going in and coming out online, by logging in any time of day. If you start to notice transactions on the account which you can’t explain, it could possibly be your partner spending the money. If these transactions are taking you into the red, it might be best to approach your partner tactfully. Don’t approach the topic in an argumentative way, but try and adopt an open and honest dialogue with them.
Your credit history is poor
By linking yourself with your partner financially, whether this is with joint accounts, credit cards or your mortgage, your credit histories affect each other. If you notice yours seems poor, consider the impact your partner is having on you. Perhaps you should also consider severing your financial ties with them and managing money separately, to overcome this problem. The Money Advice Service also suggests these four options to manage money together:
- Keep separate accounts
- Share and manage everything as a couple
- Share some responsibilities but keep some things private
- The main earner pays their partner an ‘allowance’
Your partner seems shifty and on edge
Debt can cause stress. If your partner seems to be buying a lot and suffering with repaying the debt, it might be best to talk to them openly and honestly and try and tackle the problem together.
Firstly, you’ll want to stop the spending in its tracks. So, say to yourself, do I really need it? Can I afford it? And, what will it cost me overall? (Taking into account interest on a loan, etc.) Experts agree that by pausing before a purchase and asking yourself these questions, you can halt impulse decisions and take back control of your spending. You might also consider removing credit cards from your partner as a temporary measure and even suggesting moving all bills etc over to your own name. This means you can keep a check on spending to ensure that the debt doesn’t accumulate in the interim.
Secondly, you’ll want to address the stress that the debt is causing your partner. Seeking help from debt advice charities can help you to put a repayment plan in place that is realistic, and if the stress is really severe, you might consider hiring the help of a counsellor. They can help you address deeper emotional issues causing the spending. Usually in these cases, the spending is a bi-product of a larger ongoing problem.