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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308565  
Subject: Re: cash only opinions Date: 1/23/2006 3:00 PM
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Has anyone had any issues when trying this to get control of their spouses spending?

Yes. I wouldn't be here if I hadn't ever had issues with getting then-wife to control her spending.

As a threshold matter, it is not possible for you to control your spouse's spending. It might be possible for you to persuade her that she needs to control her spending. Think about the implications of this for a while.

What things should I be aware of or might I be missing?

If your spouse wants to control her spending, your plan has a chance of success. If she is just doing this to make you stop nagging her, the plan will fail. Some of the scenarios you describe sound like she doesn't really want to control her spending:

. . . pulling extra out like she does with the debit card. That seems to be her big problem. At the store so get cash back. Getting gas so buy some candy/jerky/soda whatever and get some cash back. Gonna go out with the girls get cash out from ATM then pay with debit card and spend cash on something else.

This sounds frighteningly like my ex-wife's conduct. What can happen after you put her on a cash diet? Well, she can just buy unnecessary junk at the grocery store for that check. (I recall the $30 gallon of milk; at the time, milk cost between $2 and $3 a gallon. Then-wife went to the store for milk, wrote a check for $29+, and came back with *one* gallon of milk. The rest was junk food and women's magazines.) She can run out of cash well before the end of her week and leave necessities unfunded. (I couldn't let then-wife run out of gas in the car, so she could get me to subisdize her gas simply by running out of money before she should.) She can get a credit card without your knowledge or consent. (Then-wife did that several times; I typically found out about them when they were maxed out. Credit cards can generate cash advances.)

You have an agreement with your wife. You need to watch how well actual results conform to the agreement. If the out of control spending continues, just changing form because of new restrictions, one of two things is happening: Either your wife is having trouble learning not to control her spending, or she doesn't really want to control it and she's just agreeing to things to get you to shut up. If she's having trouble learning to control her behavior, you can bring her here, or to the credit cards board, or to the LBYM board, and she can get pointers. If she doesn't want to control her spending, the choices of what you do about it are bleak.

I do hope you aren't facing as grim a situation as I describe.

Patzer
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