Family Money Saving Tips

How to Trick Your Spouse into Saving Money

How to Trick Your Spouse into Saving Money
Written by Oana Schneider

Not everyone is as concerned about money as you are, probably, but when your better half keeps wasting your finances on unimportant things, the relationship can turn into an ugly situation. If you want to teach your better half to save money, there are a few tricks you can try:

1. Budget everything

Whenever you buy something, put everything on paper. Look for discounts and show your spouse how much money you saved and encourage him/her to do the same. However, it’s very important not to be too pushy about it because adjusting to this much math takes time. In fact, most people hate budgeting because they feel like their math skills are too weak or that they could never keep track of their pennies.

2. Make plans for your savings

Your spouse has to understand that saving money is not just something you do for the sake of it, but a necessity. You could be saving money for a trip, a better home, a new laptop or your kids’ college. But if you lay the facts like that, they will never appeal to your spouse. And just like marketers teach us, everything sells better when it has a story.

How to Trick Your Spouse into Saving Money

Help Your Child Go to a Good College.

So explain things like this:

Imagine our son going to Harvard, becoming a well-renowned lawyer and us being the proudest parents ever. Imagine dropping him off to college and waiting for him to come home for the holidays. We can buy as many small things as we want, but they will never make us feel that proud. 

You could both go online and look for colleges and so on. The more information you provide, the better you’ll make your case.

3. Try a 10-day cure

This is actually a very thing to do when tricking your spouse into saving money: just propose a period of 10 days during which none of you will make purchases, no matter if it’s food or drinks. Drink tap water and cook your own meals, look for cheap entertainment (the Internet is a great provider of entertainment ideas!), go to the park and play volleyball and give each other cute notes every morning.

Plus, brew your own coffee and drink it on your front porch or balcony instead of going to Starbucks. At the end of these 10 days, write down all the things you could’ve bought but didn’t. Multiply that by 3 and you’ll get the amount of money you’d save in a month. Keep in mind that you save to remember grocery costs. Other than that, you could, in fact, save at least $300 a month!

4. Volunteer

Specialists say that people who volunteer are more careful about their needs and spending, so now would be a great idea to start volunteering at the pet shelter. Most of these animals need food, medicine and…love. Plus, there are many less-fortunate families who can barely afford dinner not to mention hi-tech gadgets.

Ask your spouse to do this with you and you’ll definitely see the results. Most of the time, people look for comfort in things and that’s why they buy a lot, when the truth is we all need to be reminded that we really don’t need that much to be happy.

How to Trick Your Spouse into Saving Money

Help a Pet in Need!

5. Involve your friends and family

And no, we don’t mean it like an intervention, but more like a way of doing things together without having to pay someone for help. If you have to move into a new home, enlist your cousins. If you are throwing a party, ask your mothers and grandmas to help with the food.

If you need to work out, ask your friends to join you and jog along in the park. There is no reason to pay for moving companies, catering and gym memberships when you have friends and family. Your spouse will pick up on this faster than you think!

6. Get into diy

If your other half is prone to overspending, maybe all he or she needs is to see things from a different perspective. And this is where you come in. Look up DIY tutorials that teach you how to reuse your old jeans, CDs, DVDs or floppy disks, various household items and so on. Women tend to spend more money than men, in which case a few tutorials on hair and makeup could save both of you a lot of money on salon appointments.

7. Cook together

When cooking together, people are having way more fun than waiting for the food to be ready in the restaurant. You’ll never remember what you talked about while dining out, but you will remember your husband’s face covered in flour! Memories are cheap and so easy to make while dining out is stressful, expensive and honestly…not very meaningful.

A great idea would e to set up a rule for your family, like: we will only eat out once a month and every weekend we’ll make time to try a new recipe together. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could cook together every day. Try easy recipes, like the ones we wrote about here.

How to Trick Your Spouse into Saving Money

Turn Cooking into a Fun Family Activity!

8. Make shopping a fun experience

Most people get extremely stressed when having to shop for presents and a recent study shows that you will end up taking 5 trips to the supermarket to complete your shopping list. We know gas is not very expensive, but why go to the supermarket 5 times anyway? Time is also a valuable resource!

Here’s our idea: write down everything you need to buy a month or two before the holidays and play a little game: whoever finds the smallest price for an item, gets a star on the fridge. The person with the most stars on the fridge by the holidays will get a day off from cleaning and all other house chores.

9. Watch Extreme Couponing

Believe it or not, this TV show says a lot about our needs and spendings: you have a bunch of people clipping coupons to buy things they probably don’t need, when what they should be doing is look for coupons to buy what they need. Of course, the amount of money saved will make an impact on your spouse.

10. Just talk it out

There are a few reasons why people spend recklessly: this is what they were taught, they didn’t have much growing up or they are simply looking for comfort/coolness. Also, there are some people who think that saving money is “silly”. Try to understand which one of these situations best describes your spouse and then propose a 10-day cure, as a trial.

It’s important to be understanding and let the other one do the talking. After all, saving money is not just about finances, but also about habits, economical flair, wisdom, and education. You’ve decided to spend the rest of your lives together and saving money is a must, so you better have this talk, but keep your calm.

Are you the a big spender in your family? How would you trick your spouse into saving money? Do you think saving money is important in a relationship?

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About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois and was part of our team as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget and has a degree in Communications.


  • I really did need this. My husband grew up in a family where they bought everything they wanted when they wanted it, so he never really learned how to save for a rainy day. I especially like the 10 day fix thing. I think this may be the way to go for us. Thanks for the idea.

  • Finances can take a big toll on relationships, not only because of debt, but having different spending and saving habits can cause ongoing friction between partners. It tends to coincide with other lifestyle choices, being safe versus being a chance taker, and can also reflect in looser versus tighter parenting styles. Even if the two people have different styles, having open communication, and working on it via suggestions such as the ones in this article, can definitely help bridge the differences.

  • I think talking about saving really is one of the best ideas, because it means that you will both have similar ideas about what money you have, and about what is happening to that money. Finances are things that a lot of people will have disagreements about, and for this reason you really do need to make sure that you are both open and honest about it. That way, you should find that your relationship can go from strength to strength with both of you having similar attitudes to money, too.

  • DIY. Cook our own family meals. Brew you own cappuccino. Shop together as a date. Save grocery money. And no matter what, SAVE MONEY. We’ve heard these many times, remind ourselves to the bones. We always end up learning from our mistakes and start over to SAVE. As husband and wife, we are open with each other in keeping our finances at bay.

    Our money is mostly spent on our children’s schooling and needs. Any debt incurred every two weeks is always paid off on salary days to bring debt down to zero, as much as possible. I have cash allowance every two weeks. And I save a lot. Most of the savings is used to help family (widowed mother, struggling siblings) overseas.

    Thankfully, our house is fully paid off eight years now. What a breather!

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