Overspender surrounded by overspenders

I'm new to budgeting this year.  I spend too much.  My family spends too much.  I notice that when we run out of money or if I won't tap into savings to keep the spending going everyone gets angry and irritable.  I wish there was a way to shut off my money like a water tap.  On days that I am not spending, my family is spending more.  It's a very mental stressor.  Any tips?

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  • Sounds like a very, very difficult situation.

    The only thing I can think of is to try and talk to everyone and let them know what you think of the current situation and what you are trying to achieve.

    If they don't agree with it, you have to do what you think is best for you and your future.

    Like 1
  • It sounds like you're the gatekeeper, which is very stressful. Everyone blames you when the spending stops.

    Instead, I wonder if you can point them to YNAB. When anyone is wondering if there's enough money to buy X, you can send them to the YNAB category. That's based on the spending plan you've set, and then you won't be the one saying no.

    It can take time to ease into budgeting. It's okay to be less restrictive as you begin -- changing habits is often done with baby steps!

    Like 3
  • i know exactly how you feel. my first month on YNAB i was 10 categories overspent 😫 it was frustrating but i realize its because some of my habits had yet to change. For ex: my amazon cc was just the reaper of all my amazon "needs" Now that i've paid it off, I only add my "needs" aka wants to a shopping list and buy them only when i have the cash to pay that amazon bill right away

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  • oh and for the family, maybe make them live off the envelope system. when their cash is gone (allowance) thats it. If they want more, tell them to go earn the $. my daughter has 2 jobs now :-)

    Like 2
  • Would it help if your family got together and each person put forward a goal for 3 mths, 6mths and 12 mths that at current spending levels your family wouldn't be able to achieve and then show how if certain spending was reduced how these would become affordable?


    12 mth goal: Summer Camp

    Cost:  $500 payable in 10 months

    Person currently overspends $50 per month on clothing. So if the spend on clothing was reduced summer camp could be paid for in the time frame allotted.

    You could perhaps have a tracker board so that for every time that category isn't overspent it shows the money being put aside for camp and if it is overspent the money has to be taken out of the camp category.

    Like 1
  • Hey Purple,

    Been there, done that.  It is hard starting off.  So I wanted to give you some tips that helped me.

    You don't give too much information except to say, that "your family" is spending too much.

    First, I want to say that if anyone other than you and your spouse have access to your money then I would end that today.  Learning to manage yourself and your spouse is a big enough job.  The only way that your children should be able to get money from you is to 1) ask for it or 2) put it into there own accounts (maybe for a job well-done).  

    If you solve that problem then that only leaves you and your spouse to talk about.  

    Although I don't think I have the spending tendencies of my wife, I, too, enjoy spending (especially for food...it shows in my waistline).  But if you are the one who is "owning" this budgeting thing then I have to say something obvious.   You have to first lead by example.  The thing that helped me turn the corner on budgeting is I became obsessive compulsive about doing it EVERY SINGLE DAY.  And the reason I began to do it every single day is because something weird happened.  I actually began to ENJOY budgeting with YNAB.  True story.  I REALLY enjoy YNAB.  It feels good every day to have a sense of where you are financially, like those stripes on the lawn after a fresh mow.  

    Once you begin to enjoy it and it becomes a habit something interesting happens.  It turns out that you begin to enjoy managing your money more than the newest gadget.  And that gives you a platform for leading your spouse without being hypocritical.  So it begins with you.

    As for your spouse I wanted to give you a tip for "turning off the tap" as you put it.  But I must make a VERY IMPORTANT caveat before telling you.  This tip assumes that you have a fairly good relationship with your spouse AND that he/she is on board with budgeting (at least in theory if not in fact).  This tip will give you a way of managing and controlling your spouse's spending but it will only work if your relationship is pretty strong.  My context is that my wife, at first, liked the IDEA of budgeting more than the reality of it.  But we have a REALLY great, loving relationship.  So here is the tip that helped us through the getting started stage.

    We got akimbo cards. http://akimbocard.com . Akimbo cards are pre-paid debit cards. Think of them as reloadable gift cards. They are totally free. What is cool about them is that they have the concepts of Primary card and sub-cards. Once you load the primary card you can use the website (or really nice apps for smart phones) to MOVE money into the sub-cards. The way that works with YNAB is that the PRIMARY card is created as an IN BUDGET account in YNAB. You put some money into that account when you get paid or using a transfer (more on that in a bit). Then (and here is the hard part) you take the debit card away and give her the akimbo sub-card. (For us, this no other card stage didn't last terribly long...maybe two months). So the ONLY way for her to spend is with the akimbo card. When she needs money you use the app to move money into her sub-card. When you move money to the sub-card it is like spending it. You allocate that transfer to the sub-card to your budget categories based on what she says she is planning to spend it on. The sub-cards are "off-budget". (In fact you could add them as off-budget YNAB accounts but I didn't really see the need.)

    This plan really worked and helped to raise my wife's consciousness about spending.  (BTW, in lieu of "taking away" the debit card you could just have her swear to not use it...whatever works for you).  And, you COULD use these sub-cards with your children, even if you don't think this plan will work with your spouse.  

    The HARDEST part of the akimbo card is that getting money loaded onto the card is either 1) instant but not free ($5) or 2) a day or two and totally free. In the end, I found the easiest way to load the card was to initiate the transfer FROM MY BANK by setting up the akimbo card as an external bank account.  Transfers are free and generally done in 24 hours (at least for my bank).  Initiating the transfer from akimbo is free, too, but take 3-4 days which I think is too impractical to be of use.

    Hope this helps.  Good luck turning off the tap with everyone in your family but most importantly with yourself.


    Like 4
  • Khaki Vacuum (ddf759ffc724) said:
    I REALLY enjoy YNAB.  It feels good every day to have a sense of where you are financially, like those stripes on the lawn after a fresh mow.

     I just want to say I love this! I feel the same way. 😀

    Like 1
  • I recently discovered Debtors Anonymous. Really! A great help, lots of support. It’s given me the goal of removing vagueness about my money. 

    Like 1
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