There is usually a spender and a saver in most relationships, so if you're the one who's careful with their pennies and need to rein your partner in before they're declared bankrupt- here are some top tips.
Cut up credit cards- If you can- clear their credit card and cut it up. They are the worst thing for someone who can only make the minimum payment each month. In an ideal world you should only have a credit card if you can pay off the whole amount not just scrape the minimum payment.
Budget- If your partner is someone who spends more than they earn- give them a joint budget to work with. Once it's gone it's gone and they will soon learn the hard way to pace themselves because it affects not only them but you too.
Save every month- Rather than waiting to see what's left at the end of each month- put money into savings as soon as you get paid then your partner won't be tempted to dip into it.
Take Control- In the worst case scenario- you may have to take complete control of the finances, rather than sharing the responsibility as this can get confusing. Just as long as they agree.
Check statements- Ask your partner for all of their receipts and check them off against the statements so you have a clear idea of what they're spending your joint money on.
Accountability- Talk to them about what they're buying- do they really need it? Or is there a cheaper alternative? Add up all of the unnecessary spending to show them how much it amounts to. Small expenditures don't seem a lot until you lump them altogether.
Pocket money/ Allowance- If needs be- give them a set amount each month for their personal spend. If they fritter it all away in the first couple of weeks then they will have to do without for the rest of the month. It's a hard lesson to learn but should help them spread their spending out more equally.
Joint Gifts- If they like to spend money on the house or enjoy a treat here and there-put a plan in place to save up for something they or both of you really want. It could be a piece of furniture, a holiday or a new laptop- if you have something to work towards it will feel even better to buy it with money you do have rather than sloping into debt in order to pay for it.
Honesty- If you do need to take the reins on your joint income- be honest with your partner. Tell them where the money has gone- into savings, into your current account, into an ISA- you may be the one to organise it all but make sure all the information is easily accessible to your partner too.
Have a separate account for your food- This includes food shopping and meals out. If you want to treat yourselves to a take out or a meal for two in a restaurant, you can, but only if the food account has enough money in it. It's easy to stick a meal here and a coffee there on your joint card but it soon mounts up. It also puts an end to regular supermarket trips for 'bits and pieces' you think you need in between big shops.