I Want to Save Money, But My Spouse Doesn't: Financial Expert Jean Chatzky Responds

Sheri Reed

Last week, Jean Chatzky shared with us some great tips for saving money. She's back today with an answer to one of your money questions.

Find out how to start saving even when your significant other is resistant to the idea.

Q: When my significant other sees you on TV, he will agree with what you are saying, but then when I ask him to put it into practice I get a stone wall response. How do I convince the men in my life that paying oneself first is the only way they will ever get a payoff?


A: There is a time for convincing, DogsMom. And there is a time for taking the ball in your own court. Or hands. I’m not sure how that saying goes. My point is this: Why are you asking him to put it into practice? Put it into practice yourself.

Go into your checking account — I assume it’s joint, which means you have equal power to execute — set up a joint savings account on the side, if you don’t have one already, and set up an automatic transfer from that checking account into the savings account every time a paycheck lands. Don’t start with an amount that is a budget buster, but rather with an amount you know you can save without missing it. Do it for several paycheck cycles, maybe several months.

Then, when the savings account statement lands —  in the mail or electronically — show it to your significant other. Make sure you do this with a certain degree of excitement...as in, “Look, honey! We talked about saving money for such a long time. Now we’re actually doing it! Doesn’t it feel great?” 

As the money adds up, which it will over time, make sure you show him the progress that you’re making together. Talk about how this stash is going to enable you to reach the goals you set together — retirement at 60, a beach house, college for the kids, whatever.

Here’s the honest to goodness truth: Saving money isn’t really fun. But, having money saved is really fun. Sometimes you need to play mind games with yourself (or even with that loved one) to get the savings to build in the first place. Act first. This is one time when you won’t have to apologize later.

— Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky will be back in a few weeks to answer more of your financial questions! Stay tuned.

About Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky is the financial editor for NBC’s Today show, a contributor to The Oprah Winfrey Show, and hosts her own daily radio program on Sirius XM’s Oprah & Friends Channel. She is also the author of numerous bestselling books, including The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even the Toughest Times (Crown Business). She blogs daily at JeanChatzky.com.

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