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We Need to Stop Spending So Much Money

Having trouble communicating about the issues in your marriage? You may not be speaking the same language.

"We need to stop spending so much money." It's a simple statement of an opinion, yet an utterly uninviting, unencouraging one. We could use some alternatives.

"I'm looking forward to doing a lot of things together after the kids are grown and we're retired, so could we please brainstorm a few ways to put more money into our retirement account?" [A better approach, especially if your spouse values quality time together.]

"May I repair this for you instead of getting a new one?" [A good approach for a loved one who sees love in doing things for each other.]

"I want to shower you with great gifts -- not a bunch of flowers, but an entire garden, not a new comforter for the bed, but an entire new bedroom, not new gadget for the kitchen, but a kitchen where you'll feel right at home. I want to buy a house for you, and I'd like your help to think of ways to afford it." [An inviting way to appeal to spouse who loves to receive gifts and views them as sign of love.]

"I want to spend more long, loving Saturdays in bed with you. Where could we cut costs on stuff that hardly matters, so I can spend less time working and more time with you?" [Works for a mate who especially enjoys the physical side of love.]

"Let's skip the club this Friday so we can get up early on Saturday and play tennis. I love watching your serve." [Works if you two have gotten into an expensive rut and your spouse eats up your loving respect.]

What would work with your mate? Let me know in a comment. Thanks!

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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