DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Every year my wife and I agree to not spend more than $100 on each other for Christmas, and instead put some money towards something we need for the house our maybe a better vacation.
Last year, like she has done for the other of the six years we have been married, my wife went overboard and spent way more than what we agreed on. Her overspending makes me angry because we could use that money for something we both could enjoy, and it makes me look like a cheapskate. What can I do to make her keep in budget? --- FRUGAL, NOT CHEAP
DEAR FRUGAL, NOT CHEAP: I don’t think staying within an agreed upon budget makes you a cheapskate. But you need to make it clear to your wife that that’s how her ignoring the limit makes you feel.
It might help if you can more specifically focus her spending. Set up a savings account for a particular home improvement or designated dream vacation and let her know her best gift to you would be to make that fund grow so you can both enjoy her generosity.