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Redditor Accused Of ‘Constricting’ Wife By Putting Her On A Budget Due To Her Lavish Spending Habits

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Budgeting is often a sticky subject for newly married couples. But for one guy on Reddit, the issue has become an all-out war after he put his wife on a budget due to her spending habits.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by IJustCleanedUp on the site, wasn’t sure about how he’d handled things, so he went to the AITA subReddit for perspective.

OP asked:

“AITA for putting my wife on a budget?”

He explained:

“We got married this past March (I’m 25, she’s 23) and, for her, its been a spending spree ever since. Hundreds at a time on clothes, accessories, makeup and all others that fall within that ilk, little trinkets for interior design, just spending all of the time. I make an okay living and the only reason we aren’t under water is because I don’t buy anything.”

“After running up $550 on a coat, I finally decided enough was enough. I built a spreadsheet, explained it to her, and wanted to handle things like adults. She acted like she was nodding off, struggling to stay away, she looked like a high school kid stuck in the most boring class in the school.”

“When I was done, I didn’t expect a fight, I thought it was fair. She on the other hand, doesn’t view this as a budget that benefits us both, she views this as I’m dominating her and I’m constricting her.”


Redditors were then asked to evaluate who’s in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And this debate proved very divisive, and a difficult one to parse.

“You didn’t talk about money before you got married? NAH”Kalenek

“Surely it’s an a**hole move to spend so much that the only way you stay above water is your partner spending nothing? Or is financial abuse ok if he never asked her to not do it?”GardaPojk

“It’s not an a**hole move to spend so much money your partner can’t buy anything for themselves? The wife is acting like an impulsive child, she is definitely TA.”BoabHonker

“So she’s not responsible for her actions and reckless spending because OP didn’t specifically tell her not to drop $550 on a coat before they got married.”

“Therefore it’s fair game and the best judgement is ‘ESH'”

“Lol what are you smoking”Past-Professor

“Do you think you’d say NAH if an unemployed man was spending $500 at a time on video games?”

“Edit: of course you fu*king wouldn’t. This sub is insane.”BeardedApe1988

“If you’re married, you’re in a partnership. A partner doesn’t go out and spend all of the money of the partnership on nonessentials, especially if the other partner is funding things.”

“It’s extremely selfish.”ConLawHero

“Why NAH? Because she’s a woman? He’s making money to support them, and from the picture OP painted, he makes all the money, and she spends all the money, then when he tried to be an adult about it, she acted like a child. He’s NTA, and she’s clearly an AH.”shaggy1452

“While I agree that finances should be discussed before you ever get married. I don’t think OP could have guessed that his wife would take marriage as a signal to just go balls deep into shopaholic mode.”

“I would side more with an ESH verdict as OP should have had this conversation beforehand but that being said the absence of that talk does not excuse the fact that wife seems to be using husband as a bottomless debit card. She’s 23…At an age where she should arguably be capable of discerning right from wrong but chooses to do this regardless.”Slumbering_Oaf

“Wtf? How is it a NTA. Just because they didn’t discuss it at length doesn’t mean that money ceases to be a limited resource that she can spend at her leisure.”


“Drop this energy.”ZeDitto

“Bro even children understand money isn’t infinite. The wife is absolutely the a**hole for treating her husband like an ATM, and the husband absolutely is not the a**hole for assuming he wouldn’t get treated as such.”anariot

“My wife and I didn’t talk about money before we got married. We didn’t talk about a lot of things.”

“We only knew each other for about a month before we got married, but we’ve been married for 15.5 years so far. We’ve had a few problems, but we have always figured things out.”

“Just need to calmly talk to each other and if you start to get excited about something, call a time-out.”Galadriel109

“I mean, they probably did talk money. I talked money with my fiance, and he still almost sank us early on. You can think you’re on the same page, but still be mistaken. That’s marriage.”

“I think circling back to further clarify was the right move, but the SO being rude about it and not considering their behavior to be a problem puts them into AH territory.”


“NTA- however I don’t know that your handling it quite right…?”

“I’d get some separate bank accounts and have the joint one for bills and things(vacation fund, retirement… whatever) you each contribute to in whatever pre-agreed amount you’ve discussed.”

“NTA. Everyone needs a budget, but this is something that should have been hammered out before you got married. There’s a reason that money is a leading cause of divorce. Personally, I’m a fan of yours, mine, and ours funds.”

“Both partners get an equal monthly ‘allowance’ to spend however they want, no questions asked. Anything else gets put into the ‘ours’ fund and that’s used for household costs. any household cost outside of normal bills over $x has to be approved by both people. So, she can buy her $550 coat with her monthly money after she saves up. but it comes out of her money, not joint money.”

“Go get the book ‘smart couples finish rich’ and read it together and work through the questions separately and then talk through your answers. If you can’t get on the same page about this, your relationship is likely doomed.”

“Biggest thing: DO NOT get pregnant until this is resolved. You need to be 100% in charge of your birth control, don’t rely on her to prevent it.”debt2set

Hopefully OP and his wife can find a way to work through this.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.