I am married for 15+ years and working at an Indian technology company.
These days, layoffs have been so frequent in my industry; for instance at my company they happened twice in the last three years. Thus, I've always been worrying for the last 4-5 years if I can secure my job until retirement.
I come from a middle class background and my wife is from a poor family; she struggled for good food in her childhood. She is not working; my salary is the only source of income.
Every 2-4 weeks, she comes up with shopping plans for mostly high-end items, such as variety of dresses, cosmetics, fancy restaurants, gold jewelry, etc.
She never talks about savings, budget plans, taking care of the two kids' future, etc.
I used to refuse at first, and after a long argument, I'm eventually forced to buy what she asks for.
What I've tried already (throughout our entire marriage):
- (when we both are in a good mood) Calmly explaining to her the importance of savings and approximate amount needed for kids' study, their marriage, our retirement life, unexpected health issues, etc.
- (when I'm in a bad mood) Arguing and shouting at her
- Whenever hearing about people struggling for money, pointing to her and saying to the effect of, "we should not suffer like this in the future, please take care"
- Giving her a fixed budget when going out for that day shopping. She usually agrees at home, but most of the time she goes on to ask for items that exceed the budget and nags me to buy it. This makes me feel cheated and sometimes I shout at her at either home or the shop itself.
- Allocating a monthly budget. Most of the time she comes back around the 20th of each month demanding 25-30% extra. Raising the budget every six months also didn't help.
("most of the time" above refers to 70% of the time)
Her usual reply is that this spending is "important" or that it's a fundamental part of life.
I've tried each of these approaches dozens of times. I'm tired of continuously having to repeat myself and very stressed out and irritable these days. Even after I've explained this fact to her multiple times, things are not improving.
I already shared her about my layoff fear, but even it doesn't help.
We went to family counseling for about a year in 2012, but things got worse once we stopped it.
How can I improve my communication with her, in the hope that she understands my points and makes an effort to stop being spendthrift?
Update: Due to various reasons, divorce is not an option.