One of the best ways to limit spending is to shed the cards and actually SPEND CASH.
When you get paid, allocate X amount of $$$ to specific categories and let her have full control of those categories.
Something like Daves delux envelope system will help with that...http://www.daveramsey.com/store/budgeti ... od210.html
When you start taking 10's and 20's and 100's out of your pocket and giving it to someone else and seeing your pocket running out of funds - the hard reality of SPENDING comes clearly into focus.
It's just not the same with swiping a card. There is no pain in that and that is what it is so easy to abuse it.
One thing that my wife and I do is this... We do use a credit card (for convenience, and cash back, rewards - Chase Freedom card)... but we have a hard limit that we enforce manually.
Basically a notebook that we record every credit card charge in. It starts of with a amount we can spend, and each time we write in a charge, we maintain a running balance --- so we see it dwindling down.
When we have spent the max allowed on the credit card, we change over to spending cash only until the next payday. I get paid on the 15th and end of month... so our hard limit on how much we can spend on the credit card is based on 15 day intervals. When we do max out our credit card allowance.. it is not that long until the next payday so it is not that hard to wait.
I pay the credit card off every 15 days, each time I get paid.
So we do enjoy the convenience of credit card, but only to a specific (budget amount) amount, and then reality kicks in and we spend cold hard cash after that, until the next pay day.
When you start spending that cold hard cash --- control kicks in big time.
Credit cards are only evil, if you don't find some way to control them.
It sounds like your wife may just need some help with getting things under control.
Good Luck !