A major problem for us in retirement is running out of money.
To control spending, you must have an agreed upon budget. It sounds like they are floundering without one.
When we met 18 years ago, my wife was frugal and I had no sense. Her main goals were and still are necessity and quality. I thought that I had a budget, but didn’t really.
She lived through the cheap years before we met. She turned the hot water heater on just for showers.
I thought that I was doing ok, but if I had continued, we would not be where we are now.
For example, my dad said that you would always have a car payment, so get the best one that you can afford every year.
She had a car savings account. Make payments for 2 years. Pay the same payment to the account for 2 more years. Get the best car available with the trade-in and car account with a 2-year loan. Repeat twice and you will always pay cash for a car after that.
Debt leaves you with limited options, so avoid it al all costs.
My wife is still more frugal than I am, but we withdraw from the IRA’s based on a plan that will last more than 40 years.
We never go over that budget.
The main point: have a “general spending” budget item, just like a food or restaurant budget item.