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That’s it – you are tired of debt collector calls, living paycheck to paycheck, and just how much of your monthly income is going toward paying what you have borrowed on credit cards.
Or you’re tired of seeing friends taking vacations every year while you can barely make ends meet.
Or you just don’t want to have to worry so much about your finances anymore.
So you do what you need to do to get the ball rolling for a change.
You enroll in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. You read countless financial blogs about budgeting and how others have paid off debt. And you finally start a budget of your own.
You make a plan to become debt free. Maybe you decide you need another source of income and a second job is in order.
You’re fired up. Excited. Ready to do this.
And then you tell your spouse. You excitedly explain your ideas and what you have done to get started.
But your spouse does not get on board.
This isn’t really uncommon. It can be very difficult to get everyone on board with a plan like this.
Millions of people get stressed when they think of having to watch their finances so closely. Or they think that this is their one and only life so if they have to use credit to have some fun, then so be it. Or the thought of having to get a second job is not something they see themself doing.
You wonder how you are ever going to do this by yourself. Is it even possible?
And you realize that for this to ever happen, you both have to be on board.
So do you just give up? Or is it worth the effort to try and convince your spouse that this really is the best thing to do?
Absolutely it is worth the effort! Together you can do a lot more than by yourself.
So just how to do you make it happen?
Of course everyone’s situation is different. Every couple is different. Everyone comes from a different background and has different reasons for either being or not being on board with this.
Perhaps they grew up in a family where financial responsibility was not valued and reckless spending was the way of life.
Perhaps their family was wealthy so worrying about money was never an issue and won’t be now.
What is important is to find out what is going to work best for you and your spouse.
Here are some ideas to help guide you as you begin to work through this with your partner:
#1 Explain to your spouse why a new financial plan is important to you
One of the reasons your spouse may be struggling to get on board with your financial plan is because he or she doesn’t understand why you want to do this in the first place. What does it mean for you, for your spouse, for your family, to get on this plan? How will it impact your future? What benefits do you see now and down the road?
If it’s important to you to become debt free, why is it important? Show your spouse how when you free up your resources from going toward debt, that money can go toward other things like vacations, a new car, retirement, your kids’ college.
In other words, show your spouse what it would mean for your family to be financially free.
It may also be helpful to have them read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, assuming you have already read it. If you have not, then see if your spouse will read it with you. This book is the perfect tool to help anyone get their finances under control.
#2 Discuss what is going to be difficult about this financial plan
Walking into this trying to convince your spouse that this new plan is going to be quick and easy is only setting you both up for disappointment. Be honest about how tough it’s going to be.
What sacrifices are you both going to have to make? Will one or both of you need to get a second job or side hustle? Will you have to put off that vacation until next year?
Talk about these things. Your spouse may not be happy with them but will appreciate your honesty. Together you can come up with a plan that is going to work for the both of you.
#3 Ask your spouse what kind of financial plan they would like to have, if any
It could be possible that your spouse has been thinking about being a little more deliberate with finances but have yet to talk to you about it. They may have their own goals they have been thinking about and just needed an opportunity to share.
If their ideas differ greatly from yours, be sure to listen to what they have to say anyway. Don’t just discount it or get defensive about what you would like to do, but really listen and acknowledge what they said. Maybe you can meet somewhere in the middle. It may even be helpful for the both of you to talk to someone else to help you work through it.
#4 Set goals together
Your spouse needs to know that their opinions matter too. And once you both know where you stand, you can set goals together. Whatever desired outcome you want from being financially responsible is for both of you, your spouse, and your entire family.
Is your goal to be debt free? Is it to go on a cruise next year? Maybe to remodel the master bathroom? Why are you wanting to become more financially responsible? Tell your spouse what goals you have and work on setting them together. If you both are reaching for the same thing, then you have double the power to put into making it happen!
Can I absolutely guarantee that you can get your spouse on board with what you would like to do with your finances? Of course not. Every person and every relationship is different. But I do believe that communication is important and a good place to start.
If you do have a conversation and end up fighting, don’t give up. Give each other some space to process what each other had to say, and try the conversation again. If you still are unable to reach an agreement, as previously mentioned, it may be helpful to talk to someone who can help you through it.
What ideas do you have to talk to your spouse about your financial plan? Please comment below!
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