This post is from our regular contributor, Angelique.
Money is a universal topic that has many definitions. For some, money is simply a tool to help you live your day to day life and for others, it represents dreams and goals meant to be experienced.
As we each decide what money means to us, our unique personalities and circumstances shape our view of money and our intentions with it. It’s these differences that can throw a wrench in a marriage when the finance discussion arises.
A survey conducted by Cashlorette noted that 48% of American couples have arguments about their finances. That’s nearly half! The clash is the result of being on different pages about money and it can certainly put a strain on your relationship.
One way that can be a big help in turning this around for financially feuding couples is making a budget.
It’s a great way to alleviate the stress of money-centered conflict and it offers an opportunity to build a strong financial foundation together.
It’s also no secret that when both partners are on board with making a budget and sticking to it, reaching your joint goals is a lot easier, so how do you approach the subject of budgeting with a skeptical partner?
Here are some great strategies that can help you and your spouse create a budget game plan and finally get on the same page.
Ask Them Out On A Budget Date
Although a difficult subject, there is no reason why talking about budgets can’t become a positive experience. Take your spouse somewhere that is cost-effective and fun for you both to discuss your finances.
This is also a great way to show your spouse that budgets don’t have to be strict and entertainment can be incorporated into it if that is something important to them. Fun activities are a great way to reward your budgeting commitment and it helps your spouse to see it as an upside to budgeting.
Some frugal budget date ideas are:
• Go for a walk
• Get ice cream
• Go to the movies
• Hang out at a coffee shop
• Bike ride
• Open mic night for comedy or karaoke
• Paint night
Demonstrating that fun can happen on a budget will help foster a positive connection to budgeting for your spouse.
Highlight The Benefits of Making a Budget
As you open up the conversation with your spouse, share some positive benefits associated with budgeting:
- Having a sense of security from being in control of your money
- Getting/staying out of and avoiding more debt
- Being able to work towards your dreams
- Creating a stable financial foundation for your family
- Opening other doors of opportunity
- Gaining more knowledge about finances in general
- Creating organization and order for spending and saving
- Open up the communication channel for you both
- Creates focus and awareness on your money goals and habits
You can also share key areas that you can save money to provide a real example of how this benefits you
Having positive points lined up can help hit home for your spouse so they see that this is a great way to move forward on your financial journey.
Do Some Goal Work
Now for the really fun part: dreams and goals talk!
Discussing your future and dreaming big can be fun and rewarding for each of you and it builds your bond as you decide what is truly important for your life together. This is also a great opportunity for each of you to share your personal insights on how you view money.
When speaking with your spouse, be honest and open about your personal goals, your money mindset and why making a budget is important to you. Then ask your spouse to share their views about the subject as well. After this, discuss your joint financial goals, both short and long-term.
A deep discussion will give you a full view of your spouse’s concerns, fears and dreams. This will help to deepen your bond together and set the stage for growth in your financial relationship as well. It also demonstrations why budgeting is a useful tool for your life goals together and eases you into the actual budgeting work, which can be emotionally and mentally challenging.
As you generate ideas during your conversation, take notes and be sure to review them together at each budget meeting to make sure you are on track.
Bring In The Advisor
Utilizing the services of a finance professional can add a deeper level to your support of budgets and sometimes this level of expertise can help make your partner feel more comfortable.
If visiting a professional one-on-one isn’t an option, taking an online course such as The Love Your Budget Course is a fantastic way to show your spouse why budgets are a great idea. It’s comprehensive and a fantastic option to help you both learn about the art of budgeting in a fun, interactive and casual setting—your own home.
Lead By Example
Spouse still not on board? Another great way to get your reluctant significant other on board with budgeting is by making a budget for yourself and following it daily.
As you stick to your budget and still enjoy your life, your spouse will see that budgets don’t have to be difficult to follow and maintain, nor do they have to suck all the joy from your life.
In addition, your spouse will see that money can be used in many different ways and deciding how you make it work for you is empowering.
Remember, sometimes showing not just telling can be more effective in your pursuit to get on the same budget page.
Some other great tips are:
- Speak as a team by using “we”. You want to have your spouse feel included in the process in every way and if your perspective is one of togetherness, in the ups and downs of budgeting and life, they will be more receptive.
- Reassure them that while it isn’t always easy, reaching your goals is achievable with a budget that BOTH of you agree to.
- Find free budgeting tools and applications online to make the process even easier and more interactive.
Ready to get serious about budgeting and regain control of your finances? Check out the Love Your Budget course so you can finally stop worrying about money and live life on your own terms.
Budgeting with your spouse truly has many benefits and although it may be hard getting them on board, using these tips above will help them recognize the highlights of working together on your finances with a budget.
What ways helped you to get your spouse on board with budgeting? How long have you been successfully budgeting together?
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