I encounter so many people who struggle with their finances because they have a spouse that doesn’t want to participate. They do not like to talk about money and refuse to believe that they need a budget. Financial matters can become really tricky when you feel like you cannot get on the same page as your spouse. It can almost seem impossible.
I am here to tell you, fear not! I have gotten so many questions regarding the subject of a non-participating spouse so I have compiled my thoughts into an eBook. In this quick and easy read, there are explanations for why your spouse is reluctant to participate when it comes to money and some things that you can do to combat this without actually being combative. While your spouse may never be as enthusiastic as you on the topic of finances, it is possible to bring it to their attention and find a way to work together to accomplish your plans, hopes and dreams.
You can get access to Successfully Manage Money With Non-Participating Spouse HERE for the low price of $2.99.
Most couples do not agree on how the finances should be handled. One might be a saver and the other is a spender. One might hate to budget and refuses to use one and the other is a planner and wants to use a budget. How do you work together when one spouse refuses to participate? This is one of the most common things I get asked!
The first thing I should point out is that it is definitely possible to keep your finances on track even if you have a less than willing spouse. Your spouse WILL work with you on your finances.
If you have been believing otherwise, you are believing a money lie!
The good news is, I do have some tips for getting your spouse on board and more willing to participate in money decisions. The bad news is, there is one single thing that is going to work perfectly in every situation. Every couple and every person is different. That does not mean you should not try some (or all) of my tricks out!
The first step is to find out why your spouse is not currently interested. Ask some questions!
- Why do they say they are not interested?
- What are their “money wounds” – the things that have happened in their financial past? Understanding their past can be very helpful toward fixing the future. Did they grow up in utter poverty? Or maybe with excess wealth? Have they experienced bankruptcy? Maybe their parents had a very dysfunctional relationship regarding their finances.
Once you have figured out why your spouse is reluctant to navigate financial matters with you, take some steps to get them more involved.
- Write down your plans, hopes, and dreams and share them with your spouse.
- Ask your spouse to take some time to write down their plans, hopes, and dreams and share them with you.
- Write down the cost of each one and ask the question of your spouse: “If we keep going the same financial direction, will we be able to fund these dreams?”.
It is probably also a good idea to mention a couple things you definitely should NOT do during this time.
- Badger, yell, or scream at your spouse.
- Issue “Do this … or else!” commandments.
- Demean your spouse.
- Make this a four-hour long discussion.
It can be frustrating trying to make finances work with a non-participating spouse. However, do not be discouraged! It is POSSIBLE and you CAN do it!
Want more tips like this one? Subscribe to the Monday Money Tip Podcast HERE.
Need more on working efficiently with your non-participating spouse? Check out our eBook HERE with more practical ways to navigate this situation.
It’s Monday and we’re on Episode 16 of the Monday Money Tip Podcast! This week, we’re talking about Marriage and Money and Joe has some very important and helpful tips for you! Joe will talk about what to do when you can’t get your spouse to cooperate with your financial plan.
It’s our goal at the end of each episode that you gain hope and encouragement in your financial journey, you’re equipped to take a next step, and that you’ve had FUN with us!
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About the episode:
- Hear Joe answer the question “My biggest challenge is getting my husband on board. We have been married for 23 years. We have never agreed about money. Tonight, we struggled just talking about basic principles. We are already stuck on Rung 1 – The Plan. I am a planner. What do I do?”
- Joe talks about the current costs for college tuition.
- Get tips on how to get on the same page as your spouse when it comes to your hopes, dreams, and finances.
- Hear a success story about a couple that managed to pay off $97,000 worth of student loan debt in just three years.
- Joe explains the concept of “money wounds.”
Quote of the Day: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford
“How do I get my spouse to work with me on our finances?”
This is a very common question I encounter in the world of personal finances! The non-participative spouse problem is real, and it can be extremely frustrating.
First, let me say these two things:
- Finances are one of the top causes of marriage fights and divorce.
- Until both spouses are on the same page financially, it is impossible to maximize your financial potential.
So, recognizing how important it is that you work together, I submit the following strategies to bring the reluctant spouse on board with planning the family’s finances.
1. Plan out your conversation
- Take time to write down the reasons you would like to have your spouse’s active help in managing the family’s finances. The Financial Planning Checklist can help you with this. Include your dreams in this list. That 25th anniversary trip you have always dreamed of, the boat you’ve always wanted, paying for your daughter’s wedding, paying for your children’s college, etc.
- Look into some potential ways to improve your financial management. I highly recommend putting together a monthly spending plan BEFORE the month actually begins. You can find FREE copies HERE. Complete a personal finance study like the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Study.
2. Talk with your spouse
- Arrange for a babysitter to watch your children, and schedule a night out with your spouse. Go to a nice dinner and then to a coffee house. Tell your spouse you have something you want to discuss that is VERY IMPORTANT to you. TRUST ME. When you tell them you want to discuss something VERY IMPORTANT with them, you WILL have their attention! This sort of statement is NOT something your spouse hears every day.
- Share your concerns with your spouse. Explain in terms of unrealized dreams. Here are some examples:”I am concerned that if we do not work together to plan our finances, we may not get to go to Hawaii for our 25th anniversary” and “The children are growing up so fast, and we have not started saving for their college yet” and “We have earned over $500,000 over the past ten years, and we only have $1,500 in savings.” DO NOT PUT THEM INTO A DEFENSIVE POSITION. IF YOU DO, THIS WILL NOT BE A PRODUCTIVE DISCUSSION. Don’t say terrible or hateful things like, “Our finances stink because of your ignorance, and this is all your fault.”
3. Take Action!
- You have had the discussion. It might be appropriate to back off for a little while to let your spouse process everything you have shared. At some point, however, you need to take action! Sign up for the class. Set up an evening for you both to prepare a budget once the children are off to bed.
By the way, marriage is grand, but divorce is at least a hundred grand! I’m convinced that if most people knew how much divorce would really cost them, they would be much more willing to spend the money to figure out a way to work together!