SERIES: The Reluctant Spouse – Part 2

Welcome to the latest series at – “The Reluctant Spouse”

Perhaps the most challenging issue I face as a financial author, teacher, and coach is “the reluctant spouse.” One spouse wants to prepare and live by a budget, invest, save, give, and live frugally. Meanwhile, their spouse is very reluctant to participate in the budgeting process and routinely makes contradictory financial decisions. In this series, I will share some tips and ideas to help bring the reluctant spouse on board as an active and willing participant in financial decisions.

Part Two  Quietly live the financial principles in your own life.

This is very important. Asking your reluctant spouse to take financial steps you are unwilling to take yourself is the very definition of hypocrisy.

If you are asking your spouse to prepare and live by a budget, be certain to prepare and live by a budget each month. Of course, there will be certain categories that your spouse will not follow. For the categories you can control, live out the principles.

Notice the word “quietly” in this key step. It is very unhelpful to announce, “I’m preparing a budget like Joseph Sangl says we should.” or “I’m attacking debt like Dave Ramsey instructs.” or “I called Suze Orman, and she said we can not afford to buy that item.” It only makes a reluctant spouse dislike the financial teacher!

Here are some quiet ways to employ financial principles:

  1. Prepare a budget and post it in a visible place. As you pay bills, mark them off. This demonstrates active utilization of the budget without saying a word.
  2. Utilize one of our free “Savings Spectaculars” (opens in new tab) and begin saving for a dream you both share (like a Disney cruise).
  3. Use cash envelopes to manage impulsive spending categories like groceries, restaurants, clothing, entertainment, and spending money. I’ve prepared a short video HERE (03:16) that teaches how to implement this system.
  4. Write down your plans, hopes, and dreams. Post in a visible location (like the refrigerator) and include some blank lines and a pen. Perhaps they might feel compelled to include a few of their dreams on your list! As a bonus, put the cost of each dream next to each one.
  5. Be nice. Nagging automatically moves people to become defensive.

In Part Three, I’ll be sharing a way to invite your reluctant spouse into the conversation.

Read the entire series (available after 10/21/2014)

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