Have you always wanted to change your personal finances around and faced resistance from your spouse? Have you tried everything you can and feel defeated? Have you always wanted to work with your spouse as team?
If you want to win with money, you need to work with your spouse as a team and not work against each other. Don’t worry this is totally doable.
In this article, I focus on some of the ways you can bring your spouse on board with your financial plans and help you both achieve your goals. As you may have heard it on innumerable occasions, “Personal Finance is more personal than finance“. You’ll soon discover why.
1. It’s Not About ‘I’, It’s About ‘We’
One of the common mistakes you can make while bringing your spouse on board is taking a moral high ground and blaming him/her for everything that’s wrong. Since you were on this plan first, you might even be condescending in your speech, when you share your plans with your spouse. Curb your misplaced enthusiasm. You might be doing more harm than good!
You need to understand that you have an unfair advantage in this journey since your spouse doesn’t have the same head start as you. So your spouse may not be able to see the path ahead, as clearly as you do. It’s OK to pause for a moment and bring him/her up to speed.
One of the great ways to bring your spouse on board, is by taking responsibility for your actions in the past and owning up to your mistakes. This can immediately reset any hard feelings or bitterness or lack-of-inclusiveness feelings associated with accepting the plan. You’ll be surprised how such a simple act of admittance can make your proposal extremely welcoming to your spouse.
If you want to win with money, you need to begin this journey as a team and not as individuals!
2. Start With Your ‘Why’ Before ‘What’
It’s understandable that you are very enthusiastic about your plan and want to begin implementing it immediately. But it’s more important to understand that without knowing the why, you cannot inspire your spouse to come on board. So before you move any further explaining how wonderful your plan is, pause for a moment and step back. Look at why you felt inspired to follow this plan. What moved inside of you to come on board?
Once you have your answers, share this with your spouse and explain why it’s important for your as a couple. Once your spouse is able to see your why, he/she may begin to see a reason to come on board.
If your why isn’t convincing enough, there is a very high probability you’ll not be able to meet your goals. A shared vision can be a great motivator to get started and can also help you find your way back, if you ever get side tracked.
3. Share The ‘What’ Of Your Financial Plan
Once you have your spouse on board, you can start sharing the ‘what’ of your financial plan. For e.g. if you are planning on getting out of debt, now may be a good time to wear your nerd hat and dive deep into the details of your financial plan. You can explain which technique you plan to follow. Do you wish to follow debt snow ball method or debt avalanche method or your own method.
Since you both are on the same page, this step is mostly about finalizing the tactical part of the plan. No matter which method you choose to follow, come to an agreement on that.
4. Set SMART Goals To Measure The Results
Once you finalize the tactical part of the plan, you need to define a SMART goal which will help you measure the results of the goals you plan to achieve. For e.g. If you plan to become debt free, you can translate this vague goal into a SMART goal by following this technique.
- Specific – Be specific about what all debt you need to pay off
- Measurable – Make sure there is an exact dollar amount that need to be paid off for this goal to be a success.
- Achievable – Make sure the goal is achievable and isn’t too optimistic. Failing to do this, can demotivate you if you find yourself falling short of achieving it.
- Relevant – Make sure the goal you set out to achieve is relevant in the overall scheme of things and is not added just to be ticked off the list.
- Timely – Make sure you specify a deadline to your goals. Not having deadlines can make this journey seem to take forever. Having meaningful deadlines helps you stay on course.
5. Commit To A Plan And Follow Through
This step is all about agreeing to stay put until you reach your goals. The journey you are going to embark on, will test you as a couple. It can throw a lot of curve balls and you need to be ready to tackle them all. This step is drawing that line in the sand. You need to decide whether or not you are going to do this or not and follow through.
It can be a great idea to come up with an a visual prop that can help you stay committed to the plan. For e.g. If you are on a debt pay off plan, you can use a lot of visual debt pay off templates that you can use to track your progress and in turn stay motivated to achieving the goal.
Good luck to you on your journey. Please share your experience on how you brought your spouse on board with your financial plan.