Whenever I talk about building budgets or give budgeting advice, I always stress the importance of getting your spouse on board. If you are on one page when it comes to finances and your spouse is on another, YOU WILL FAIL. You might make temporary progress, but in order to maintain a budget for your household or reach any long-term savings goals, the household has to buy into it! Plain and simple.
Here are some easy tips to help get your spouse to buy into your budget:
Have a sit-down family meeting and go over your plan of action. You could even incorporate this into a date night. Sit down at a nice meal and talk money. I don’t recommend blindsiding your spouse; let them know what the date or meeting is about before it happens or it might feel like an intervention! When you do talk to them, have a concrete plan in place so they know where your head’s at and what you’re hoping for.
Ask for their advice and input. Work together to create a feasible budget. Explain the issues or the goals and ask for their ideas and advice. They’re much more likely to participate if they had a hand in creating your budget! And be flexible. If you are set on one way but your spouse has other ideas, compromise. As long as you’re working towards the same financial goals, trying different methods won’t hurt. Plus, it shows your spouse you really do respect their opinion and want them to be a part of this journey!
Show the benefits. You have to sell your plan. Normally budgets require sacrifice, so your spouse needs to hear the eventual benefits or there will probably be no buy-in. We track all the money we spend in our Personal Capital Account. It’s totally free and we LOVE that we can see EXACTLY where every penny has been spent in real time. Have spreadsheets, show your current expenses vs. your desired expenses, and show the savings progress if the budget is implemented. If you’re saving for a house/car/vacation, show them how long it will take to hit your goal. Seeing it might help them believe it.
Get outside help. If you are struggling to convince your spouse, turn to Dave! Seriously! My husband and I love listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts when we are in the car. Dave knows what he’s doing and he’s an expert, so if you can get your spouse to hear from him the importance of budgeting, it might help!
Get everyone on board! Kids, too! Your spouse might be more willing if it’s a family affair. You can sit down and meet with them, too, so everyone knows the plan and how they can help.
Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and so saving for the down payment won’t happen overnight. Plus, change is HARD sometimes. Be respectful of that. This might be a case of baby steps for awhile. Show gratitude for any willingness to make changes, large or small.
Is your spouse on board with your budget? If so, how did you get their buy-in? How did you implement a family budget if your spouse wasn’t willing? Share any tips you have below.
Love listening to Dave Ramsey! He’s an expert on the subject from his own experience of going from great wealth to losing everything to figuring out how to rebuild without using debt (which was a major part of his financial ruin). Debt is killing us in America. Thanks to Dave we are debt free!!!
I finally got my spouse on board when I itemized ALL of our spending for a three month period and handed it to him. He was appalled to see how we were nickle and dime-ing ourselves to debt. He had to see it to believe it.
In my case, it was my husband who was the budgeter and I was the spendthrift! He took me to dinner and pulled out a set of calculations that showed how soon we both could retire if we saved X amount a month. That’s all it took.
My husband and I are in our early 50’s and are DEBT FREE. Mortgage gone, cars paid, very healthy retirement……done with Dave Ramsay’s philosophy. We’re all about budgets. He got on board after I broke down the cost of a homecooked dinner vs eating out. He couldn’t believe the savings. And since I love to cook, we stopped spending a ton of money in restaurants.
Patty P says
I love Dave Ramsey’s podcasts. The only thing we are paying on is our house at this point. In fact we are looking at buying a new lawnmower…with cash. This is something that would never have happened without Dave’s inspiration. One piece of advice…even when you get all of your finances in order and you have paid down big chunks of debt, keep living on the budget or you will go right back to where you were before!
Jenny Young says
My husband is the numbers guy! When we married we didn’t live on a budget….we just strolled along earning paychecks & spending with no idea at all what we had or where it went. Until we bounced a check, a check written to our church no less! It was so embarrassing. That was almost 30 yrs ago now & living on a budget has really helped us live our dreams.
Joy Haitz says
My husband refuses to make budgeting a priority he tried Dave Ramsey envelope system a whole month and then started spending and not telling me when I confronted him about how we needed to be in this together he didn’t say a word and refuses to budget anymore and just spends anytime anything he wants… How do I budget like that?
He is the breadwinner and I care for kids and household and finances…