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.