I receive emails from people explaining the problems they are facing in personal finance. The main issue I receive is about working out finances with a significant other that doesn’t really want to get on board. What can I tell these people?
I don’t believe there is really an answer that can be given because everyone is different and has different motivations. Everyone has a different breaking point. You’ve reached it and that’s why you want to take control of your finances, They have obviously not gotten to that point yet. Some people never make it there, especially if you end up turning things around yourself. If you do everything then they have no reason to get on board because they don’t see anything bad and are living just fine. The way i see it, you have three choices.
You both need to come up with a goal that you both can enjoy. I don’t mean one that benefits you both. I mean one that’s actually going to get you both motivated. This is where you can get what you want by giving them what they want.
For example, say you want to pay down the credit cards. In order to do that you need to get more income or cut your expenses. To get them on board, find out something they really want that maybe a few hundred to a thousand dollars. This really has to be something they are willing to work for.
What you do is say that when half the debt or all of the debt (you have to make a milestone) gets paid off, then they can purchase that prize. OF course the price is Variable according to the debt load. If you have $2000 in debt don’t offer something that’s a thousand dollars if they reach the goal. But if your debt is $40,000, then it would be worthwhile to both of you to pay off that debt and get the $1000 prize.
No this isn’t the best option because it doesn’t get rid of the root cause of why they don’t want to get on board. For that you need to see a counselor. This is a workaround to get things done for you, which is the goal.
Forcing the other person to make a choice isn’t necessarily the best way to get them on board 100% but it will put the ball in their court. This gives you the power. Make sure you mean it though otherwise they won’t ever believe it’s for real again.
In order for this work, again it has to be something that motivates them, It has to be something they cherish. The ultimate thing would be you, but that’s really hammering them. But sometimes that’s what people need, A good whack on the head. So give it to them if you think they need it.
Live with it
The last option isn’t for everyone. If it really, really doesn’t bother you, then you’re probably not reading this since it’s a non issue. However, just incase, I’ll go over it. Living with someone that doesn’t want to be a team player isn’t a good environment. If it’s time to talk about finances together then it’s time to become a team. If one of you fails, then you both fail. You have to have that mentality and if they don’t, then you need to make them realize that or live with it.
Just remember, if you decide to live with it, don’t ask for change later because they are going to bring up that you’ve lived with it this long, or that you never complained before. If you live with it, it’s going to get worse I promise. If they don’t get on board with finances, which is a very important part of life, what will they get on board with? Probably nothing you want.
Non of these options are great. But if your spouse isn’t on board I would recommend marriage counseling first and then try these if you’re not satisfied. If they don’t try to compromise with you or jump on board then it’s not a team and you need to start looking out for yourself.
Relationships are a give and take. If all you do is give then you’re getting the short end of the stick. If all you do is take, then you’re a dick. Excuse my language but it’s true. Finances are a big thing in life and it needs to be worked out one way or another. Sometimes it’s hard but not taking care of your finances can lead to a lot more than a broken heart. Take care of yourself.
Do you think you could live without your significant other being on board with your finances? If so, let me know why in the comments or through the contact page. I’d love to hear your thoughts.