Discuss Your Dreams and Long Term Goals
It’s very likely that by the time you sit your spouse down to discuss your desire to budget you are so exasperated that you might not be coaxing out the openness and vulnerability you need from your partner. One of the most important budget discussion tips is to make sure you approach the topic with a positive and uplifting attitude. If you are too judgemental you could shatter any hope of a productive budget meeting. Instead, focus on the ideals of the future. Talk about your ideal retirement, where you would like to live, how much you would like to have invested. Ask questions and try to paint a picture together. Once you are both excited about the vision, suggest exploring ways to make it happen.
Start Cutting Costs and Talk About the Money Your Saving
You don’t necessarily have to get an agreement on budgeting in order to start a tail run yourself. Look for areas where you can cut costs on your own. Share your excitement about how much money you saved and start asking questions about what you should do with the money. This will get your spouse’s mind thinking in the right direction. They may realize the practical impact of budgeting if they see saved money paying down debt or opening other opportunities.
Ask Questions Whenever You Make a Purchase
Another way to get involvement in budgeting is to ask questions about purchases you plan to make. Show concern about the price and value. Ask whether the purchase makes sense or how useful a product or service will be. If possible, relate your plans to purchase to your long term goals and address the potential impact of your decisions. These sorts of questions will keep budgeting top of mind and get your spouse thinking more regularly about money whether they’ve agreed to a budget or not.
Facts and Figures
One of the best budget discussion tips is to use figures that make your point. Chart your calculations to give pictographic evidence of the benefits of budgeting. Show what you can accomplish with visual tools and facts that speak for themselves. You can use the numbers you’ve pulled from recent bank statements and show calculations on how you can pay down credit cards, or invest in retirement. This data may be more convincing than simply addressing the topic. It also presents your spouse with information, they may have been avoiding and puts it top of mind.
Take the Lead
When all is said and done, you can’t make your spouse agree to budget, but you can be patient and supportive as you take the reins wherever you can. Show that it’s important to you with these budget conversation tips and get them thinking about the impact of their own financial decisions. Avoid casting judgment, but instead, try to convey genuine excitement about the potential to gain financial freedom through an effective budget.
P.S. Like this post? Check these out: Managing Finances With a Stay-At-Home Parent and How to Know When You’re Financially Ready to Have a Baby