Yelling and hurt feelings unfortunately might be a sign that you are in the middle of talking about money with your spouse. If this is your situation, then you are probably feeling hopeless about ever reaching any sort of financial freedom.
One of the top questions I get asked on a daily basis is “how do I get my spouse on board with budgeting?”
What I want to do is share with you our story, how hubby and I were able to finally start having conversations about money without arguing and growing frustration.
Learning from our story, I want you to apply the same techniques to create a rewarding conversation when talking with your spouse about money. You are going to be amazed at the breakthroughs you and your hubby will create in a short amount of time!
Finally Having a Successful Money Conversation
We were over $20,000 in debt, hubby and I were both working full time, plus hubby went to school part time at night, and to top it off we had a sweet little one year old girl. We knew all too well what stress felt like!
We were spinning our wheels. We both knew something needed to change when it came to our finances but neither us were doing anything about it. For crying out loud, we were getting overdraft fees almost every two weeks! Those darn fees would show up like clockwork.
Any time either of us would bring up a conversation related to money, one or both of us would end up feeling completely defensive. Once our personal defense walls started to be built, it was impossible to gain any traction in moving forward.
Does this sound familiar? Does this same situation ever occur when talking about money with your spouse?
It became really easy to start pointing the finger at the other person when it was “their” swipe of the debit card that sent us into a negative bank account balance. When in reality, it was OUR lack of communication and OUR lack of budgeting that was creating OUR financial mess.
When we finally sat down and talked about what we wanted our life to look like, that was when we were able to physically write out the action steps needed to get us to reach our life goals.
What changed? How were we able to finally have a successful financial conversation? It all started with a few simple ground rules that helped build a safe environment to talk about money as a loving husband and wife.
FREE PRINTABLE Goal Setting Worksheets for Couples
I will go over how to use this in detail in the second post of this Financial Unity Series, but get a head start by printing out your free Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples now!
In this free workbook I am going to walk you through the steps to…
- Set long term goals individually, based on what you value most in life.
- Find common ground by bringing those individual goals together to build a prioritized goals roadmap.
- Assign financial tasks necessary for achieving each common goal, to use as a base to start building a budget as a united couple.
The Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples is a goal setting workbook uniquely designed to help build the big picture and to help couples get on the same page when it comes to their finances. Showing each spouse that your budget isn’t just about numbers, it’s about creating the life you dream of!
When you and your hubby sit down together and start working through the Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples, you will quickly realized how it makes the entire process of starting a financial conversation easier than ever!
11 Rules for Talking About Money With Your Spouse
It’s not complicated, but if you can both promise each other to follow these simple rules, you WILL start moving your family towards financial freedom!
First thing you need to do is make this conversation a priority. You don’t have time to not have this conversation. Seriously! Make it happen!
Second, make sure that there are zero interruptions and distractions. Turn off the phones, like literally power them off. Go in a room without TV. Get a babysitter if you need to.
Maybe take it even a step further and light a candle. It sounds funny, but anything you can do to eliminate distractions and create a calm environment is key to getting this conversation started.
2. Replace the word “you” with “we”
It’s natural for anyone to get defensive as soon as they start hearing that “YOU keep doing this” or “YOU did that”. It’s important to recognize corrections that need to be addressed but instead of using the word “you” try replacing it with the word “we”.
An example might be instead of saying something like “you need to stop going out to eat every day.” Try using a less aggressive phrase like “we need to stop going out to eat all the time.”
3. Understand it’s not going to be comfortable
Following these tips are going to help the conversation move more smoothly, but it is important for both hubby and wife to understand that it’s not going to be a super comfy chit chat.
Most likely some pride is going to have to be swallowed and tears are probably going to roll down your cheeks. BUT the faster you get that out in the open and start working past all the bad habits, the faster you are going to reach financial freedom and move towards your life goals!
4. Honest in all things
There is no room in a marriage for dishonesty and it applies just as much when talking about money with your spouse. Remember that not telling the whole truth, or holding back information, is the exact same thing as lying.
5. No pointing fingers
You are a team! There is no use in pointing fingers about the past. That will only cause hurt feelings. Now is the time to move forward. Chances are you and your spouse both know what your own weaknesses are and you probably already feel extremely guilty about it.
Confide in each other and ask each other for help. Work together to overcome your imperfections.
6. Put each other first
The day hubby and I were married, we were given the advice to put each other first 100% of the time. If you do that, both of your needs will be met all while continually creating a stronger marriage.
It’s in the past and leave it that way! Holding a grudge only makes it impossible to move forward. Imagine trying to hike up Mount Everest with a backpack full of incredibly heavy boulders. You probably wouldn’t last longer than five minutes.
That’s what holding a grudge does to your relationship and to your ability to communicate. Throw those boulders out of your backpack and keep hiking up that mountain!
8. No One is a Mind Reader
Never ever assume that your spouse knows what you are thinking and PLEASE don’t make him guess! It’s a great habit to reassure each other that you understand where they are coming from or what they are trying to explain.
Everyone was raised differently and it is up to you guys as husband and wife to communicate your feelings to each other.
9. Think before you speak
Before you start to unload all your thoughts and concerns with your hubby, consider how what you say might make him feel. As soon as a man starts to talk about money problems, he is immediately going to feel guilty that he has let his family down and then again comes the defensive walls.
If what you want to say is going to cause him to feel bad about himself, make sure you are conveying that this is in no way any ONE person’s fault and you BOTH are going to need to make changes.
10. Set a timer
These types of conversations could go on for hours only to leave everyone feeling frustrated and exhausted. It’s a good idea for your first conversation to set a timer for two hours. I know that sounds long but trust me, it could easily go twice as long if you don’t set a timer.
Setting a timer will do two things. First, it will set aside the fears of an endless conversation lasting for eternity. Second, subconsciously it will keep the discussion moving along helping avoid talking in circles.
When the timer goes off, each person needs to make notes of feelings and concerns that have not been addressed. Now reschedule for the next available time slot in your schedule ASAP. Put in on your calendar! End the conversation and now go give each other a back massage!
11. Make a treat
Do not write this rule off! Popping a bag of popcorn or throwing some cookie dough in the oven is one of the simple things you can do help you remember that though your finances are a very serious topic, what matters most is that you work this out together holding hands along the way.
BONUS TIP: Be Grateful for Each Other!
Don’t forget to show each other how grateful you are for all the sacrifices, time, hard work, and love that you both put into your family! Be grateful that your hubby is willing to sit down and work through these hard topics. Be grateful that you have each other to rely on!
Are you in agreement? After you and hubby have pinky swore you will follow these rules, the next thing you need to do is actually have your first official conversation about setting your life goals and setting a budget that will get you there.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE Financial Unity Planner Kit for Couples!
In my next article on Financial Unity in Marriage, I am going to hold your hand through the discussion you will have with your hubby. You will learn the effective strategies and steps to take together to make sure that your spouse stops resisting and gets on board with budgeting!
What are your biggest hurdles when it comes to getting your husband to talk about money? Let’s chat in the comments!
Thanks for stopping in and I will chat with ya later! Xoxo