Do you want to get your spouse on board with debt payoff? When it comes to managing your finances and paying off debt, being on the same page with your partner is crucial.
I’ll admit, my husband and I weren’t always on the same page with finances and debt payoff. When I started reading about personal finance, I soaked up as much knowledge as I could. I thought my husband would adopt my same drive and motivation to become debt free. However, to my surprise, he didn’t have the same enthusiasm.
It took some time, compromise, and effort, but we are now both eager to pay off the remainder of our debt and enjoy managing money together.
Change Your Approach
If you want your spouse to do something or agree with you, one of the worst things you can do is judge, attack or belittle them. Even if you’re passionate about paying off debt and eager to get started, you want to approach the situation the right way so your partner doesn’t get defensive.
Start by asking them about their goals and where they’d like you both to be financially in the next few years. Share what you’ve learned or want to learn about money management and express how important it is to you.
Try to get your partner excited just like you are and explain how you’ll need their support. A calm light-hearted discussion is a better approach than a full out attack which will most likely lead to an argument.
Take the First Step
Sometimes, you have to take the first step and be the innovator if you want your spouse to follow your lead. If you both have a different mindset when it comes to debt payoff, you may just have to lead by example and start paying off your debt first. This is what I did, and it really helped my husband come around to the idea.
We met in college when we were broke, and we weren’t making a killing after school either. Still, I worked hard to get raises at work and picked up a side hustle. I also started budgeting and throwing all my extra income toward debt.
In under 3 years, I increased my income by $40,000 and paid off my student loans in full. During that time, my husband was motivated to pay off his car loan. Once he saw all the benefits that came from not having a student loan payment, he became more motivated to knock out the rest of our debt together and get rid of his student loans.
Read a Book Together or Take a Class
Sometimes, your efforts alone can seem like beating a dead horse when you want to get your spouse on board with debt payoff. Even though your partner loves you, they may still be skeptical or reluctant to jump onboard – especially if it means deviating from their bad spending habits.
One thing you can consider is inviting some outside influences into the picture and doing simple things like reading a personal finance book together, taking a class, or attending a seminar.
When I started learning about money and developed a passion for personal finance, I invited my husband to join in on the experience with me. We listened to podcast interviews featuring everyday people who’d paid off debt. We also read a few books together and even started watching Dave Ramsey on YouTube.
Some of these other sources said it much better than me and helped motivate both of us to continue on our debt repayment journey together.
Talk About Goals with a Finance Date
Finance dates have been amazing for our relationship. It allows us the opportunity to sit down, talk about our financial goals as a team, and hold each other accountable.
At least once a week, we go through our budget and track our progress. To avoid making it a snoozefest, we talk about our goals and vision for our life. It’s fun to set joint goals and plan for exciting experiences as a result of paying off debt and managing finances together.
Sometimes we just talk at the kitchen table while other times, we meet up at a coffee shop or even go out for ice cream. Committing to regular finance dates gets us into the habit of discussing our money goals, and it definitely helped warm my husband up to the idea of aggressive debt payoff.
Make it Fun
One of the reasons why your partner could be hesitant to get on board with debt payoff is if they imagine it will be boring and require lots of sacrifices. Sure, paying off debt does require some sacrifice, but it doesn’t have to be dreadful.
Reassure your partner that you can still budget for fun and keep some of the hobbies that you value. Plan affordable outings and focus on moderation with your extra spending.
Just because you are paying off debt doesn’t mean you can’t ever dine out again if you both want to and value it. Maybe you can cut down on dining out four times per week to just once weekly.
Ultimately, if your spouse seems hesitant to get on board with debt payoff, be sure to explain the why behind it. Be willing to compromise and communicate effectively so your spouse can come to terms with the idea in their own way. If you do this then hopefully they will join you and support you on your journey to become debt free.