You are in the bliss of love and/or happily married when a jolt of reality strikes. You realize that your partner or better-half may not really be a help in curbing expenses and you suspect that happy-go-lucky spending ways are back.
When you get married or combine your fates and finances with someone, you may think that tackling debt would be easier with two people managing it. Then you realize that your partner has no intention in paying off accumulated debt or being responsible with finances. But you need not be unduly worried if the love of your life is yet to be motivated to be rid of debt now and it certainly doesn’t mean that they never will be. Many people overcome inherent aversions to paying off debt and end up being equally motivated as their partner. These four strategies motivate your irresponsible partner about being debt-free.These tips may not speed up the journey, but they are the best way forward to be free from debt if you don’t want to sleep on the couch for the entire journey. Some simple tips for bridging that gap are given below:
SLOW DOWN AND REVISE YOUR APPROACH
If your partner bluntly refuses to think about finances, don’t let that frustrate you. You should prefer to sit down, take a deep breath and ponder about the reasons for such recalcitrant behavior. There are plenty of people having negative experiences and emotions that are somehow tied to money. It is not an aversion but could result in negative reactions and getting rid of such emotions, takes time and efforts. Talking about finances can trigger negative thoughts if your partner’s parents fought about money. If someone was deprived of money for small pleasures when growing up, they might be defensive if you tell them to curb spending and suggest selling off their stuff. The mere thought of debt could be a heavy mental burden, especially with life throwing new challenges into the mix. It takes persistence, time and much understanding to ascertain the root cause of your partner’s hesitation. Only then can you determine how to work through it.
TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE
If your partner knows that you are a goal-driven person, and asks about goals for the future, it can easily motivate your thinking about being debt-free and could actually help in achieving goals faster. Make sure that your partner’s goals and wants are not ignored. Share your own desires, and work out how your individual and joint goals can be achieved by working together. Your partner may not have immediate concrete goals, but they surely have some desires and unachieved goals. Maybe they wish to stay at home with kids, travel, buy a boat, or pursue a suppressed passion. Anything to be done in the future will involve a financial component. But once identified, you can both sit down and talk about that. But along with the earlier recommendation, take it very slowly.
BE THE EXAMPLE THEY WANT TO FOLLOW
While waiting for your partner to join the team, ensure they know what the issues involved are. You continue to budget, pay off debts and be cautious with your expenditure even if your partner isn’t on board. At times they possibly need to see what can be achieved. While doing this, consider what they value and desire. You may think Topgolf is a waste of money, but your husband loves going only once a month. Budget this expenditure to show him that the process is restrictive only as you make it. Being debt-free is never the goal but achieving financial freedom is. You need your partner to be part of that goal, though it takes much patience and dogged perseverance. But it is worth it, not just financially, to get on the same page and move together in the same direction, with your goals.