Couple Money

How to Encourage Your Spouse to Start (and Keep) a Budget

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Frustrated that your spouse keeps blowing the budget? Learn four keys ways you can encourage and work with to create and stick with the budget!

Getting Your Spouse to Stick to the Budget

While there are those who are stubborn and insistent about not budgeting, I've found that most people are willing to make a change to improve their family's finances.

Getting them started though can be a huge challenge if this is something that they have little experience with or worse, they've had a bad time (such growing up where every penny was counted to the point of causing a ton of stress and guilt).

If you're having trouble getting your spouse on board with a family budget, here are some tips on to get started and how to keep the peace as you find the best way as a couple.

Take the Bite Out of ‘Budget'

It may seem like a small change, but there is a significant mind shift when using spending plan versus budget.

People associate have a budget with having restrictions and for some who have failed at keeping a budget, it can be a huge mental barrier.

Using the word budget can be just as appealing as saying the word diet for someone who has no interest in the idea.

Instead, you can re-frame things by calling it a spending plan so you're highlighting what the budget does – telling your money how to work for you.

Create Rules for Your Money, Together

The next step in making a sustainable spending plan is deciding what is important and what you need it to accomplish. Need some ideas?

Here are a few of my favorites:

You don't need an extensive list, just a few guidelines to keep both of you on track.  If you have children, make sure they know the rules.

Easy Budget to Win Your Spouse Over

If you need a starting place for your budget, I'd suggest using the 50/20/30 budget. How does it work?

For some this framework is the perfect way for them to see their finances. Having a big enough chunk of their money dedicated to the things that make them happy while still taking care of their current and future needs will curb their spending behavior.

Of course you two have to make the decision about what is sustainable for your family.

Find Tools That Suit Both of You

There are plenty of free and tools that the two of you can use to create and maintain your budget.

The two of you have to decide which fits your situation best.

Here a some of my top picks to get you started:

Another advantage of using one of these tools is that it can be incredibly easy to keep one another in the loop when it comes to your money.

Even if one of you takes charge of the day to day finances, it's important that you both know how much is coming in and where it is going.

Money and communication go hand in hand with a successful partnership.

One last tip, I'd like to point out is to give yourself time to make mistakes and improve. 

Even if the two of you are on the same page, it can take time to get it right.

We ourselves have worked to make sure that our family’s budget works for both of us. It's well worth the effort and we're less stressed about money and more focused on each other and our goals.

Thoughts on Encouraging Your Spouse to Save

What about you? How do you create a family budget? What has worked really well for you? What helped you two to work it out?

This post was originally posted in July 2014. It has been updated February 2019.

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