That’s what I heard after Angie and I had argued about money for what seemed like the thousandth time in the few short years we had been married. Needless to say, we had conflicts when it came to money (and other things too).
Contrast that with today, where we literally have no idea when the last time was that we fought about anything that had to do with money.
In my last post I gave tips on how to get your spouse on board in managing the finances and helping to work on getting out of debt. Those were just some of the techniques we used to come together financially.
In our case, it was obvious in the early years of our marriage that we didn’t always agree about money, and we had to find a way to end the conflict. So after mentioning the fact that we needed to handle our finances better and eliminate the disagreements, I asked Angie if she’d be willing to attend a well known personal finance course to help us make better decisions and get on the same page financially.
I was determined to go even if she didn’t want to.
Angie was pretty reluctant, but she agreed to go with me because she knew we couldn’t continue the conflict we were going through on a regular basis.
After the first few sessions of the course she was still a little skeptical. She knew that what was being taught made sense, but she wondered if we could actually do it.
Could we really get out of debt and be in agreement about our money?
Could I Get My Spouse on Board Financially?
Then, suddenly it happened. About midway through on of the classes, without any warning at all, Angie takes out all 13 of the credit cards in her purse and decides to cut them all up, right there on the spot!
Not only did my jaw drop to the ground, but the whole class, including the instructor, was flabbergasted. She even cut up the Victoria’s Secret card (which was tough for both of us!).
As the course went on, we actually started learning to talk money and our financial situation in a calm manner without resorting to emotional arguments.
But we still had a lot of bad habits to overcome along with one remaining credit card that had a balance that just never seemed to go away.
Finally, a year two after we finished the course, we still hadn’t totally committed to changing things, and that’s when the flying checkbook incident happened.
Handling the finances is really not something she wanted to do, and over the years that frustration had become very apparent. That’s when I decided to take the bull by the horns and finally be the one in charge of keeping track of the finances.
After all, I’m more of a numbers nerd than she is, so it just comes more naturally to me.
Once I did that, I began doing a written plan (a budget) every month and spent our money on paper first before we actually spent it in the real world. I also made a written plan to get out of debt.
However, I made sure to include Angie in the process. That was the most important part of the process, and was really the game changer. We would sit down and discuss our financial goals and how much we needed for each line item in the budget. Sometimes I’d give a little, sometimes she would.
But that’s when the money fights stopped, because now we were making a plan for how to use our money instead of emotionally reacting to being in a financial crisis mode.
Since that time we’ve eliminated all of our debt except for our house. I still do a written budget every month, and we literally haven’t had a money fight in years.
Why did we succeed? I think there were several factors:
- We were both willing to recognize that our situation needed help.
- Even though we had a lot of disagreements about money, we were willing to work together, and each one give a little.
- I was willing to take the reins and be the one who does the budget, because I’m the one who’s more naturally inclined when it comes to numbers and finance.
Sometimes it’s not easy to get your spouse on board when it comes to managing the money and getting out of debt.
I’ll have to admit, it probably could have been much more difficult to come together with my wife financially, but I have an awesome wife who’s willing to try even when she doesn’t feel like it, and that’s made all the difference in our marriage and in our finances.
Do you have a story about how you and your spouse came into agreement about your finances? Leave a comment or you can email me and maybe I can use your story in an upcoming post.