A reader asked me a question, “Your situation is similar to mine, in that my husband trusts me 100% to take care of our finances – and he supports me, but sometimes he rebels against the tightening of our financial belts in order to pay off debt – how do you combat that, or does it even happen in your house???”
Probably the hardest point for me with our debt reduction was when I told my husband he couldn’t spend any money for a while because we didn’t have money in our checking account (I was overly agressive with paying debt) and I actually had to put groceries on the credit card. He looked right at me, and said “How can we be so broke?” I could see that his spirit was breaking right there, and I knew I had to make some changes to what I was doing. For this to really work, we have to be on the same page.
The little argument that we had lead to some compromising. He, at the time, was quitting his job and we decided that he would keep working for a while longer. We also made a bigger purchase that my husband really wanted to make (our inflatable kayaks which have been a lot of fun). A little bit later, we also spent some money to buy a game that he really wanted as well as a bass guitar that I have been missing for some years.
It means we spent almost $500 on things we really didn’t need since starting our journey in February. Sure, it could have gone towards our debt. But if we did that, and lost our overall steam…it would have cost us a lot more in the long run.
I believe that much about debt reduction is about the psychological aspect of it. For us, having certain designated periods where we would technically “splurge” to buy things we really want helps to keep the feeling of not spending money to enjoy life at bay. I have found that these splurges are best when they are planned, you still budget for them and you pay with cash. Being able to pay for our splurges with cash (after so many years of just doing it with credit cards) felt pretty awesome.
Every relationship will be different, and it takes a bit of investigate work as well as trial and error to find the perfect balance needed to satisfy both partners. But, if you already have a common goal of getting out of debt, the rest may fall into place with a few heart-to-heart talks and some compromising.