In every relationship, there is a saver and a spender. Being the latter is obviously more entertaining but the former. But guess who has to be the party pooper every time there is a hole in the ship?
I was obviously the saver in my relationship given the title. No doubt my spouse is one of the most caring wife, a brilliant person, a talented artist and an amazing woman, who makes me believe in wonder woman. BUT and this is a huge but. But when it comes to saving the dolla dolla bills, she can just stand at the end of the line with a white flag cause she used to spend money like there was no tomorrow.
Like everything in a marriage, you have to learn to work together towards a goal. The financial stability being one of them. And the only one if you want to complete the list of places you both want to visit which are all #couplegoals.
Easier said than done. One wrong move and you stand chances to sleep on the couch.
I successfully managed to find a solution to this predicament and would like to share my Eureka with the all the spouses out there who are too afraid to say ‘Do we really need to buy that sweetheart?”
1. Ask them which page they are on
It’s tough to be on the same page as your partner half the time and that’s the fun part of any relationship. How boring it would be to have a carbon copy of yourself. But financially you need to ask your partner where they stand and what are their thoughts on it. The preferred question can be framed like
- ‘Tell me what you think about our finances right now.”
- “Are we where you would like to be financially?”
- ”What can we do better in terms of managing our money?”
Ask them. Let the awkward silence hang in the air. Let the question stew in their over spender mind for a bit. And once they are ready to answer, listen. Listen well. Match your own ideas about long term financial goals as a couple.
2. Set realistic and logical goals
Traveling funds, emergency funds or loans. whatever it is you need to discuss these in details for a stable future. While you create financial goals, it’s also a good idea to make goals to strengthen your marriage, such as planning frequent date nights. One of the goals as a couple before marriage for me and my partner was having a small swimming pool in our backyard. We made that our first goal and worked for it. Guess who sits by the pool every summer with a glass of mimosa now? (My wife. Because I am a cheap ass and go for a can of beer)
3. A compromising budget
Having a budget sounds all sugar and nice but in reality its pain in the ass. Especially if it’s on the terms of someone else. To get motivation running to stick to the budget you need to set up the budget which caters to the NEED of your partner and not their WANTS. If she is compromising her want to have new shoes every month then you also ditch on the idea of buying the latest XBOX console.
“Life is a balancing act between getting ahead and getting along.”
4. Divide and conquer
The basis of a relationship which thrives under one roof is to have a proper plan on paying the bills and keep the house running. Don’t BOTH be in charge of paying the medical bills, buying the groceries, paying the electricity bill, or buying Netflix subscription (important part for chilling). Not dividing these tasks is redundant and inefficient! Divide up and you’ll get the chance to do it YOUR way. Giving accountability makes the other person spend less. (So give your spouse the biggest bill to pay. Just kidding. Give them the responsibility to pay for petrol. Cue evil laugh.)
5. If nothing works-Bribe them
Do you think it was easy to get my wife to quit buying a new shade of lipstick every other week? Hell to the no. This monster (A pretty one because of makeup) was one tough cookie to break. So I gave her bribe or incentive if I am being polite. I brought her a lip shade kit on the condition that she wouldn’t buy one more shade for the next 3 months and would attend a workshop on wise spending with me. Negotiating wasn’t easy but it was worth it.
6. Have weekly checkups and make the punishment fun
Someone needs to keep the check on the spending once in a while. So make it a date. What made my wife sit for this gruesome weekly calculations was alcohol (She is one good negotiator this monster). Every bill which remained under the budget limit gave us a reason to call Jack Daniels and his team. At the end of the game, we were drunk and happy. For the punishment, We increased the number of chores for the defaulter. (Worked like a charm, since cleaning dishes three days in a row is worse than the sound of swiping that debit card)
Marriage is like a walk in the park- Jurassic park. But like I told you I have my own monster with me to scare the dinosaurs away. You just need to understand your monster and feed them accordingly.
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