When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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Statistically speaking, your chances of having a successful marriage shoot way up if you agree with your spouse on money, kids, religion and in-laws. But it’s the first of those four that many people don’t want to talk about.
If a husband or wife has bought into this idea of getting on a plan and out of debt and the other hasn’t, trouble could be lurking in that marriage. Here are some suggestions for talking to your other half about working together with money.
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Getting The Word
Most spouses don’t really know how much it means to their husband or wife to get on a plan. Suzy may casually bring it up at dinner one night, and Joe will respond, “That’s nice.” After that, nothing more is said. Joe doesn’t really get it.
Tonight, turn off the television. Put the kids to bed early and eliminate every possible distraction. Take their hands in your hands, look them in the eye, and tell them what you are actually feeling. Are you scared? Are you excited about the thought of having control of your money? Tell them your thoughts and engage them in a conversation. They love you, and they’ll listen to you if they know it means a lot.
Some Fun and Games
When people think of budgets, they think of bread and water. No fun, no going out to eat, none of that. Unless you have an extreme situation, you can still include fun money in the budget. Make sure to tell your partner that you will include fun money in the budget, as long as you make it together and stick to it. Remember, this is a team effort, and you are a team.
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Show Me the Money
With the Credit CARD Act of 2009 going into effect this month, credit card companies are going to get crafty in how they charge fees and interest so they can get around the law. So when you have a credit card statement come in with a new charge, take it to your spouse and point it out. If you can convince them that credit card companies are charging too much (which they are), then you might move your husband or wife to do something about it.
These are just some suggestions. You know how your husband or wife is wired, so find a way to talk to them in a language or manner that they understand. Don’t beat them over the head, but make it absolutely clear how important this is for your marriage and your future. Make 2010 the year that you and your other half take control, and be on your way to a lifestyle that will make both of you smile!
Read more about how to communicate with your spouse about money.