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Ask Dave

She Doesn't Want a Budget

Clark says his wife doesn't want to do a budget. She says she'll spend more if she has a budget to follow. Dave thinks her statement is ridiculous.

QUESTION: Clark in Utah says his wife doesn’t want to do a budget. She says she’ll spend more if she has a budget to follow. Dave thinks her statement is ridiculous.

ANSWER: It sounds like you really had your act together with money prior to your injury. You were really winning. Honestly—I don’t want to be mean or anything—but her statement is absolutely ridiculous. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If I have money in the budget, that automatically means I’m going to spend it. Translation: I’m trying to come up with something that makes no sense because I don’t want to do a budget. That’s really what this comes down to. That’s just ridiculous. That’s a silly statement. You don’t need to tell her I said that. That’ll just make her mad. But really, it’s ridiculous.

What do you do in this situation? I think you’ve got to say, hey, I’ve been doing this a long time, and it’s been working. I’m going to do a written budget for our household, and I’d like you to go over it with me and I trust you to be grown up enough to not necessarily put money in a category that’s in excess of what we need. If we have too much allocated for food and we have money left in our food category every single month, we’ll just lower the category.

She acts like she’s not got control over herself. Of course she’s got control over herself if she chooses to have control over herself.

You’re much better off to have a plan so that you’re systematically being a giver, a saver, and the spending that you do then doesn’t cause stress because you know where the money’s going. The written plan has to happen for people who are going to win. There are five things people must do with money. If they do those things with money over 15 to 20 years while working and earning an income, they will win with money. You will build wealth. One of them is a written plan, and for those of us that are married, the written plan is an agreement with our spouse every month before the month begins.