How to Get a Partner to Stick to a Budget

It’s common for partners to have different ideas about money and household budget issues. Disagreements about how money is spent can lead to serious financial woes. Whether a couple is saving for retirement or to pay off debt, these tips can help them motivate each other and encourage a partner who has money issues to stick to the plan.

Examine Your Shared Financial Goals

Spending money needlessly can create debt and put strain on any relationship. Take some time to talk about shared goals and make sure everyone feels heard. Supporting each other means including individual goals as well as shared. The finalized list of goals may include things like:

  • Going back to school
  • Planning a vacation
  • Paying off debt
  • Building up a savings account
  • Saving a down payment on a large purchase, like a house or car

A couple should place their list of goals close to their budget and keep them in mind as they review their income and expenses each month. A reminder of their shared goals will make it clear that every dollar in the budget has a purpose. This will prevent miscommunications about money and give them a stronger financial foundation. Couples can keep on top of their budget if they reconvene once a week to track financial flow and make sure they are both on the same page.

Identifying Budget Issues

What are some of the most commonly seen problems that couples have when adhering to a budget? Compulsive spending habits can be a serious issue, especially if one person is spending frivolously on unnecessary items like clothes and jewelry. Keeping purchases a secret is a sure-fire way to cause a budget to fail. Overspending can trigger arguments and lack of trust in the relationship that goes beyond finances.

A partner who refuses to make any type of financial contribution can make it difficult to stick to a budget plan. Make sure there is a mutual understanding regarding all income, purchases and spending. Reworking the budget so the bills get paid by just one income may take precedence over any other goals.

Have a Backup Plan

There are serious consequences that can arise from not sticking to a budget, including unpaid bills and high interest credit card fees. Take a close look at why the budget is failing. Is it a lack of funds? A secret shopping spree? An emergency medical event? Make building a separate emergency savings account a shared goal. Next time there is a budget shortfall, it won’t be necessary to scramble to pay important bills like the mortgage or car payment.

Seek Professional Advice

Does one partner (or both) have serious problem with handling finances? It may be time to seek outside help. Speaking with a financial advisor or debt consolidation pro may help get everyone on board with sticking to a budget. A counselor or therapist can be a great resource when it comes to getting to the root of budget problems and how they are impacting relationships.

It’s important to be realistic when creating the budget. Couples need to work together for things to fall into place. Communicating frequently, identifying issues, and working together are critical to solving  budgeting problems. Finding balance will take time, but the results will be worth the hard work.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!