When you first make the changes to get control of your budget, you may be dealing with a partner or spouse that just does not want to make the changes. Another issue is that they may be willing to make the changes, but they do not want to participate in the budgeting process and the weekly meetings. Or you could be in a situation where every discussion regarding money ends up in a fight. Although you can cut back on spending and work on improving your situation, you will not make as much progress if you are both part of the planning and the process.
Try Changing Your Approach
If you have tried multiple times to sit down and work out a budget with your spouse, you may need to change your approach. Some spouses do not want to be one hundred percent involved in coming up with setting the budget amounts for each category. If this is the case you may want to work up a rough budget and use that as the discussion point in your conversation. If you have a spouse who feels like you are dictating the budget to them, then you may want to simply gather the bills together and begin the entire process from scratch. Make sure you approach your partner when they are in a good mood, and schedule the budgeting meeting so that you have time to prepare for it both emotionally and physically.
Attend a Workshop or Financial Event
There are a variety of workshops that you can attend as a couple that talk about finances. This is a great way to get your spouse on board and motivated. Dave Ramsey offers several Total Money Makeover events throughout the year. You can also attend simulcasts if there is not a live one near you. You can sign up for a workshop like Financial Peace University or through your local community college or parks and recreation program. Your church may offer a program or your bank and credit union may offer a class that you can take. You may also qualify for a program through your employee assistance program. This is a great option because the strategies and suggestions are not just coming from you, which may make it easier for your spouse to listen to them.
Make the Process Easier
One of the main reasons people and couples fail at budgeting is because it is so much work. It is important to track your finances and to have a good idea of where you are during the month in each category. If you can automate most of the process, it will be easier for you track your expenses. You can choose a budgeting program that allows you to enter in your purchases with your phone while you are out shopping. This makes the process much easier. You Need a Budget (YNAB), Money Wiz and online budgeting programs like Mevelopes, allow you these options. You can also switch to cash for the categories you have a difficult time with, and you simply stop spending when you run out of cash.
If none of the other options are working, you may need to get financial counseling from a financial planner, or credit counseling service. Your pastor or employer may offer one on one counseling as well. The counselor will sit down with you and work up a budget to help you get started. He should also offer strategies to stick to the budget and provide a clear way to get out of the mess that you are in financially. It can be difficult to have this type of counseling, but it may be what you need to work out a budget. A third impartial party can help you come to agreement about the situation.
Sarah Rexman is the main researcher and writer for bedbugs.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Florida State, with a degree in environmental science. Her current focus for the site involves researching bed bug dogs and how to treat bed bugs.