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Getting your spouse on board with your wealth building / debt reduction plan

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  • Debt-Free Millionaire Doctor Debt-Free Millionaire Doctor 
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    Status: Small Business Owner, Spouse
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    Joined: 02/21/2019

    What strategies, tactics, bribes:-), etc. have you found useful for getting your spouse on board with building wealth and / or getting out of debt?

    Debt-Free Millionaire Doctor - https://www.DebtFreeMillionaireDoctor.com
    We teach doctors the path to become debt-free millionaires and experience financial freedom, so they can do what they want to do, not what they have to do.

    #197887 Reply
    Avatar Peds 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/08/2016
    #197904 Reply
    Avatar JBME 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 316
    Joined: 03/26/2018

    there was a thread on this not too long ago. There’s a huge variety of ways to do this and it really depends on the specifics of your spouse. Generally approach the topic holistically and phrase it not as an argument of “I want to build wealth!” or “We need to get out of debt!” Instead phrase it like “How do you envision your life in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Okay, let’s make a plan to make that happen now.”

    How To Get Your Spouse On Board Financially

    WCI has a blog somewhere on this too. Personally I couldn’t get my spouse on board with the big picture. But she was okay maxing out her 401k. I knew the only way to sustain that would be I would have to make a conscientious effort to really clamp down on my occasional comments about how our spending is too high. If I did that her reaction would be “well if we’re short on money why don’t I contribute less to the 401k?” So yeah, it requires an effort on both people’s parts. After a year of her maxing out the 401k and me constraining those comments, she then agreed to max her 457. She doesn’t get the big picture but I know what she wants in 10-, 15-, 20- years. As long as she lets us take these steps and I don’t get huffy about spending (i.e. I see the big picture too and realize that saving 35% for retirement is damn good, and yeah 50% would be better but it’s not worth the sacrifice of marriage), we’re absolutely going to get there in ~10 years. I do admit we’re not a family who wants RE soon…we have young kids and no one wants to stay home full time and/or home school so we just want to do this once kids are out of the house. It helps to be dual income too

    #197908 Reply
    Avatar ZZZ 
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    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 298
    Joined: 06/18/2018

    It’s generally a disposition thing. Sure, there are exceptions, but if you married someone who’s a FOMO, live in the moment, spender not a saver, well, it’s going to be an uphill battle at best.

    In the immortal words of scholar/athlete Cam Newton, “What happens when you take a lion out of the safari and try to take him to your place of residence and make him a house pet? It ain’t going to happen. That’s the type of person that I am. I’m that lion.” You may be able to tame the spouse spending/not saving lion, but if you make it’s captivity too miserable, it may remember it’s roots and take half your stuff (plus attorney fees).

    I don’t doubt that there are counter examples out there, but they’re exceptional. The important thing is to discuss money, finances, hopes and dreams, etc. before entering into a legal contract (marriage) with someone. If you failed at that way-point, then like the poster above, adjust your own expectations, try to find a compromise solution you can live with, and make the most of the life you’ve chosen.

    #197909 Reply
    SerrateAndDominate SerrateAndDominate 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 313
    Joined: 02/01/2018

    In the immortal words of scholar/athlete Cam Newton, “What happens when you take a lion out of the safari and try to take him to your place of residence and make him a house pet? It ain’t going to happen. That’s the type of person that I am. I’m that lion.” Sure, you may be able to tame the spouse spending/not saving lion, but if you make it’s captivity too miserable, it may remember it’s roots and take half your stuff (plus attorney fees).Click to expand…

    A real lion would have pounced on that fumble in the Super Bowl.

     

    In all seriousness, absolutely agree with everything. Communication is one of the absolute keys to relationship success, financial or otherwise. I admittedly beat a dead horse when discussing these things with my wife (mostly analyzing our plan; not preaching about over-spending because we don’t). I’ve made it clear to her that I come from a family whose only financial discussions were basically arguments, and I’m not going that route. We don’t track every single cent, but we keep close to our relatively low budgets and enjoy our current lifestyle.

    Earn everything.

    #197912 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 338
    Joined: 02/11/2019

    My wife is not a spender making this easier.  But she has no desire to have in depth conversations about finances.  She is very intelligent and can understand it but just chooses not too.  So when I want to change or do something it feels like I am trying to get informed consent about a complicated medical treatment from a lay person.  So I focus on goals.  How much do you want to fund of the kids college?  When do you want to retire?  Then I come up with the plan to make it happen.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #197914 Reply
    Liked by dayman
    Avatar HumbleInvestor 
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    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
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    Joined: 12/28/2016
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    Interesting topic. I have a different problem where my wife is not really into wealth building. She does not spend much and likes to live a simple, stress free life and is ready to give up a significant chunk of our income for that simple life. Oh and she wants to retire before turning 50.

    #197993 Reply
    Avatar HandFellow 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 151
    Joined: 01/18/2016

    My wife was excited when I started getting interested in this stuff.  Fortunately, she already had the foundation of being frugal, but she hated the idea of financial planning and budgeting, etc.  She took more of a head in the sand approach with our finances.  Even with a degree in finance.

    I started with trying to get her to spend less on groceries and shopping online.  That didn’t work.  So I turned to more goal oriented things: do you want a house?  we need to save for that.  When do you want me to retire?  We gonna need some money for that.  How much do you think we need for the kids’ college?  That’s an app for that.  Once she saw the broad picture, she has been much more on board with the plan.

    #198022 Reply
    Avatar SimonMelbourne 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3
    Joined: 04/23/2018

    You need to find out what is important to them. For my partner it was more important to pay off the mortgage than invest so we are 2/3 doing that with discretionary money and 1/3 investments.

    My spouse also does not want to budget but has been receptive to a three month tally of where our money is going – fixed costs, subscriptions, food, petrol, insurance, public transport and the like.

    #198032 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 1443
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    Actually, consensus building “failed” miserably the first six months of marriage. We had opened a joint account but she felt strongly about “paying off” prior existing loans. “Her money” couldn’t pay them off. Our money could. So I cheated. I grabbed the invoice and paid it off without discussion.
    Just do it and ask for forgiveness later!

    If your spouse really really wants debt, it’s fixable. Shop for any new loan you want. I want you to have the best one. Let me know which one. You will be forgiven for erasing debts or building wealth as long as it’s in good faith.

    #198038 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 338
    Joined: 02/11/2019

    Actually, consensus building “failed” miserably the first six months of marriage. We had opened a joint account but she felt strongly about “paying off” prior existing loans. “Her money” couldn’t pay them off. Our money could. So I cheated. I grabbed the invoice and paid it off without discussion.
    Just do it and ask for forgiveness later!

    If your spouse really really wants debt, it’s fixable. Shop for any new loan you want. I want you to have the best one. Let me know which one. You will be forgiven for erasing debts or building wealth as long as it’s in good faith.

    Click to expand…

    Hoping that your spouse recognizes good intentions is a dangerous road.  🙂

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #198149 Reply
    Liked by Tim
    Avatar Dru 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 50
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    Very gradually… I’m a pediatrician who had a Debt:income ratio about 1.8 when I started. DW’s job has great benefits and retirement plan but (relative to medicine) a low income. First I was able to convince her that renting was in our best interest. Then maxing her 403(b). Then increasing student loan payments with raises. Now I’m giving in a bit and agreeing to save more for a down payment, so that’s where the new raises/bonuses are going (and a bunch of other money too: she feels more invested now, a house seems more real than a check to the student loan lender). Once that’s funded, we’ll take that extra money and increase student loan payments. It hasn’t quite been the ideal WCI attack-the-student-loans-with-everything, but the compromise has been good for both of us.

    #198308 Reply

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