Partner With Your Spouse To Reduce Your Debt

July 13, 2010

So you are in debt – join the millions of other Americans facing the same problem. Mortgage lenders, credit card issuers and banks have gone to war with their own customers! Lenders are raising interest rates, slashing credit limits, and taking actions that actually hurt your credit score.

If you are saddled with debt, one of the challenges is getting your spouse to go along with a new financial plan to reduce your debt. Unless both of you are in complete agreement, one might keep overspending while the other cuts back. You both need to be in complete sync to achieve your debt reduction goals. Here is some borrowing advice to help you with this.

Both need to be in unison. So how do you get them aboard? Here are some tips:

  • Make it clear you are not blaming them. Accept full responsibility for the predicament you are in. Even show them your past bad spending habits to demonstrate you are also at fault. This will let them know you are not pinning it all on them.
  • Show them your finances. This should be enough to get them in unison right then and there. If they see the financial realities, they will probably be motivated to curb their spending immediately.
  • Analyze your spending habits. There’s a good chance you are in debt because you are spending money on things you desire, instead of necessities. In other words, you are engaging in emotion-based spending.

    Most expenses can be accounted for because of emotion. For instance, you might see some great sales letter that persuades you to buy that new golf club, even though you really didn’t need it. Or, you might buy a box of sweets to make you feel better about yourself.

    You might want to analyze the credit card statement together for the past month and see how much of it was on things you need versus want. This can be very revealing.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. Many people think that by only getting what they need, they will stop enjoying life. However, by saving, you might have money for something much better. For instance, you might be able to finally take that trip around the world you’ve been planning forever.

  • Plan your budget together. Instead of doing all the monthly planning yourself, get your spouse involved. If they aren’t, they will be out of touch with the financial realities. By having both of you staying up to date with the financial situation, you are much more likely to succeed.
  • Check in with each other regularly. Your spouse might think you are imposing restrictions on them that you are not following yourself. Therefore, you might agree to show each other what you have spent every seven days to hold each other accountable. This way, both of you will be motivated to stick to the plan.
  • The bottom line is, both husband and wife have to be in alignment about their financial plan for it to work. Hopefully these tips will help make that happen.

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