How can I encourage my boyfriend to save?
I have been trying to talk to my boyfriend about finances recently because we plan on getting married within the next few years. My parents did a really great job instilling financial responsibility and setting up my credit, but his didn't. He has a habit of spending because he sees it in his bank account. When I had to take his car in for repairs, he couldn't pay me back right away and was baffled that I had a few hundred dollars saved for emergencies just like that. He even makes more money than I do but can't figure out how I save more. I showed him YNAB and he seemed less than enthusiastic about it, but I know it would help so much!
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to talk to him about this without telling him what to do? It doesn't even have to be YNAB specifically, just something to help him save. I want him to have a solid financial plan for himself and our future!
As someone who resisted YNAB for YEARS, despite my BFF doing it and living in denial about my finances (hiding finances from my SO), my advice is to lead by example. Some people (like me!) are resistant to change and get triggered/weird when someone tells me what to do. I'd suggest opening YNAB in front of him whenever you talk about $, gloat about how awesome it is that you're "x numbers of paychecks ahead", etc. Basically look like you know what you're talking about and express how happy it is making you. Maybe he will get a clue ;)
And don't combine finances with someone unless and until they're transparent with you about their financial situation and you have had lots of discussion and are sure you are all on the same page about things.
Around here, they talk about having "values summits" to make sure that YNABbers and partners are wanting their money to do similar things.
I was married for over 20 years to someone who would just never save or control his spending and I surfed on top of that wave trying to somehow find a way to meet all of his needs and wants. I got sick and tired of that and never having money for anything I wanted so that I even forgot how to want things for myself and ask to have my turn with the fun money. I don't think it was explicit, but it was absolutely meeting his needs to do things that way, so there was zero incentive for him to change the way he was doing it. Not even when repeatedly told how miserable it made me that he would not give me this gift of reining himself in enough for me to have a chance too. He's been out of my life for almost five years now, and I've been using YNAB for a little over three of those and it is SO liberating to set my own priorities for my money now!
Now, my fiance is disabled and can't fully manage his own finances, but we still check in with each other so that we're on the same page. Sure, he'd like to make our house look all cute and nice, but he also wants to travel. We've agreed that we will do what it takes to keep our home safe and secure, and we will travel, and making our house homier will be a lower priority.
Once your boyfriend has established in his mind what his goals and priorities for his money are, he'll be more motivated about a plan and mechanism to save toward those.
While I do not have an answer for you, I can say that it will save friction in your relationship to be on the same page financially. I married someone who has an MBA and assumed he would be great with money. He was bankrupt two months into our marriage! I love him dearly, and we have been pretty compatible, but like bevocat he was the idea guy and I scrambled to cover the costs and eventually felt like the nag and the gatekeeper and spent more time up at night worrying and got resentful. It has just been this week that he explained what it was like growing up poor.
So you can sure make a marriage work without understanding each other’s views on money, but it would be a lot more fun if you did before you made the commitment. I also think about how much farther ahead we would be financially if we had found YNAB earlier. Chapter 9 of the YNAB has good thoughts on money and relationships.
Hi Alex !
My husband took some coaxing - lots of coaxing - before he was willing to actively try YNAB. Be patient and, if you can, try to walk down the path with him instead of trying to tell him where to go. I've learned it's easier to walk hand-in-hand with the doubtful than it is to try to point and direct them. :)
If you have a moment, take a look at our Join Forces Guide - we offer a number of tips and tricks on budgeting together.
We have his/her/joint money. We need to agree on what happens with joint money, what we do with our own money is our business if it doesn't affect others. We've done it this way for 20 years. It works well for us since I'm the saver, and he's not. My spouse was not thrilled about YNAB but all he asked is that we do not practice austerity. And we don't. There are categories in the budget for fun things, for unnecessary things, for eating out. In fact, the budget lets us do more fun things that previously I would have been too cheap to do, too cheap to let loose and spend money. Now, if we want to take all the kids to the movies, we can, there's money in the budget. If we want to day trip to a museum or go mini-golfing, there's money in the budget. If we want to eat out, there's a certain amount of money in the budget.
So if I want to blow my money on a purse or a class on something only I'm interested in, or hoard, hoard, hoard, it's my money. If he wants to buy some stupid expensive video card processor thing for his computer, I don't get it, I don't have to get it, and I don't caaaaaaare because it's his money.