Doing the hard work to get hubby on board...

I've just started using YNAB in the past 3 weeks and I love it and the hope that I have for the future because of the 4 Rules. My husband on the other hand... skeptical, at best. We have years of proof that setting aside money in a savings account doesn't help us actually save, but he doesn't see the difference that assigning a job to each dollar can make. By using the app and updating manually, I know how it feels whenever I want something that I hadn't originally budgeted for and I have to actually move the money from one priority to this other category that, generally, only brings me very temporary and completely forgettable joy.

We attended the 4 Rules webinar earlier today and it made him, I think, more skeptical. This is mainly because he didn't actually join until Rule 3 which, in my opinion, for self-confessed over-spenders is the worst rule because it can so easily be abused.

We spoke afterwards and I talked to him more about the tool and he's saying that he'll trust me to make the budget and will follow the budget that I decide, but I think we could achieve so much more if we budget together.

I've seen a few blog posts about things that you can do to get your partner on board with this way of thinking about money, but any tips are welcome. I don't want to be the only budgeter in our relationship! About everything else, we really have a rhythm of  separation of responsibilities and I think our money should be handled the same way. 

Please, any tips for getting your partner on board are welcome!

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  • YNAB's guide on joining forces might be helpful? https://www.youneedabudget.com/guides/join-forces/

    If you both intend to keep the budget, I'd definitely recommend that you figure out your budget together, or at least you do the initial draft of your categories and expected budget amounts, and then sit down and discuss it with him. I suspect that if you set the budget, without his input/feedback, you may run into the challenge where he gets resentful (and blames you), or you feel like you have to play the role of the bad guy who constantly has to say no to things.

    Also, make sure there's enough expendable spending in the budget (as much as is feasible for your financial situation) so that you both don't feel like the budget is only about restriction. I've had some luck with setting a monthly allowance for each of us -- $x per month for my wife and I that we can spend however we see fit without feeling like the other person is judging. I've found that helps cut down on the unnecessary personal spending, but helps give us both some feeling of freedom.

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  • What I try to do with my spouse is as follows : 1) I develop a proposed budget, 2) I review it with her before finalized to catch any additions for this month, 3) I remind her that my role is to administer the joint spending plan and make adjustments to overspending categories...if there is a big over expenditure, I discuss it with her where we should not spend money the rest of the month to cover it w/o placing  any blame....remember it's a plan which changes within the month based on spending.  That way there is some consequence of overspending to be discussed.  I also keep a rainy day fund category to cover the "curve balls" that life throws ya sometimes.  Example: Her car got totaled as she was sitting at a stop light when an elderly man passed out at the wheel (not drunk either). So, I used a large chuck of our rainy day fund to cover the used car down payment until  we were refunded from the insurance co.

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  • My situation is somewhat different, in that I've been budgeting for years (early 2013, though I didn't find YNAB until that fall), and my wife, who I married last September, has no budgeting history.  Here's how it's gone down so far, and I'm not sure how much of it will be useful to you, but here goes anyway:

    We moved in together in November, 2016, and we got married in September, 2017.  In the intervening time, I budgeted my money, she didn't budget her money.  By and large, she paid the bills with all the worrying about if there's enough money to cover all the bills when they're due that happens when there isn't a budget, and I socked away most of my money to pay for a rather extravagant wedding.  (Maybe a few regrets there, but not many.  We had a good time, but sometimes we both wish we had that money to do other things with).  Due to a variety of history, I actually had 3 checking accounts, 2 savings accounts, and a money market account, spread over three different institutions.  For that period, I set one institutions's accounts aside as wedding money, and split off a separate budget for it as well.

    Once we were married, we took the vast majority of the money we got and paid off her credit cards, and I very sternly told her that she wasn't allowed to not pay them in full any more.  After that, I added her name to the accounts at that had been the wedding accounts, and we started putting money in there to cover all of the regular bills, which I then set up for auto-pay, except for the rent, which I'm in charge of writing the check for.  At that point, I was running two budgets, my budget, and the shared budget.  I would get her input occasionally on something here or there, but we weren't really putting any extra money in, so it was pay the bills and all the money was gone.

    A while later, we had a major expense come up, and the only reason we could handle it was because I had an emergency fund stashed away in my budget, and she realized the power of that, so at that point, we started putting extra money in the shared budget, and added an Emergency Fund category, and a Something Fun category.  Then we got pregnant and added a Stork Fund category, and again, upped our shared budget deposits.  At this point, I was able to get more of her attention for filling out the shared budget, because there was money left after the bills were paid that we could discuss where we wanted to put it and how much.  Not much discussion, because it was a whole three categories, but still, there was a little bit.

    It wasn't until she was taken out of work late in her pregnancy - maybe a month and a half ago? - that she became interested in budgeting her money as well.  The way she saw it, she made plenty of money, so she didn't need to budget it.  Well, once she was out of work, she suddenly realized that she no longer had the income, but she still needed to be able to pay her car payment, and decided that she needed a budget.  Since then she's been doing pretty well.  No, scratch that, she's been doing fabulously.

    I have to admit though, I don't foresee us actually fully combining our finances any time soon.  I expect we'll slowly expand what's covered on the shared budget, and eventually our personal budgets will only be for our own fun money, and eventually we'll decide that there's no point in not having that on the shared budget as a master category for each of us.

     

    I guess all of this is to ask, how do you currently have your finances / accounts / responsibilities set up?  Would a his/yours(personal)/yours(plural) setup work for you?  If your finances are fully merged and he's not interested, that becomes more difficult, and I'm not sure what to tell you.  I suppose the easiest solution would be to create an additional checking/savings account that's subject to the budget, and pull enough money into that account to cover the monthly bills, and then whatever's left you can do whatever you want with.

    It seems to me that budgeting is something that's very readiness dependent though, so until he's ready, you're not going to get any traction with him, and your best bet imho is to separate out what's going to be subject to the budget and what isn't.

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