How to Get on the Same Page with Your Spouse about Money

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You’ve discovered the personal finance community online, and you’re really motivated to get on top of this money thing. You’ve seen the light and want to tell everyone.

Your spouse? Not so much.

I’ve definitely been there.

Money fights are one of the biggest causes of divorce in America, so it’s crucial that you figure out how to get on the same page with your spouse about money.

Just don’t make the same mistakes I did.

I started reading personal finance sites and trying to get my money in order when Mr. TMG and I were just dating.

By the time we got married, I had a whole plan to pay off my student loans in a few years.

Mr. TMG, on the other hand, was perfectly content to pay the minimums on our debt and live life however we wanted. He didn’t see a problem with debt. Everyone has it, right?

I didn’t force it and went with the flow, but I’d randomly bring up the topic of paying off our debt every now and again.

It kept pulling at me.

I had read so many stories about people paying off their debt quickly and knew that we could do it, too.

Sound familiar?

The importance of starting with why

My problem was I was telling Mr. TMG what I wanted to do but not talking about why I wanted to do it. That’s definitely not the way to get on the same page with your spouse.

Are you falling into that same trap?

Think about it. What is drawing you to want to take control of your money?

Is it the mechanics of it?

Some stranger online says you can live on less than you make and use the difference to pay off debt/save/invest/whatever, and you’re like “Yesss! That’s awesome”?


You’re fired up because you see what taking control of your money can do in your life. The freedom it affords you. The stability you could have. The things you could accomplish.

That other stuff is “what” you do to get to your “why.”

Starting with why is hugely powerful. Your why will be a great motivator in helping you reach your goals.

Related: 8 Tips for Setting Financial Goals and Crushing Them

When I told Mr. TMG about how quickly we could pay off our debts because we made enough to do it, he wasn’t into it.

After we had Little TMG and I was telling him about the freedom I wanted us to have to spend time with our family and live life on our terms and that not having debt hanging over our heads would help us get there, he came around.

Now he’s worse than me sometimes. 🙂

Dreaming with your spouse about what you could do if your finances were in order is a great way to get on the same page about money.

Words without action are useless

Another thing that will help is practicing what you preach.

So your spouse isn’t on board yet. That doesn’t mean you can’t start making changes to improve your finances.

(Be careful here, though. You don’t want to come off like you’re trying to dictate how things will go without your spouse’s input.)

You can, for example, track your family’s income and spending. If you’re spending more than you’re bringing in, you could tie it into your conversation with your spouse about your why.

Related: Budgeting Tips for Beginners: A How-To Guide

You could decide to bring your lunch to work rather than going out to save money, which will help show the sacrifice you’re willing to make for the betterment of your family’s future.

Actions like these can also open the lines of communication and lead to more conversations with your spouse about money, which can lead you and your spouse to get on the same page with your money.

Things NOT to do

So we’ve talked about a few tips to get your spouse on board.

Now, let’s talk about a few things to avoid. These things would likely push your spouse further from the goal you’re trying to accomplish.

  1. Don’t nag. Nobody wants to be nagged. You’re your spouse’s partner, not his or her parent.
  2. Don’t point out all the things your spouse is doing wrong and how your finances would be in better shape if he or she did things your way. Would you like someone who treated you that way? Need I say more?
  3. Don’t make everything about what this expert says or that blogger did. Your spouse doesn’t know these people and Does. Not. Care.
  4. Don’t expect things to change overnight. You have the benefit of education on this topic, but recognize that you haven’t always been here. Just like you learned about money over time, it will be the same for your spouse. Be patient and let him or her warm up to the changes you want to make.

With a little time, effort, and patience, you and your spouse can definitely get on the same page with your money. Once you do, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

Which tips are you going to try to get on the same page with your spouse about money?

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