Dear 100 Hour Board,
How can I convince my spouse that budgeting is important and setting category limits for food, dates, etc?
I totally agree with Luciana about the importance of using budgeting as a tool to reach a specific goal.
I think the best way for someone to learn about the power of budgeting is to see it first hand. Maybe you could ask them to try it for a month just to see how it goes. If they're still hesitant you could maybe ask them if you could manage the budget for a month and then you could show them the results. Perhaps that could help them see how useful budgeting is.
I'm not sure why they don't budget, maybe finances give them anxiety, maybe it sounds boring or like too much work. If there are other root causes that are behind them not wanting to budget it might be good to address those first whether that be just by yourselves or with a couples therapist.
Hope this helps!
Your question comes with perfect timing, since I just heard a talk about this in church! The members who attended the self-reliance group were invited to share their testimonies and experiences related to self reliance. The woman I remember best shared about how she decided that she would join this group in order to get better at saving money. When both she and her husband tracked expenses, she realized that she spent money on nonessential things, because she was feeling in a good mood or just wanted to treat herself or someone else, while her husband didn't spend any money on those things. She talked about how because of this realization, she then worked to better her finances and this also helped her marriage grow stronger, as there was a better mutual understanding in their relationship.
I think the first step is being open about both of your goals and why you have those goals. Much of our perception of money and financing comes from our growing up and the kinds of things that the people we lived with spent money on. I think it would be important that both of you got to know where each of you are coming from financially, where you are at currently, and how you can work together to be financially strong in the future.
I wish you and your wife the best of luck.
It's very common to have a saver and a spender in a marriage relationship. Both are important to the budgeting process. The saver will be the driving force in sticking to the budget and making sure long and short term goals are being worked on. The spender will help the saver realize that money is not an end, it's a means to an end. They will help the saver understand that sometimes it's okay to splurge a little and that it is okay to sleep in an Airbnb on vacation instead of packing a 10 man tent in order to sleep the whole family without spending money.
I think if you can first understand the above, then you can approach your spouse and talk about wanting to have a budget that allows you to have fun and spend money now but also save money for the future. In my experience, a good budget will require both the saver and the spender to give and take. Don't just be a taker in your financial life.
Hope that helps!
-Sunday Night Banter
I feel like the best way to establish why budgeting is important is to figure out the important things you want in life.
Do you want to buy a house? Have children? Go backpacking in Europe? Pay off student loans? All of those can be costly endeavors that you'll likely have to save and budget for. If you want any of those things, or if you have any other long-term financial goals, you would probably need to sit down with your spouse and figure out how much money you have to put aside for those goals. In doing so you can determine a categorical budget for all your necessary and desired expenditures.
At least for me, that's the best way to think about budgeting. It's not about making sacrifices or depriving yourselves of the day-to-day things you want. It's about planning for the future and preparing for life's big, exciting moments.
Different attitudes about finance are a common source of distress for couples. If you and your spouse are reaching an impasse, please consider talking to a good couples therapist. They will have some tools for helping both partners talk to each other more productively.