Trying to educate yourself about credit can be difficult, but it’s nothing like getting a spouse to get honest about credit. If you have a spouse that seems to spend money like it’s no tomorrow, you have a problem that has to be addressed right away. You see, if you don’t address the problem, all of the saving and investing that you’re doing is really being cancelled out by the spending that your spouse is doing. It’s easy to get mad, and it’s certainly easily to give your spouse the silent treatment. But this is only going to create arguments. The might not be able to really see what you’re seeing in them. This is a problem that has a few solutions. Ready to get started? Read on…
The Real Problem
The real problem is not only a lack of communication, but it’s also a mismatch in values. People do what they value and care about. If credit is important to you, then you’re going to do just about anything to protect and preserve that credit. However, if your spouse doesn’t value credit, then they don’t think too terribly much of their spending. They might not be able to see how destructive their spending is because you’re walking behind them to fix the mistakes that undoubtedly arise. This is something that can indeed make you angry. Yet anger is the last thing that you want to bring into this.
If your spouse finds that you’re just waiting to yell at them, they’re going to feel like you just can’t be satisfied with anything that they do. They also might feel like you’re trying to take away their fun. This is obviously a delicate situation and you need to handle it that way. The last thing that you want is to cause further problems in your marriage.
Not seeing eye to eye about finance is something that’s actually quite common. Spouses have to get together and find common ground in order to reach their financial goals.
A Real Solution
The best solution is to try to see where your spouse is coming from. We can make guesses about your spouse, but you’re the only person that actually knows how your spouse is going to react. Chances are good that they’re going to be a little upset. They might not know as much about credit as you do, and that makes them feel inferior. The best thing that you can do is try to take the motions out of it. Show them all of the goals that you have in mind for the future. When they see that small chances really can lead to bigger results, they might feel ready to get on board with you.
This isn’t something that should be overnight, either. That’s the biggest mistake that people make when it’s time to get things together. They think that rushing through it will tie up all of those loose ends. However, that just makes it worse.
Don’t forget that you need to ask them about what they want as well. Some resentment can definitely rise up if you’re trying to make a lot of changes to the family budget, but you never include their goals into the mix. Stop and ask your spouse what they really want for the future. Get them to really visualize. It’s been shown that when people have a chance to really see what they want to bring into their future, they’re a lot more likely to stick with the new plan…even when things get rough. Trying to get a family budget back under control isn’t for the timid. You’re going to have a lot of emotions in play but you want to stay the course. Your financial future is worth everything, you know!
The biggest potential pitfall is that you will offend them to the point that they just shut down. That’s not the outcome we want. Ideally, you want to be on the same page with your spouse in the sense that you both agree that credit is important and should be protected. The trouble with this is that when you first bring this issue up, your spouse may feel like you’re attacking them.
This feeling tends to fester until they’re another major fight. These fights will take a lot out of you, so if we can avoid them completely, that’s ideally what we really want to do.
The Road Ahead
Look, we’re not saying that your spouse is going to automatically become a personal finance superstar overnight. However, it is a wise idea to be as supportive as possible. Chances are good that they’re closed off about credit issues because they’ve never truly had a credit education. Don’t beat them up about something that’s beyond their control. All they can do is try to make changes slowly over time. Most people tend to react badly when they feel rushed. They might take offense, which can lead to a deep divide in the marriage. This is definitely not what you’re looking for. As frustrating as it might be, try to have a little kindness as they sort out credit stuff for themselves. Good luck to the both of you!