When you’re keen to make some positive changes to your finances but your partner isn’t, how do you get them on board? This question is so common; many people in our community have the same concerns. There are some things that might help, which I’ll break down into the 5 points below.
Talk About Your Money Experiences
It’s a really good idea to have a talk about your experiences with money when you were both younger, and I think this is just as important as asking someone whether they want kids.
It’s the kind of question you might want to bring up when you’re having a date night or chilling out on the sofa together with a glass of wine. Talking about your past could reveal that your partner had some quite traumatic experiences around money while growing up. On the other hand, their experiences may have been positive.
My husband and I have had this discussion, and it became quite clear where he got his money habits from. Growing up, we both adopted similar beliefs when it came to money. However, his money personality meant that he took a sensible approach to managing his finances, whereas my money personality caused me to travel a different path.
Your Money Personality
Money mentor Kendall Summerhawk came up with a concept that there are 8 different money personalities, which we all have within us and can use to our advantage. For each person, there are 3 types that will make the biggest impact on your life. You can take my free money personality quiz based on these archetypes and work out whether your and your partner’s personalities are similar, or if they clash.
You might have obviously different money personalities. Let’s say you’re an accumulator; you save well and are fearful of being in debt. But if your partner is a romantic who doesn’t mind spending, or being in debt, and has a laissez-faire approach around money, you can understand why you might clash.
It could also highlight the fact that if you are both accumulators or rulers, you might find there’s a lot of competitiveness between you when it comes to money. If your partner can take the quiz too, you’ll gain some insight into how managing your money together is going to work for you.
What’s Your Money Habitude?
There are cards that you can buy, called Money Habitudes, which highlight habits and attitudes around money. They’re a bit like the money personalities, but instead of archetypes, you have different categories around the way you manage your money.
Things like being carefree around money, planning your money, whether security is important. Each card contains a statement about money and how you might behave if that statement is true for you. Using these statements, you have to decide which ones reflect who you are.
Taking it in turns, you place the cards down into 3 different areas, statement facing up (don’t look at the back). Put each one into 3 different categories, which are: Is this like you? Is it not like you? Is it sometimes like you?
When you’re finished, the reverse of each card tells you what each statement relates to. Examples could be carefree, spontaneous, or giving. You then count up how often you fall into each category. For instance, you may find that you’re mostly spontaneous, or that your partner is mostly focused on security. When you see which habitude is the most prominent, you can understand why there might be a lot of clashes.
I did this with my hubby, and we’re quite similar in our habits and attitudes towards money, because we’ve got the same three categories — but in a different order. My highest scoring habitude was planning, followed by spontaneity, then security, which tied in with status. My husband’s top habitude was planning, followed by security, then spontaneity.
We might have the odd clash due to spontaneity, but we’re on the same page when it comes to planning. Playing the habitudes cards can be really helpful if you’re trying to get your partner on board, so get the cards and have a go.
Make a Money Date Night
Having a money date night is just as important as a normal date night. If you have kids and need to send them to their grandparents or other family/friends, do that so you can sit down together and go through your finances. Make a plan for your goals over the next 5—10 years, because having a plan makes you 10 times more likely to see those goals through.
For example, where do you want to live? What experiences do you want to have together? How does retirement look? What might come up, even when you’ve given yourselves space and time to do what you’ve planned?
Be the Change You Want to See
If you find your partner is really resisting anything around money and just wants to stick their head in the sand, you need to take control and be the change you want to see. Because when you make a stand to go after the results you desperately want, you may find your partner gets on board. They’ll see you making progress with savings and getting out of debt and want to get involved.
If your partner has a debt problem and you don’t, and they resist the idea of managing it, you need to put boundaries in place. It’s difficult, but you cannot let the fact your partner isn’t on board be an excuse for you not to sort your own financial situation out.
My husband and I decided early on that I was going to manage my debt myself. Fortunately, I was in a position where I could do that, as I have a job that pays well. As a couple, these are the kinds of decisions you ideally should make together. Also, keeping some of your own money separate in addition to having a joint account means you have the best of both worlds.
So, be the example; the light to lead the way. If your partner chooses to get on board with that, great! But protect yourself from your partner’s decisions if they don’t match yours, so that you’re safe.
Ultimately, what it really comes down to is communication and understanding more about yourselves. If you can at least get your partner to do the money personality quiz to kick off a conversation, it’s a great start. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles and hope that your partner eventually — hopefully — sees the light.
I’d love to know your thoughts, whether you have similar issues with your partner showing no interest in your finances. If you’re in a relationship and you’re trying to make changes, it can be extremely frustrating, but you’re not on your own.
Do you have a money question? Pop yours in the comments below and you might end up with a podcast or a post written just for you!
Bye for now,