How Do I Get My Husband To Help Pay Off Debt?

Advice from Stretch Your Dollar coach Mary Hunt

Q: I am completely dedicated to getting out of debt, but my husband does not fully cooperate. He loves to spend money on little things but they add up to big things.

That keeps us from reducing expenses and contributing to our Freedom Account and Contingency Fund. He says he wants to be debt-free, but he doesn't work with me. Any suggestions?

A: Sounds like it's time for a partner's compromise negotiation meeting. Let me caution you that it would be easy for you to take on the role of a stern parent to this "errant child," but don't let yourself go there.

It is not reasonable to thing that either of you will never spend money again, so how about this: Each of you gets $100 cash a week (or an amount you determine) to spend as you like. When it's gone, it's gone until next "payday."

All plastic goes into a secret hiding place both of you know about and you pledge to the other that it's Hands Off! unless both of you are present and in full agreement.

If you back off a bit and begin living what you believe instead of talking about it so much, you may get his attention more effectively. Is your RDRP hanging on the 'fridge? Even if you've not started your Contingency Fund, you could draw up a projection for how 10 percent of your income could grow if you socked it away. Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure you always remain a fragrance; never become an odor.


Excerpted from Can I Pay My Credit Card Bill with a Credit Card? And Other Financial Questions We're Too Embarrassed to Ask! (DPL Press, Inc., 2009)


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