As many of you know for us living Broke on Purpose is a team effort, but I have to be 100% honest. Marcus wasn’t always pulling his fair share as part of the team when Broke on Purpose first started. Now, I don’t say this to throw him under the bus, but I say it to answer a question that I get often from women that are married or in a serious relationship. “How do I get my spouse/significant other on board with living Broke on Purpose and wanting to pay off debt?”.
I wish I could tell you that there was some magic spell you could mumble that would make your spouse just as excited about getting out of debt as you currently are, but there isn’t. While he had committed to combining incomes (which you can read about here) he hadn’t fully committed to being a co-supervisor of our money. I would do the budget, I would pay the bills, and he would just go along with it.
He was on cruise control.
As long as nothing major popped up he didn’t feel a need to be bothered.
While this may not be as extreme as some other cases it was serious to me.
So what clicked? What caused him to actually want to get out of debt just as bad as I did?
I kept pushing.
In order for us to really tackle this debt the way I knew we could, I had to get Marcus on board with me. While I was doing it alone, and doing it well (pops collar), I couldn’t continue to solely carry the burden. So when we reached a milestone I would tell him. I would show my excitement and ask him to share in the excitement with me. I would get a less than enthusiastic (that’s great) but I didn’t let it deter me.
I brought up Broke on Purpose every chance that I got. This just wasn’t a “Melody Thing”. Yea sure I may be the one who runs the social media and blog but, this whole living broke on purpose was “our” thing. His friends knew, his family knew, it was everywhere.
I would constantly remind him of how much we had left in a particular budget category. Some may think of this as being nagging or nitpicky, but by me constantly talking about the budget he knew it was there. He had to acknowledge its presence.
I prayed about it.
I wrote the vision.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Living Broke on Purpose is not an attempt at becoming rich. I knew that God had so much more in store for us but our debt was getting in the way. How could we expect God to give us more when we couldn’t even manage what we already had? Often times at dinner I’d bring up conversations on what it would be like to be out of debt. I did this for a reason. I wanted him to imagine a better life than what we had now. I wanted him to see how us paying off our debt was freeing us up to do things that we never thought possible. I showed him what us getting out of debt meant for us now and what it could mean for us in the future. I wanted his imagination to take hold and for it to cause him to want it just as much as I did. In the words of Dave Ramsey, I wanted us to be able to live and give like no one else.
I got fed up.
To say I never got upset would be a boat load of lies, fairytales, and fallacies. There have been a few occasions where I let him know how his nonchalant attitude was doing more harm them good. He couldn’t be an ex-football player/coach that preached “Team Work, Motivation, Determination, and Persistence” on the field and then completely forget about those values off. Us paying off debt is basically our team (Team Wright) trying to get into the other teams end zone and score each and every month. Not a month goes by that we’re not met with obstacles. I had to get him to see that I couldn’t keep scoring these points by myself and not get injured mentally.
Basically, I never gave up.
Yes, there were several months that I did this basically alone, but I never gave up because giving up is giving in and I refused to continue to live in debt. This is why you now see photos of Marcus and I together in our Broke on Purpose Monthly Payoff reports. He finally got on board.
So if you’re in a relationship and are struggling with trying to get your significant other to join the fight against your debt. Don’t. Give. Up.
Start working your plan the best way that you can. Share with them your excitement each time you pay off a debt. Talk about it to family and friends but use pronouns like “us, we, and our”. Lastly, but most importantly pray about it.
House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.