In some cases, it can be hard to get a significant other to fully come on board with a broke on purpose journey. It can be frustrating and off-putting that effort from half of the relationship is not being embraced by the other half . It shouldn’t be a surprise that Melody is full steam ahead on our Broke On Purpose journey and I’ve come up short with enthusiasm at times. It’s not that I’m against living broke on purpose, but when you see someone that is so excited about it, and so good at it most times the easiest thing to do is allow yourself to take a backseat and watch what unfolds. I’ve realized that’s not the best position. It can seem that you are uninterested and against the process, which is the furthest from the truth.
Mrs. Broke on Purpose gave her run down of how she got me on board which you can read all about here. So I’ve come up with a few ideas that can help men get involved in household finances
1. Set meeting times and stick to them
Setting a dedicated meeting time to talk about the home finances and financial goals as a couple is imperative to move forward together. These meetings should occur without any distractions and should be scheduled for at least 30 minutes. During this time you can reflect of the past week and plans for the upcoming week. Other things can come up like work or other engagements, but best efforts should be to keep this meeting. Over time it will become a standard routine and add strength to your relationship.
2. Understand your place
Understanding your place is another key. Your relationship is a team, just like any other. And the goal of this team is to get out of debt and live that way. Teams have different positions and each position needs to be filled and that role needs to be executed with the highest efficiency possible.
For example, on our team, Melody was the first to embrace the Broke On Purpose lifestyle. So when I came on board, everything seemed to be under control, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t add value. I’ve been able to add to our payoff plan by looking for additional ways to maximize our budget so we’re not spending as much as well as contributing extra side money when it comes available. Recently, for example, we needed to make a repair to something in our basement. We both did research, but I took the lead on the repair by finding the best value and determining that it was a repair I could do myself instead of paying someone.
I think the most important position any person can play is to be a crutch. Life is uncertain and anything can happen. People will stumble and struggle with different things at times. But if the other person in the relationship is a crutch, you won’t fall. The idea is to be ready to step in and keep the train moving forward. Both should know and understand the plans for the budget and how to execute on the budget, much like a backup quarterback would step into the game and lead the team to victory. The goal is the have the team win.
3. Find something about it that makes is fun.
Make it fun! It sounds simple and it kind of is. But for some people, it’s not that simple. In our home melody made a chart like the ones you will see for a fundraiser. Each month she updates the amount. If kind of fun to see the amount change over time and get closer and closer to the goal. I’ve taken a stab and making a digital chart to track our debt payoff and household budget. It’s still in the works but when it over it will be able to show us trends in our spending and help visualize where we can make improvements. Another thing I used to do is save my pocket change in a piggy bank. It sounds kind of childish, but there’s no feeling like seeing money actually grow in front of your eyes. It’s tangible and its’ there. It’s a small victory to have that money and know you were disciplined enough to save it.
Another thing I’ve done is planned and targeted a future goal. By setting my own personal goal it gives me more motivation to work to pay off our debt faster. One of my dreams is to own an Audi. Melody and I have agreed that we aren’t about that car payment life anymore so I would have to be able to pay cash for that car, which is no small feat. I know that every penny helps, so when I save some of my personal monthly spending money, I subtract that amount from the total cost of my Audi. It’s only 10 to 15 dollars at a time, but it keeps me focused on my goal. When the time comes I’ll know I purchased my dream car $1 at a time.
The bottom line is that both partners have to be active in the plan in order to succeed. One of you may struggle with this or even want to quit. It’s the responsibility of the other to strengthen them where they are weak and remain focused on the goal of living debt free.