How To Get Your Spouse To Work With You On Your Family Finances: 3 Things To Do

Today, let’s talk about the single, most powerful way on how to get your spouse on the same page with you on your family finances.

Last time we read about the top three things NOT to do when you’re trying to get your spouse on board with you on money.

So now that we know what not to do, let’s talk about what we should be doing.

Right now, we’re in the second paragraph of Page 33, under the title ‘Tough Teamwork: Getting the Reluctant Spouse On Board’, in Chapter 2 of Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money.

And here’s my lesson for the day:

To bring a reluctant spouse around so you can both work on money, use Effective Expressions + Excitement (The 3 E’s).

To get your spouse to be on the same page with you with regards to money, you’ll need to express yourself with excitement. That’s it – no secret hack, tip, or tactic, or underground ‘gimmick’ anywhere.

Express how much you’ll want to build a solid financial foundation, and chances are you might infect your spouse with that same excitement.

Your spouse may or may not have been reading about personal finances, or how to do better with family finances.

But if you’ve been studying up on how to build financial peace in your family, then it makes perfect sense to share what you’re learning, and show why you’re so thrilled to take this next important step with your spouse in your family’s financial journey.

So how do you bring a reluctant spouse around by using effective expressions and excitement?

1. Sit down and talk

Start by asking your spouse about when they’ll be available to talk, and decide on a time that works for both of you.

This makes the conversation you’re about to have appear more effective and stand out the more, and would typically make your spouse more curious about what you’d like to talk about.

As you sit down to talk with your spouse, share your thoughts, hopes, and dreams on what you’re learning about money with excitement… and listen to hear their thoughts too.

Talk, and be ready to hear what your spouse has to say too.

Basically: you talk, then you listen; and then both of you can merge your thoughts into one – that works for the family.

As you can imagine, you don’t learn about money simply as an accident; you most likely have to go out of your way to learn more about building better finances, and if one of the goals in your marriage is to make each other better, then this would be one of those areas.

Don’t assume your spouse already knows what you’ll talk about – they might not have read the money books or blogs you’re reading, or listened to money podcasts that you’ve been listening to.

Come with the sole purpose of sharing your passion and excitement with them – about how you see your family finances becoming even better, and the habits and steps you’ve found on how to get there.

Remember, you don’t know it all: and so, your goal is not to tell your spouse what to do. So, don’t get mad if your spouse doesn’t share your excitement at first. Express your money visions with excitement and joy, and then listen.

You’ve shared your perspective, let them share theirs. And with patience, discuss with your spouse, so both of you can find a way to merge your two perspectives into one that works great for both of you.

You can’t do this alone and you both need each other, for this to work.

In fact, I’ve found that sharing your thoughts, and genuinely listening to your spouse’s thoughts too (to hear their reservations, doubts, or concerns) will work more than simply trying to force your money ideas down your spouse’s throat.

2. Project into the future

Often times, it’s easy to keep our heads buried in the ground, and think we can never get out of this financial mess.

But please know that change is hard, and if your spouse can’t really see why you’re so excited about doing better with your family finances, there’s a better way…

… show them the awesome possibilities that could happen, if you and your spouse work together.

For example:

  • Ask your spouse how they’ll feel like if you both have six months of emergencies already saved in the bank… ask them how much better their sleep will be…
  • Let your spouse imagine a time when both of you can give to causes and charities you’re passionate about, simply because your family finances is in great shape…
  • Ask your spouse to imagine what it’ll look like if both of you can go on a vacation (on short notice), without worrying about any student loans holding you back…
  • Take your spouse to a time in the future when both of you are not struggling and living paycheck-to-paycheck… the satisfaction in knowing that if any emergency were to happen (God forbid), you and your spouse are in an excellent position to take care of it…
  • Let your spouse imagine what a healthy finances and financial freedom looks like for them… and how sweet and pleasant that would feel like

All of these, and more, can happen if you and your spouse work together as a team on your finances, and no matter what financial state you’re in today…

… seeing the many dreams, hopes, and excitement of where both of you could be (if you work together on your family finances) could get your spouse on board faster than you think.

3. Back up your words with actions

A lot of people talk, but few people put those words into action.

Show your spouse that you’re really serious about getting better with your family finances.

Think of the sacrifices you can start making – that’ll show the commitment and sincerity on your part. If you’re really ready and excited to improve your family finances, then you should lead the way.

For example, as a wife, if you really enjoy going out on dates, you can decide to stop going out on dates, until you get your family finances in an excellent shape.

And share your thoughts with your spouse on your reasons why.

You could tell your husband: “Babe, I’d really love to keep going on dates, but I figured if we’re going to get a better handle on our loans and finances, I’ll need to start making some sacrifices, and I plan to start by not going on dates, for the time being.”

And then stick with your commitment.

When your husband hears this, suddenly he realizes that:

  • This must be so important to you – you’re so serious about this, that you’re willing to give up something you love and cherish
  • You’re not just talking, you’re actually walking the talk – which would make him want to commit to this new, unfamiliar journey with you
  • You’re serious about this and already doing something about it, without even first waiting for him to get on board
  • He needs to make some sacrifices too – if you’re willing to cut back on something you so much love like going out on dates, then maybe he needs to start thinking of other areas where he can cut back too, and get on this train with you

I can’t tell you how much this works wonders – talk is cheap, but you’d get far better results on bringing your spouse around…

… when you take the bold steps and make the sacrifices first, and make those sacrifice consistently.

In other words, if you claim to want to do better with money in your marriage, and all you do is talk about it, without making sacrifices in that direction…

… then don’t be surprised if your spouse doesn’t change in the way you want.

You’ve read, studied, and found this new way of doing better with money – so let the change start with you.

And watch how easy it becomes to get your spouse on board, and start working together on money as a family.


To bring a reluctant spouse around so you can both work on money, use Effective Expressions + Excitement (The 3 E’s).

And more importantly, start by taking the initial steps, and keep backing up your words with actions.

That’s all for today, my friend. We’ll continue in the second paragraph on Page 34 of the book tomorrow.


Leave a Comment