I figured it might be a good idea to hear this post from the other side… the follower if you will.
When Josh and I first got together, we were both “good with money” [read: we didn’t have credit card debt]. Turns out that that’s only a small piece of a much larger puzzle of financial literacy. We’ve always been on the same page financially, but that doesn’t mean that we both suddenly had an epiphany and we just sat down and created a budget.
Stock Options, how titillating.
What seemed like out of thin air, Josh got very interested in the stock market. He loved to talk to me about it. Now, I have always deemed myself as a great listener (within reason) when something is important to someone. I also consider myself to be rather smart and quick to pick up on things. However, if you would like a guaranteed eyes glazed over, staring into space, over-my-head conversation — talk to me about stock options. (I’m not even 100% sure that I said that correctly).
It’s not that I didn’t want to listen or care. It’s just that… I didn’t care. That is, until I realized that he was significantly changing our financial future…
Since then I’ve been known to slip in things like “S&P 500” or “robo-advisor” into conversations in hopes that I sound like I know what I’m talking about. Spoiler alert: I still don’t, but I am learning!
My point is this – he kept sharing things with me when he got excited, and that excitement eventually became contagious.
Josh read Total Money Makeover… So I read Total Money Makeover.
Josh read Rich Dad, Poor Dad… So I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
And suddenly I was right there with him. If this was his financial crusade, I became Joan of freaking Arc, sword-a-blazing.
Who doesn’t love a good budget?
This was an easy one to get me on board with because I love to save money. It’s just always been in my nature.
I don’t remember exactly how the budget conversation happened, but I know that by the time it did (because I wasn’t being told what to do… we were just talking), I was on board 100%. Funny how deep down we’re all kind of 5 year olds having a tantrum when something is forced on them. This was just approached as “budgets are a good idea and here’s why;” no forceful “you spend too much, we need to make a change.”
Budgeting was kind of complicated at first, but it became a game. And then it became fun!
And now we’re crazy people trying to make our savings rate as high as it possibly can go each month. Once we started seeing our life change – oh, it became so fun.
We talk about it all the time… maybe too much. Maybe that’s the real reason we started a blog- so we can continue talking about this to anyone that will listen.
But my situation is different.
In Josh’s post, he discussed the importance of leading by example and communication in order to get your spouse on board with this idea of debt pay off and fiscal responsibility.
Now, I was an easy sell – and I’m sure that’s not the case for everyone.
What about the spouse who LOVES to spend money? Who needs “retail therapy” when they have a bad day? Who peruses Amazon any time they’re bored?
I would offer the same advice – it just may take longer.
Continue educating yourself and don’t be afraid to share what you’re learning. Just don’t be forceful about it. “Listen to what I read earlier… Two-thirds of Americans wouldn’t be able to find $1,000 if an emergency happened… isn’t that crazy?!” This sounds kind of lame, but trust me – it’ll lead to some powerful conversations.
But the key is to just share. Don’t insist that he/she read what you’re reading. Just be excited and tell what you’re learning. There’s something about seeing someone crazy excited about something that naturally piques our interest. We want to see what all the hype is about.
And keep at it. Slowly make the changes that you want to make.
Non-persistent persistence, if that makes sense. Don’t be in your face about things, but press on.
Eventually your excitement will spill over, and the rest will follow.
(And please share your story with us during this process!)