Childfreelife’s Weblog

{October 28, 2008}   Getting the buy in from a partner

Saving money like crazy isn’t worth a lot if your life partner is getting deeper in debt. Getting buy in from your partner to work towards financial freedom has its obstacles if you are on different money wave lengths. How do you get on the same foot about budgeting, saving, investing, wise spending, sacrifices in one area to save for another?

Goal Matching:
First off you and your partner have to be going towards mutual goals or working on separate goals together. Sit down together and map out goals. Any common goals you have, start to work out the details, on separate goals find win win solutions. How can one partner go to graduate school while the other becomes an exhibiting artist? Get creative. Finding ways for both partners to win is way better than compromising. And unless the partners want opposite things (like one wants kids and the other doesn’t) win wins should be possible.

If one partner doesn’t seem to have any defined goals, allow them space and time to develop some. Going forward on some of the following steps might allow your partner to begin to dream. Your partner might be holding back on dreams due to a feeling of helplessness or unsuccessful-ness. Some child-free folks don’t develop traditional goals like home-ownership because an advantage of being child-free is the possibility of being more mobile. Be willing to listen to unconventional goals and see yourself living them.

Remove feelings of helplessness about money:

Find a way to remove any helpless feelings about money: I believe one of the largest barriers to financial security is helpless feelings about finances. For example, if every time you have saved up money for a fun goal, something came along that took the money away, a car broke down, a cat got sick, or someone lost their job, then saving starts to lose its luster. One way to combat that barrier is to begin with an emergency fund and pay to that first and have smaller fun fund going at the same time.

Forgiving missteps:

If your partner makes a misstep and spends money on something–goes out for an expensive dinner, buys a new video game, or charges a hundred dollars on the credit card.  Don’t get very mad.  Forgive your partner and ask them to commit again to trying to save and both of you can put the mistake behind you.  Nothing is harder than being punished by your partner.  A parental type relationship over your partner is un-fun and can become unhealthy.

Living the good life without spending:

Think with your partner about what the two of you enjoy.  My husband and I enjoy playing games with other adults.  Some of those games cost more to play than others.  For example trading card games like Pokemon can become expensive fast.  However board games and single set card games can be cheaper.  Hours of fun can be had with one deck of Lunch Money or Uno.   If you two love to see movies, see about borrowing them from the library instead of going to the theater or video rental.  You might experiment with some classic films you have never seen instead of always seeing the new movies (that might not be as good as some of the older ones).  Think together, try new things, and don’t force something that doesn’t work.  This is for your enjoyment, you might discover something you really love to replace an expensive pasttime, but don’t keep playing Uno (when you don’t like it) just because you can’t afford Magic anymore–you might try ways of reducing the costs of Magic by just buying the cards you want instead of getting lots of packets and boxes of cards you don’t end up wanting–and actually trade cool but unneeded cards for other ones you want with friends.

Keep up the romance.  Simple activities you enjoyed as young lovers, kissing in the park, making out during a tv movie, laying on the grass and looking at the stars, and just plain making whoopee, are all free activities you can revive in your life, that are satisfying and free!

Mark successes:

Ultimately, if you enjoy a few sucesses after getting a bit of buy in from your partner, it will become easier and easier to take new “risks” into trying new things to save money.  A successful simple homemade bean soup will go a long way towards getting your spouse to stay home for dinner than a failed complex meal like a baked alaska.  Paying off the smallest credit card and celebrating with a big kiss and some lovin is going to go a lot further than, trudging away at your biggest debt and not really seeing marked progress.

If all else fails:

These are just strategies for helping a hesitant partner buy in to financial responsibility.  If your partner doesn’t want to be a part of increasing your wealth, spending less, and saving–then you might have to figure out a way to go it on your own financially to ensure for your own safe future.  Childfree men and women know how to make hard choices, you may have had to work out the choice not to have children with a past or current partner.  You can face the independence and resolve it takes to reach financial independence with a partner who won’t buy in.


{October 15, 2008}   I Love Gala Darling

Best survey answer ever:

16. What would​you do if you got pregnant?​
Put the midget in a basket & send it down the river. Very biblical.


et cetera