You may or may not know this, but Brian was my first ever interview on my podcast!
One of my goals for creating it was to encourage couples to work together with their finances. Money can be a huge source of stress on a marriage, but it can also be an opportunity to grow.
When I read his story about killing over $100,000 of debt, I knew it listeners would appreciate the motivating story, but also learn and get ideas on how they can tackle their biggest financial problems.
Dumping Debt Together
Besides Brian, I’ve had others come on the show and share their stories about build their wealth together. Many of them had to overcome the mountain of debt they had accumulated.
While the general course was getting out of debt, each couple had to navigate a path that reflected their values, personalities, and struggles.
One couple who comes to my mind is Toni and her husband. They paid off almost the same amount of debt as Brian and his family (about $107,000) but had an entirely different challenge. They both wanted to get rid of the debt, but they couldn’t agree on the process!
Toni had discovered Dave Ramsey and was instantly hooked on the idea of being gazelle intense. Her husband, though, was for a more conservative pay off schedule.
Looking at the amount and their finances, they knew that it would be years before they’d be debt free. With two small kids, he wanted to savor the special time and have room in the budget for family activities and other goals (though at lower, more frugal levels).
Both felt pretty strong about their positions, so how did they get manage to work together on their finances?
Paying Off Debt as a Couple
When I was chatting with Toni, I saw some practical principles at work. Here are some keys I took away from their story:
1. Respect one another viewpoint. They truly listened to each other and shared their reasoning behind their preferences. Sounds obvious, but the longer you’re married, the easier it seems to forget. You can get your spouse to come to your side, but it’s not a given. You can get a lot accomplished when you have a clear idea of where your spouse is coming from.
2. Find your common ground. For Toni and Colin, they agreed that getting out of debt was the best move for their family. They cut back on expenses they both felt were unnecessary. Instead of nitpicking on the differences, look for an opportunity to be on the same side.
3. Lead by example. Instead of trying to bully or nag him into going full throttle on the debt snowball, Toni decided that it would be more productive and helpful to start cutting back and getting gazelle intense. Her diligence began to spur her husband to find his own ways to save money.
4. Celebrate every win, encourage when hit with a hurdle. Attitudes and words matter. Make sure you take the time to support one another through the ups and downs.
Thoughts on Finding Harmony
Wherever you are on your journey, I wish you the best with your marriage and money. I’d love to hear from you – have you ever had differing views on how to handle money? How did you deal with it?