It’s a typically hot summer afternoon and you are sitting in your living room, looking over all the unpaid bills and overdue credit cards. It’s at this point you decide enough is enough. It’s time to get ahead of your finances. Unfortunately, your significant other doesn’t quite agree and would rather just look for other licensed money lenders in Singapore for more borrowing. Well, you’re not alone. There are many couples who find themselves on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to saving money.
How then do you bridge the divide? Is there anything you can say to them to get them on board with you? What can you say or do to get your significant other to agree to get on top of your spending and to start budgeting wisely?
Here are ideas you could use to get them talking about budgeting:
1) Agree on some mutual goals
This rule could well apply to any and all conflicts in your household. Start on mutual ground. Instead of beginning the conversation from a point of conflict, commence the discussion from a point of consensus. Find something you both agree on. This will turn your conversation from an argument about money to a discussion about financial management.
Rather than fighting about what you need to cut down on, approach the topic from something you both want. Not only will this give you perspective, but it will also set a lighter mood and atmosphere in which you can discuss your future without an air of conflict. This is a good basis for the both of you to discuss what truly want from life and what your aspirations are. At this juncture, we will not even be bringing up the topic of money. This is purely just a discussion about your dreams and aspirations.
Discuss things along the lines of:
• Where would you like us to retire?
• What is your dream car?
• What do your dream home renovations look like?
• Where in the world would you like to travel?
• What one thing would you like to do before you die?
• What would you love to be able to leave behind for our kids?
The entire discussion is purely aspirational at this point. Nothing is off-limits; no goals are ridiculed, and no finances are mentioned as yet.
2) Put a price tag on your goals
Once you’ve identified that one goal that both of you believe is the most important in your lives, you can now begin the process of assigning a monetary value to them. These will need to be realistic assumptions based on both the goals and in what year you intend to realize them.
Want to retire in a beach house on the coast of Belize? Factor in the initial immigration costs, property valuations and cost of living, you may arrive at a figure of about $1 million. If you intend to retire in 40 years’ time and had no current savings, you would require monthly savings of roughly $3125, ignoring interest rates and inflation etc.
A 1970’s vintage Mustang-Boss 302 could cost you somewhere in the region of $1 250000. What if you intend to get your hands on this car within, say, the next 5 years. You could buy the car through vehicle financing or through other forms of loans. Alternatively, you could start saving now and would be looking at annual savings of roughly $25 000 or more/
A full-scale kitchen remodel would cost you something in the region of around $20 000. What if you set a time frame of renovating in the kitchen in 2 years? Again, you could finance the program through short term loans. You could go to DBS or Citibank and apply for a short-term loan for your home renovation. There are also a number of money lenders in Singapore that you could use to finance your project. Instead of taking out a loan, you could just save the money yourselves. To do this, you would need to save $10 000 a year or $833 a month depending on interest rates.
3) Now you can discuss Savings
Now that you’ve attached monetary values to your dreams, you can begin the discussions about what kind of financial management tools you will implement to achieve these goals. This would be a good time to discuss your strategy and how you intend to make your goals a reality. Highlight unnecessary expenditure that you intend to cut out of your monthly spending. In the unfortunate case of shortfalls in terms of payment of bills, think of ways you can earn extra money per month. If you’re still struggling, you may have to seek help from financial institutions and money lenders in Singapore. Be mindful though of throwing yourself further into debt.
Instead of approaching these discussions from a point of disagreement, you instead started from commonground and are now more likely to come to a peaceful agreement. Merely from a psychological stand point, framing an argument from the point of what a person stands to gain will be far better received as opposed to starting an argument with what they are expected to lose. Once you’ve introduced your mutual goals and the cost to attain them, notice now how much easier it is to convince your spouse to talk about financial management, responsible spending and consistent saving.
Financial planning no longer needs to sound like purely sacrifice and no joy. Saving does not only have to be about what you’re losing. Instead, saving can be seen as a step closer to what you will gain. Every month you save is no longer a step away from happiness but a step closer to your dreams.