“Frugality is so awesome! Now, how do I convince my spouse/partner to get on board with it?” Mr. Frugalwoods and I are asked this question almost daily and I was all set to write some
windbaggy mellifluous literary masterpiece in response. The only hitch is that I have to confess my honest answer is “I have no idea.”
Mr. FW and I struggle with plenty of other hurdles in our marriage, but we’re fortunate that we’ve always been on roughly the same page as far as frugality and our financial independence goal are concerned. In fact, we’ve found that frugality brings us closer by enabling us to eliminate the distractions of consumerism and instead focus on our relationship.
This question usually comes to us contextualized within someone’s inspiring story of discovering the incredible benefits of frugality–which extend far beyond the mere monetary–and their desire to implement frugal approaches throughout all spheres of their life. The challenge arises when one member of a partnership experiences this frugal awakening but the other does not. Since running a household, raising a family, and planning for the future all require the input of both partners, how does one reconcile divergent financial methodologies within a relationship?
What I’ve discovered is that financial goals and life goals are essentially the same thing. Knowing what you want out of life and what you hope to achieve over the course of it is inextricably linked to how we manage our money. It’s nearly impossible to divorce the two and hence, having misaligned viewpoints between partners is likely a recipe for discord. Or is it?
Given how unbelievably uninformed my response to this query is, I figured I’d put the question to the smartest, most frugalist people I know: you the readers! In the future, I hope to refer folks with this quandary to all of your amazing comments.
And so, I want to hear your stories, thoughts, opinions, and experiences related to how you brought a formerly spendy partner around to frugality. Or, how you blissfully cohabitate with a partner whose spending proclivities are markedly different from your own. What are the challenges, pitfalls, and rewards of aligning financial outlooks with your partner? What tactics and strategies work best in convincing a partner of the myriad joys that frugality brings? Or when do you navigate a means to amicable but separate finances?