You’re doing all you can, paying all those bills on time, eating at home when you used to go out, even working a second job (for many) but no matter how hard you try, you’re not making ends meet. What’s the problem then? Is it something you’re doing? Is there more you should be doing? Are you still spreading yourself too thin?
The problem may be that there is one person doing the work for two people.
Let me be clear that I am in no way suggesting that your husband/wife is sabotaging your efforts. In fact, they could be doing almost everything you’re asking of them, but they aren’t 100%.
Sacrificing to get out of a financial hole is almost always necessary, but some people don’t want to make the necessary sacrifices to begin with. Maybe it’s that they’ve grown too accustomed to their lifestyle, or they’re skeptical that it will work. Whatever the reason is, it’s important that you work together towards the common goal. If they view sacrificing certain joys in life as something they can’t do, they need to be reminded that they’re working towards the future. If sacrifices lead to financial flexibility and not worrying about bills in a couple years, then it’s obvious that the future is something they should strive for.
A good way to get out of this funk is to set goals for you and your partner. Something small and attainable. Once your first goal is met, add on another and so on. Pretty soon you should be seeing some benefits from sacrificing and attaining those goals.
Some examples could be:
- Start paying $50 extra dollars per month to that credit card with the high APR
- Switch off days making a meal for each other (something new and inexpensive, use the internet for help with great recipes)
- Save $25 a week towards a vacation of some sort for the both of you to enjoy (this is nice as it’s a long term goal you can also attain and reward yourself for sticking to your goals)
- Cut down on the driving as much as possible (this is an important one to me, keeping the miles off the car helps in many ways (reducing necessary maintenance, oil changes, and gas usage) this will add up over time, even increasing the life of your vehicle
If you’ve met some of these goals and feel like you’re doing a good job, don’t stop! Take that money you used for that high APR card and apply it to another one and so on (each time using the money you’ve been paying and applying it to another one).
Eventually you’ll both be able to enjoy each other and not worry about making ends meet. Maybe you’ll be able to get back to that lavish lifestyle you were used to before you started making these goals…