If you’ve got a significant other and a bank account, snabblån then there are key things that your partner needs to hear from you periodically. It’s okay to repeat yourself and repeat back what you hear as you perform near constant course corrections.
Here are seven things that your spouse or partner needs to hear from you. Pick one per day this week, and craft the idea to fit your personal finance strategy.
- “I appreciate what you’re doing.” Even if your plan is falling apart right now and both of you are making mistakes, there is no room for division when a family is engaged in a battle for independence. There is never an inappropriate time to express your admiration for somebody who is actively trying to make your life better — even if you may be tremendously pissed off right now.
Go home today and tell your partner, “Hey, I really appreciate what you’re doing for me because _______.” Then end it. Do not supply a poop-filled twinkie with a “but, do you think you could do something else?” No. Just focus today on what you truly appreciate about your mate, and you will likely see a renewed vigor in unity toward your ultimate goal.
- “I’ll stop doing [insert bad habit].” A journey to Financial Independence is a long endeavor, and the travelers will assuredly be confronted with obstacles and unforseen distractions and impulses. There will always be ways to improve, dial in, or hack any system in your favor. You will likely need to develop new habits and whole new ways of thinking and approaching your shared relationship with money.
Don’t be afraid to admit you’re doing something wrong, or challenge an idea that perhaps worked well 6 months ago. The harder part is actually changing it. But, once you’ve identified something that doesn’t work, it’s time to let it go. It’s time to chuck comfort in favor of hustling.
- “I’m totally committed.” Did you really just spend $11 on a beer? Yeah, that’s not cool — like, ever.
This is hard, and even minor setbacks from your spouse can start to feel like a betrayal. It’s not.
Your partner needs to hear that you’re committed, even when things may not be going so well today. It’s time to forget about sunk costs or even anything that happened up to today because today is what matters — right now matters and the next 6 hours matter. How are you going to spend your money TODAY? Because, when it’s gone – it’s gone, friends. There is no giving up even if you screw up, and you need to recommit every day. It’s okay to tell your partner that — right now.
- “Here’s my plan to reduce.” All spending is an admission that you can’t do something yourself. Spending money means that you are unable to produce your own food, care for your own children, build your own shelter, and move yourself around. So, if you’re spending any money at all, there is absolutely a way to reduce. There is always a way to make your process more efficient. Always.
Your spouse needs to understand that you’re aware of your own habits, and that you have a plan. Even if your plan ends up sucking, you still are willing to try to improve, accelerate, and grow. Independence is too important to be idle or passive in your pursuit, and your own personal commitment and momentum will help elevate your partner’s. That person needs you.
- “Here’s my side hustle.” Is there something you can do to line your household purse? Sell something? Prepare something? DO something? It really doesn’t matter how small the effort is because it’s the accumulation of hundreds of small actions that is going to distinguish your family and drive the path to Financial Independence.
So, when you come to the dinner table and present your new side hustle, or display the $10 you saved by making a minor tweak or a phone call, you’re providing oxygen to your financial bloodstream. It’s time to fist bump and trumpet. It’s time to get excited about $10 again.
- “No.” Sometimes, this is the hardest thing to say to somebody you truly love and respect. After all, this person deserves the best, and you’d gladly sacrifice anything for his happiness. Even your own life.
But, you don’t need a new pair of jeans. I don’t care how good a deal they are — bust out the needle and thread and get going…. can I get you a glass of tap water? Love you, baby.
- “You’re more important than our stuff.” Stuff.
I don’t know a single person who thinks they need more of it, yet this is America — Ground Zero for Krraaap. In a fire, are you going back for your spouse or for that $800 12-string guitar you stupidly bought 3 years ago in order to strum “Free Bird” on the beach? If you answered that wrong, go ahead and punch yourself in the face. I’ll wait.
Your spouse needs to hear that there is no object worth derailing your objective. This is where you may need to work on your “no-spend” days spent at parties, picnics, libraries, and parks. Maybe you should write a list of everything you’re burning to do. My guess is that of the dozens of things you’ll produce — very few actually cost anything, or the cost is negligible. Perhaps start by thinking of your obituary. Do you want it to say, “he had a kickass 12-string” that never got played… ?
Conclusion If you’ve got a significant other, you’ve got a financial team, and neither member can afford to carry the team forever. Your road to Financial Independence is truly an adventure, but it is perhaps the greatest thing you can achieve as a team. Freedom to choose meaningful work, positive contribution, and efficient use of resources means that you will choose to be connected to each other in a way that most of the world cannot imagine.
Achieving Financial Independence is critical not only for your own family and community, but for greater society. Independent people act freely with conviction. Free people are mindful of their impact. They work on things that contribute and not take. They produce meaning.