How to Bamboozle Your Spouse into Creating a Budget

by Lindy on September 20, 2010

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Let me pose a question.  When you say the following phrase to your significant other:

“Sweetie, I was thinking Thursday night would be a good night for us to sit down and set up our budget,”

does he (or she)

A. Wave his finger around in the air and say “woo hoo,” using his thickest sarcasm?

B. Say a listless “ooooh kaaaay,” in a tone akin to a five-year-old when you tell him it’s time to turn off the PlayStation?

C. Stay silent, pretending he didn’t hear you?

If so, you just might benefit from this tutorial.


STEP 1:  Choose a time when you know you and your spouse will be home.  Make sure it’s at a time when you both will have a reasonable amount of energy.  Then verbally set up an “appointment” with him.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT mention the B-word when talking to your spouse about this appointment.  You may want to say something like, “hey, we should hang out and watch TV together on [insert] night.”

STEP 2: When the specified time arrives, open a bottle of wine, even if it’s a bad bottle of wine that someone gave you as a gift three years ago – you have to work with what you’ve got.

NOTE: You can substitute the wine for any beverage of your choosing.  But the alcohol might help.

STEP 3: Sit down next to your spouse (wine in hand), open up your laptop, and start right in on the budget work, as if he was in on this plan all along.

TIP: It doesn’t matter which budgeting software or method you use, but if your spouse is one who digs on the technical stuff, you may want to choose a program or website that will make him go gaga.  As you play dumb, he may actually have fun figuring out how it all works.

STEP 4: Sit back and relish, you now have him trapped in your budgeting web.

PS: This is actually how I got A-Rob to sit down with me to set up our budget.  We used  Mint has a pretty green design, with fancy sliding progress bars. Since A-Rob is into flashy programming, this site was a good fit. Life is a game after all, is it not?

PS Again: Thank you to Miss Thrifty for hosting the Carnival of Money Stories: the Afternoon Tea Edition (scones, anyone?) and including this little post.

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