Money and Relationships: Talking About Changing the Financial Plan

So you want to stay home with the kids? Or you want to go back to school? If you have some big idea for your family’s future that could change your financial dynamics, it may seem more intimidating to discuss the possibility with your spouse than to actually make the changes.

It’s natural to have butterflies when you might be changing the big plan you and your spouse laid out at the beginning of your marriage. I mean, really, you guys will have to talk about what this new idea can mean for your futures. Never fear, though; you can make the adjustments needed if together you decide to pursue the new path.

That being said, introducing the idea may take a little finesse. Let’s look at some ways to broach the subject that may help make your new dreams a reality.

Think About It

Before you jump into unchartered waters by discussing the idea full force without a plan, you may wish to take some time to think about this new idea on your own. Do you really want to stay home with the kids? If yes, how can you cut back on unnecessary expenditures to make the dream a reality?

Once you have a general plan and some backup thoughts about the dream, it will be easier to broach the subject with the spousal unit.

Write it Out

Now that you have a plan, you might wish to write it down. If you are super-organized or super-ramped about this plan, you could make out spreadsheets, pie charts, or graphs to illustrate your point. If you’re like me and you don’t pull out pie charts for any occasion, simply jotting down your idea can do wonders to clarify your thoughts.

Present the Idea

Now, pie charts and thoughts in hand, introduce the subject to your spouse. Remember, though: it is easier to broach a difficult financial subject with your spouse when you are both relaxed. You may want to wait until your spouse is at his most Zen before whipping out the spreadsheets.

This may just mean that he needs a moment to chill on the couch after work or that you should wait until after the kids are in bed to present the idea. Whatever the case, simply let your spouse know that you would like to look at a different path from the plan.

One way to open up the lines of communication is to ask, “Can we talk?” This will often get your wife’s attention rather quickly. Really, who hasn’t heard these words and immediately turned to your spouse in alarm? However, if you would rather not alarm your hubby but introduce the idea in a less heart-stopping way, you may wish to lead with, “So, I’ve been thinking…”

In any case, introducing a big change in the financial plan can be as simple as planning it out, writing it down and presenting the idea. With a little finesse, you and your spouse can mull over any idea that may change your financial dynamics.

How about you: how have you introduced a huge new idea to your spouse? How did you talk it through?

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Anonymous's picture

Little House wrote:

Fri, 08/12/2011 - 19:19 Comment #: 1

A few years ago I decided to go back to school. I don't really remember how I presented the topic, but I didn't chart it out or create pie graphs. I clearly stated that it would boost my career and would mean me making more money in the long run. He like the sound of that! However, this coming semester is the big push to the finale. I've been prepping him for a semester of hell (18 units - yuck!)

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Fri, 08/12/2011 - 22:32 Comment #: 2

My hubby's been pretty open to life changes, but I remember the first time I wanted to make a big change and go back to school, I was nervous about bringing it up. The list idea helped me at that time, but now we can talk much more openly.

Ouch -- 18 units!! Good luck :-)

Anonymous's picture

Erin K wrote:

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 22:07 Comment #: 3

You could pull out pie charts, but why not start with an actual pie...?

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Fri, 08/19/2011 - 20:49 Comment #: 4

Pie sounds good to me, but just like I don't make pie charts, I don't make pie either. Would cookies work?

Anonymous's picture

Finances and Relationships - Taking on Tough Topics | MomVes wrote:

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 18:00 Comment #: 5

[...] So you've made a budget and you're sticking to it. But what happens when you need to change the financial plan? [...]

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