It’s not always easy to get everyone on board when it comes to the family budget. But if your family is going to be successful, you need to have everyone committed to the end goal of prosperity.
Here are some ideas and tips for getting everyone on board the family budget bandwagon.
The Family Budget Bandwagon
Be Open and Honest with Everyone
Parents usually try to do the right thing, and in some cases, they can go overboard on protecting the kids from anything that will stress them out. Sometimes married couples will hide details from their spouse to spare them any worry. It happens.
While you don’t want to overburden anybody in your life, sometimes it is good to share things with family members. Even your kids, who don’t shoulder any of your financial responsibilities, can benefit from a frank discussion about your financial situation.
It helps to temper expectations and develops an understanding that some things are not an economic possibility at the moment.
Call a Family Meeting to Discuss Finances
If you have never called before, now is a great time to start. You want to include everyone in the family budget discussion, and give them a chance to take part in ways to help. By letting people have ownership, they will often be more willing to work together to achieve a goal.
Since you do want everyone to be receptive to any ideas you may have, try to schedule the meeting when it is convenient for all parties.
Sure, the kids may not have the business meetings, but they could have playtime or TV shows that they enjoy. And if your mate is exhausted from the day’s activities, you might be well advised to pick another time.
Explain How It Affects Everyone
The family finances impact every member of the family. You can get this point apart by listing things from the family budget and explaining how they all cost money.
You don’t have to drive the point into the ground, but you do want to paint a picture of exactly how much it all costs.
Hopefully, they will see how much of an effort it is every month to pay all the bills and expenses. After this, they will be more understanding of the challenge in front of you. Young kids may not understand all the details, but they will pick up on the overall tone.
From here you should be caring and understanding, but let them know that there could be some cutbacks. Cutbacks could be even more severe if you need to create an emergency fund.
Be Fair With Any Cutbacks
When you do start cutting back from the family budget, you will want to start with areas that impact the whole family.
Singling out one person may seem like you are making them a target, which is not your intent. Spreading the cuts around as much as possible will do much to minimize any resentment.
Resentment can be a great killer of motivation and support, both things that you will need from your family to do this successfully.
At some point, you may have to impact one member more than others. Try to avoid this as much as possible, but if there is no escaping it be as patient as possible.
Try to explain why this is necessary, and if you can set a date when the spending cuts can stop. Above all else, be patient. Sometimes these things are hard to understand for anyone.
Let the Family Set the Goals.
Once you have your budget defined, get everyone’s help in setting the goals. Children may have some input in what they want to see as part of a budget.
Older kids may indicate a desire for a new electronic device. A spouse might show the yearning for a nice vacation at some point in the future.
Not every desire is possible, but negotiate with their requests and see what is best.
There may be some compromising required, but having an understanding of the rewards here will go long ways towards getting their support in implementing the budget. You need their help, so be willing to negotiate.
You can get everyone on the family budget bandwagon, but it might require a little effort on your part. You will have to explain to everyone what the situation is, and what you plan to do to correct it.
And yes, you may have to offer some reward to get and keep their support, but working together towards a common goal is a good thing. Who knows, it might even build some good memories.