Saving by yourself, and what to do about a partner who won’t
Saving is a common aspiration, but not always something that people want to act on. It may take months and months of thinking about how nice it would be to save for something before you actually start. By the time you start, whose to say that your partner will be ready to start?
Many people make the error of not including their partners in their journey to saving, keeping all of their thought processes to themselves and then expecting their partner to jump on board with huge financial life changes. This can cause a lot of conflict and clashing, as one partner tries to pull the other partner into something that he/she may just not be ready to do yet.
So what do you do?
Start saving. You’re the one that wants to do this right now, do the things that you can to save, and involve your partner as much as you can in the process. This article is going to go over some of the things that you can do when you want to save, and your partner just doesn’t.
Do what you can
If you’ve determined you’re going to take shorter showers, go right ahead. If you want to do the laundry and hang it to dry, see that it gets done by you. Turn off the lights in inactive rooms. Proceed as you would have proceeded.
Your savings will still build, even with just one person making the effort, and you have the added bonus of modelling the saving to your partner before he/she has to try it out. This modelling could make it significantly easier for them to see that yes, these changes will make a difference, and perhaps motivate them to contribute.
But even if they don’t, there’s a lot of simple ways that you can work to save money, all on your own.
Ways to save money on your own
- Cook more pasta, and other cost effective foods
- Do laundry all at once
- Don’t impulse buy
- Don’t use lights in the daytime, or when you can avoid it
- Research purchases before you make them
- Stop wasting food, use food before it goes bad
- Take shorter showers
- Use candles
- Use a smaller amount of toothpaste
These are all changes that can make a significant difference on your savings account, and require no involvement on your partner’s part. That being said, always verbally involve them (when they want to be) by letting them in on why you’re doing something different. This works towards getting you two back onto the same page, and reduces conflict.
Offer to take over more financial responsibility
If your partner doesn’t want to be bothered by making big financial changes, offer to take on more of the responsibility. Maybe they don’t want to grocery shop anyway, and it can save you money if you go instead of them. If they don’t want to look into better car insurance, maybe you could do the legwork.
Make a clear cut list of expenses and leftover money
Making a list can help some people to see where the potential savings is, and where it’s currently going. This is a great way to get your partner involved with the finances if they want to look into why you’re looking to change.
When it comes down to it…
Most people want to save, they just aren’t yet motivated. Just because you’re ‘there’ and your partner isn’t yet is no reason to turn it into a permanent disagreement. Simply make the changes you have control over, and don’t do the ones you don’t. By not fighting and instead simply modelling good habits that will save cash, and showing your partner the result of those efforts, you have a significantly higher chance of getting them on board in the future.
It’s about communication, and with money this is hardly the easiest thing to do. By keeping yourself on the low conflict aspect of things, you’re refusing to turn this into a fight, you’re simply doing what you can to save what you can. Nobody is going to argue with that, and in fact, a lot of times your partner will likely end up wanting to join over time.