What if your spouse isn't supportive of the budget?


Monday’s post (about how couples could run YNAB with some shared bills while keeping the rest of their finances separate) generated impassioned comments about the value of unified finances.

Personally, I agree. I can’t imagine a “my money” and “your money” situation in my marriage.

But it’s easy for me – my wife supports the budgeting habit. I’m the YNAB “driver” in the family, but she co-pilots like a champ: she happily participates in budget meeting, checks the budget before spending, and records her transactions in her phone.

It seems like most YNABing couples probably fit a similar profile: one spouse is the primary YNABer, while the other falls somewhere along the spectrum between “saboteur” and “budgeting evangelist.”

I came up with a short list of possible YNAB personality traits; I’m wondering where your spouse/partner fits in:

Supportive or Antagonistic

At a basic level, is your spouse in favor of budgeting? Or does the mere mention of a budget draw snark and sarcasm?

Interested or Apathetic

Does your partner get involved in budgeting? Or just take cues from you when it comes to spending and saving?

Tracker or…Not

Are you the only one who enters transactions? Is your spouse willing to enter transactions or bring you receipts? Or is your desire to stay on top of things a source of annoyance and contention?

We’re all some combination of the three personality types:

  • I’m lucky to be married to a Supportive-Interested-Tracker (mostly).
  • My heart goes out to those of you with Antagonistic-Apathetic-Non-Trackers in your life.
  • And I can see things going perfectly smoothly with a Supportive-Apathetic-Non-Tracker.

We’d probably all agree that – except in truly destructive situations – the relationship matters most. For those of you with less-than-passionate (when it comes to budgeting) spouses, how have you made YNAB work?

(By the way, I know Jesse has a podcast coming up on working with the unsupportive spouse, so you may want to subscribe.)