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How Do I Convince My Husband We Don’t Need to Keep Up With the Joneses? – Keli

My husband and I have debts on our credit reports that are long outstanding. Plus we have a car loan and utilities that need to be paid now. We live payday to payday and shut off notice to shut off notice

I want to get these past debts paid in full and I want to cathc up on our car loan and utilities and keep them caught up. I believe my husband does too but he thinks he has to keep up with the Jones’ when it comes to material things. How do I convince him that he doesn’t need all the latest things and that we should put more money on the bills and debts? Like I said, I think he does want to but for some reason he just doesn’t. What can I do?

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Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


  • It sounds like he is spending money that is supposed to be going to the day-to-day things your family needs-car, utilities, etc.  Using money that is needed for true necessities is like stealing from his own family.  Perhaps him hearing it that way would sting at first, but he may see how serious his habit is if it was put that way.  I hope he comes to his senses!  It can be so tough to stop buying things when it is already a habit.  I hope he will soon see the value of not buying more things so that the truly important things can be taken care of.  Hope this works out for you soon!

  • ask the utility co. [gas/elec] if they have a monthly flat rate plan. then do you what you can to reduce your use of these utilities, you may get a rebate/credit @ the end of the year. try vonnage or magic jack to see if they work for you. if possible use company cell phone & get rid of personal phones. make a list of your debts from the least owed to most owed. pay off least owed first while making minimum payments on the others. when least owed is paid off add that payment to the next debt, when it is paid off add it again to the third payment, etc until all debts are paid off. you can use this process to pay off mtg as well. REMEMBER ALWAYS PAY YOURSELF FIRST. $10.00 A DAY IS $3650.00 A YEAR IN YOUR POCKET. good luck!

  • Take a drive through one of the high end developments around you and show him all the sheriff sales, for sale signs, empty houses in there.   I work for a company that does evictions, sales, etc.  You would not believe the amount of people that have huge homes that they bought and barely can pay for, so the rooms are empty with no furniture, furnishings, etc inside.  I personally live in a middle class neighborhood and wouldnt trade it for the world because I am able to have extra money for the family vacations, kid’s activities, etc that those in the mansions cant even do. 

  • Settle your debt first and then you will have extra financial surplus to enjoy the things you actually love and not the Jones 🙂 Good luck!

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