After the New Truck and Dental Bills, We Can’t Afford Our Home. – Cassie


“Dear Steve,

My fiance and I bought a house about a year and a half ago. When we purchased our home we were making more than enough money to pay ALL our bills. Since then, my fiance bought a truck and needed major dental work done… And on top of that, we have aquired about $6,000 worth of credit card debt. Now, I know that our debt is not as much as most people’s, but we are finding ourselves playing th 0% APR game to buy us some time on our credit cards.

I want to get rid of all unneeded payments, including the truck, to pay off our credit cards before our wedding in July 2010. If we got rid of the truck, I feel 80% of the financial problems would be solved…

The problem I’m having is this. My fiance will hear no part of it. I am the one paying the bills every month so he doesn’t see how strapped we really are. How do I get him to see that we need to make some serious sacrifices to get back on track? I seriously lose sleep over this at least twice a week (I am writing this at 2:16am). We are young and I want to nip our debt in the bud before it gets way out of hand.

How do I get my Fiance to jump on board?


Dear Cassie,

It is interesting that in relationships, savers attract spenders. He is exhibiting the classic denial signs of an entitled spender.

You are right to get this under control before you get married. Problems like this don’t get better with time. You deserve a big pat on the back for reaching out for help now.

The heart of the issue here is communication. You want to communicate about it and he does not want to hear it. So what can we do?

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

The wrong approach would be to approach him like his mother. Instead, get all your data organized and then gently sit him down and ask him for his help on how to solve the problem. I hope you understand this is a bit of a trick, I know you see how the numbers are adding up, but what we need to do is get him to see them in a way that he does not perceive as you talking AT him.

Ask him if he could give you a hand with the bills and every two weeks you can sit down together and get his help.

If you’ve fallen on the sword in this “hapless spouse” approach and he still does not want to participate, then you’ve got some major issues in your relationship and they absolutely need to be addressed before you tie yourself in legal bliss.

I don’t want to scare you or say this will happen to you. But here is what I’ve seen happen to others in similar situations.

Wife is the saver, husband is the spender. Husband enjoys having a good time and buying expensive toys. After getting married the husband resents being told how to spend his money. He feels that he worked hard to earn it so he should be able to spend it however he wants. Wife and husband fight about money, stress level increases. Couple divorces.

Don’t let that description be your future.

Let me know how the conversation goes.

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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.
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