Brainstorming: Getting the Family on Board the S.S. Budget

Mr. Debtbeater recently blogged about an “exciting month” wherein his debt reduction plan didn’t go quite as he’d planned. I find myself in the same boat sometimes, so I was thinking this morning how I might go about encouraging more participation. Here are some thoughts I came up with:

Ask my other half to post. It seems like the PF blogs I read (and I don’t read all that many) are one person or if married, just the one spouse. I have yet to see one where each half of the couple posts regularly. In that light, if the other half is computer inclined, sign him/her up as a team member on the blog and ask him/her to post weekly or monthly about the progress of the budget. If he/she doesn’t really get into computers, ask him/her to dictate a progress report which you can type up into a post.

Storytime. Read a book together aloud – spouses or the entire family. This one is an easy read: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt and Live Prosperously by Jerrold Mundis. Half.com has several copies of this book available for $0.75 plus shipping. Consider selecting a seller close to your state for what my son calls free expedited shipping. For example, if you live in California and a book is available for $0.75 from a seller in New York, but one is available for the same price (or a little higher) and lives in Arizona, your book will arrive a lot sooner than if it has to travel Media Mail across the United States.

Here’s one on the kiddie level: Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees by Ellie Kay. Half has three copies of this book available for under $1.00.

Or, check them out from the library if you can get the book back to the library before fines are due.

Take baby steps with the new budget. Maybe the screeching to a halt, stop spending money on extras this minute works for me, but not for my family. Maybe they need to ease into it. After all, I’ve been worrying about it several months prior to voicing my concerns, so I’ve got a jump start.

Consider special events ahead of time. If it were just me, I could do without any Christmas or holiday hoopla, but the rest of the family has certain expectations. I have to keep that in mind.

Find the best way to get my point across. My budgeting method makes sense to me, but it might be too complicated for my family to understand. Finance and Fat has a sample Excel spreadsheet that is simple and might be a good way to introduce the budget to my family.

Insist upon full participation. Well, this wouldn’t work too well for my family, but maybe it could be an option in another family. The more people in your household that you can get on board the easier things will go. Of course if you have little children they won’t have much of a say, at least until they get older!

Have your own brainstorming session and let me know what other ideas I can try!

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