But Brad, How do I get my (______) on board?
After “why is it bad to just have one credit card?”, this is the most common question I get since starting this blog. You’re excited about the idea of being debt free and may have already started taking the steps to get there. After finding out that your spouse, parent, friend, etc, etc. is just fine where they are you wonder “How do I get my (____) on board with trying to live debt free?”
I must confess my wife was all-in before I was. What follows are not the steps it took to get me involved- I was easy, kind of. My wife basically said “Let’s try this” and I went along, kicking and screaming, but I went.
I realize all (____) are not like me, so here is what I suggest for them:
PRAY. Ask for guidance on what you can do to make this transition easy for your (___). Be prepared to say “I’m Sorry for not being sensitive to how you feel about this”.
2. Slow Down.
Your excitement can be a turn off. At this point you have bought in to the concept of debt freedom, you’re sick and tired of being broke, you have a “why” in mind on the value of being debt free. The Problem is they are not there yet, and all they will hear is the “what” when you talk about being debt free- What they have to do, what they have to give up, what, what, what. You cannot expect them to jump on board a moving train, pull the emergency brake and take the next step…
3. Sell the Dream.
Talk to them about the “why” of being debt free. Talk about your dreams. “What would it be like to have no car payment?” “Wouldn’t it be great to send the kids to college without debt?” “How would it feel if we could go on vacation and pay cash?” “I think it would be cool to do this-or-that” are some good starters. Only after you are on the same page for “why” can the “what” be discussed.
4. Be Flexible.
When you make it to this step (sometimes it takes a while to get here), its time to be real about the sacrifices needed to get the “whys”. The amount of time it takes to get debt free is directly related to the intensity applied to the steps to get there. This is where flexibility is needed. The newly on-board (____) may not be totally ready to get intense- turning off cable, selling everything that’s not tied down, eating beans and rice, taking extra job(s), etc. Have a plan on discussing the level of sacrifice you are willing to make and be willing to be firm (but flexible) on their level. If your level of sacrifice is intense they are more likely to come along side of you. Sacrifice is not fun, so be prepared for some push-back.
5. Get Ready.
When you both are on board, dreaming together and in agreement on how to get to those dreams, just watch what God will do!
Let me know where you are in the process.