Savings Inception: Convince Your Spouse to Stop Spending

by Team Dinks on September 6, 2010 · 2 comments

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(Guest post by Go Banking Rates)

It’s a well-known fact that money issues are often the root of marital distress. Finances can be a difficult subject in general, especially in today’s economy. So when a spouse spends with reckless abandon and shows no sign of slowing down, what can you do to put a stop to it and save your marriage?

For anyone who has seen Inception, establishing the notion that saving is important in your spouse’s mind could actually work quite well. However, until it’s actually possible to enter another person’s dream, rummage through his or her subconscious and plant an idea, here’s how you can use the principles of inception to trick your spouse into saving more money.

(Warning: You may want to see the movie first.)

The Concept Has to Be Simple

If there is a specific item or event you need your spouse to help save for, like a vacation or new car, you can’t come right out and say it. The concept must be simple to stick. It has to seem organic.

For instance, if you attempt to convince your spouse that he or she needs to save money for plane tickets so you can visit your family next Christmas, they can easily ignore this advice because it’s contrary to what they really believe. Your spouse thinks you will have enough money when the time comes. Your spouse thinks that right now, your DVD collection should be bigger.

Instead, plant a thought that is much broader and isn’t obviously from you. It should play on emotions as well, creating a sense of urgency. Something like, “I don’t want to be poor,” is vague, but powerful, and saving money is the action that would naturally emerge as a response to the thought.

They Must Believe the Idea is Their Own

Inception doesn’t work if the person thinks you gave him the idea. He must have his own “eureka” moment with a thought that seemingly resulted from his own line of reasoning. This is why, once again, a simple suggestion is not enough. You must trick your spouse into thinking he came up with a great idea all on his own.

How to Plant the Seed – A Dream Within a Dream

In order for inception to happen successfully, the idea must be planted deep down in the subconscious so the target never suspects it came from an external source. You must go down many levels and create “dreams within dreams.”

If you want the desire to save money to really sink into your spouse’s mind, you’re going to have to drop a lot of hints. Here are a few ways you can do it:

  • Leave the morning newspaper lying open on the kitchen table with the glaring story about rising foreclosure rates face up. Later that day, comment on how expensive your mortgage is.
  • Crank Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise” on the car stereo when the two of you are out running errands.
  • When your husband or wife wants to go out on Saturday night, explain you have to stay home and clip coupons so you can have the brand name cereal for breakfast.
  • Leave a job board listing open on the family computer. When your spouse asks about it, explain you’re considering a second job “just in case.”

Potential Drawbacks of Using Inception

Remember that the fundamental problem with inception is that the planted idea becomes an obsession. It grows in the target’s mind until it takes over every thought.

You might wish for a financially savvy spouse and end up with a penny-pinching miser. Your husband or wife could develop an irrational fear of losing wealth and stop at nothing to protect every cent you earn. This is the risk you take.

If that sounds like too great a chance, you can always try to solve the problem by expressing your concerns in a calm matter and seek some sort of financial counseling.

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This guest post was written by Go Banking Rates, bringing you informative personal finance content and helpful tools, as well as the best interest rates on financial services nationwide.

(Awesome photo by dierk schaefer)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Jason @ Redeeming Riches September 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Great post! I love the comparison. It’d be kind of nice to be able to make changes through subliminal thought control wouldn’t it? ;)

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