Dear woman in line for the bathroom at the Dave Ramsey event…

There I stood, waiting in line for the bathroom during the intermission of Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money event last week. It was a long line. The kind you feel the need to comment on when you sigh and join in. And so, I started chatting with the woman in front of me.

“What do you think so far?” she asked.

“Oh, it’s great, but I’ve been a Ramsey fan for years, so I’m not really learning anything new. I’m here as a fan who has always wanted to see him live.” True. He really helped us to think differently about what was possible with our incomes.

“I just wish he could speak to those of us whose spouse is not on board.”

Oh. I continued the conversation. “You know, I was the one who wasn’t interested in being on a budget in my house. My husband was the early Dave Ramsey fan. He kept suggesting that we could pay off our debt. “Why?” I would ask. “We can afford our mortgage and our car payments.” Really, it’s not like I live in a mansion or drive a sports car. I was in my practical suburban heaven in my minivan. No, nothing outrageous about my lifestyle.

I sympathize with those couples who have different financial goals. I can’t imagine being with a spouse who wanted drastically different things out of life. This woman in line went on to disclose that she and her husband were nearly $80k in debt for just their vehicles and credit cards. She was at least 55, so they are coming up to retirement age sooner than they’re ready for. And her husband’s not wanting to improve the situation must certainly put a strain on the relationship.

I’m glad she was there to get some inspiration and direction and hope. I hope she is able to implement even one or two small strategies to improve her situation, even if it only results a few dollars of gain each month. There needs to be a little hint of light at the end of the tunnel, right? Keep working, even if it’s a little. Perhaps once he sees some improvement, he’ll be motivated. I wish I could help.

Are you and your spouse on the same page? If you weren’t always, how did you get there?

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