It happens to every family. I wish income was on a perpetual upward slope. Anyone who lives in reality knows this isn’t the case. Economies go up and down. Businesses suffer ups and downs; that’s just the fact of life. There are certain points in one’s life when things are going well; you can walk into a car dealership one day and roll off the parking lot with a brand new car. You can take your wife to the department store and walk out with clothes and shoes that she loves. Those are the good times.
However, like any family, there are also bad times which are just a part of life. This is especially true for many American families since 2008 and the great financial crash. Still, everyone hates budget cuts. It’s human nature to get used to a certain standard of living. Unfortunately, high standards of living come with a high price tag. If you want to weather the economic storm that your family might be going through, you need to cut your budget. The sad part is that not everyone in your family will take the news well.
Here are the top 4 ways to announce family budget cuts and minimize drama:
Emphasize what is in it for them
The basic rules of human nature is that people don’t really listen unless you frame what you are saying based on their particular interest. In other words, you have to phrase your proposition based on what is in it for them. How can they benefit from your announcement? It’s very easy to emphasize what’s in it for your family members when they help you through the budget cuts.
The most obvious benefit is that there will be money left over. This would mean that the family can still watch videos on the weekend, go on family vacations once a year as long as they help you with the budget cuts so emphasize the positive points so they can see the big picture and where they are in that picture.
Emphasize the bad things that can happen
Let’s face it, not everybody is proactive. Not everybody looks at the good that can happen and how they can benefit from the good things. Many people are reactive, this means that they can only respond or act if their backs are against the wall so only when things get desperate will they be moved to action. If you have family members that are of this particular personality type, emphasize the bad things that can happen.
There are many negative things that can happen if family budget cuts aren’t followed. Obviously, you may miss mortgage payments. You might miss payments on your car and your electricity subscription may get disconnected. Those are drastic things that might wake up the reactive members of your family to the reality that they need to cooperate in your efforts to cut the family budget.
Focus on problem solving
One key approach that helps many families meet their budget target is when they announcement is aimed at solving a problem. Usually, people respond emotionally when you present a problem in an emotional way. If you present the budget cut solution in a very drastic and doom and gloom manner, you will definitely experience a lot of resistance because people don’t like getting scared and more importantly people don’t like being jolted from things that they’ve grown accustomed to and comfortable with; so if you approach the budget cut from a problem-solving perspective then you might help people feel more reassured and calm about the whole situation.
A good way to get everyone in your family on the same page about your new budget is to use personal finance software. Using software like this allows your family to physically see the money you have, see the bills that need to be paid, and what money is left for other expenditures.
Get them excited to help
This is probably the best way to announce budget cuts to the family. Tell them about the problem and ask them if they can help. This way, they feel that they are involved in helping solve the issue. Make no mistake about it, many people react negatively when you think you have a solution to a problem and you slap them with it. Nobody likes answers being crammed down their throats. It’s a better approach to outline the problem and then solicit answers. Make it appear that the solutions are coming from them and when you do this, everybody gets on board. Chances are higher that your family will meet its family budget cut goals.