I'm the one who deals with the finances. It's tricky when I get asked things like, "Can we afford to go on holiday this summer?" I mean, how do I answer that? So, I decided that Nearest & Dearest needed to become INFORMED and INVOLVED. Obviously, I turned it into a game.
Preparation. I went through the last four months of bank statements, and figured out what we have been spending our money on. Next, I found a web-site where I was able to download monopoly money to print out. FInally, I wrote each category (e.g., water bill, electric, mortgage, food, etc) on index cards.
The Game. Part 1. Nearest & Dearest took a handful of the monopoly money and had to guess how much we spend on each category per month. There were some clangers, if only council tax were only £90! And thank goodness home insurance ISN'T £130. After some corrections, we moved on to...
Part 2. We each took turns "saving" money by taking money away from various categories. Our different choices were interesting. Luckily, we agreed that we would rather eat rice and beans than give up the cleaner. In the end, we compromised on ways to squirrel away around 10% of our income.
A whole evening's entertainment, and I feel a weight has been lifted. All good.