Your entire household must be on board with paying off your debts. Kids won't love being told no, but they can learn a lot from this experience. If your spouse isn't on board with doing all it takes to get out of debt, you have some work to do.
This isn't uncommon. You see the benefits, but your spouse doesn't yet. When talking to them about getting out of debt, focus on the why, not the what. My purpose was to gain peace, control, and the ability to do what truly fulfills me. This was both a financial and spiritual journey. Subscribe to a shared vision, and then the work required to get there.
This may take some time, but it's absolutely essential to achieving your goals. Your partner can't spend all the extra household money on clothes if you're supposed to pay off your student loans by the end of the year. They also can't be bullied or forced into such an extreme lifestyle change. They must embrace it as strongly as you have, as it's imperative to work together towards your family's greater good.
If you're better at paying bills, by all means take that on. But you both must stick to the budget and payoff schedule, and support each other in taking an extra job by substituting around the house.
Consistent communication is also key. It's critical that you both adhere to the budget; are in agreement about how much you're spending on the kids' birthday parties; not buy any adults gifts until all debts have been paid; spend no extra money unless discussed and agreed to; and most importantly disclose all debts and work as a team to pay them off in order of amount. No one person's debt takes priority.
Living together without being married doesn't necessarily mean that you're less committed, but because you're not legally tied to each other their debt won't become yours should they die. Because of this, I recommend that you each pay off your own debts and maintain separate bank accounts.
By mastering what we've discussed over the last five weeks you're well on your way to becoming debt free. In order to ensure that you remain so for life, you'll also have to master a spending plan. In the coming weeks we'll discuss how to do so in a way that aligns with your personality.
Congratulations on becoming debt free!
And so it is.