When we vowed to our spouses that we would stick together for richer or for poorer, we meant that we would stay together - whether we were rich or whether we were poor. Somehow in our newlywed bliss, I think we missed part of the meaning. Beyond just sticking together - we should communicate about spending and use of money. Please note that I did use the word communicate, not yell or argue. We should be partners in our financial journey, striving to reach new goals together. Does this sound foreign? Do you feel like you and your spouse have argued about money for so long that a normal conversation may be impossible? Read on.
God made men and women inherently different. We have different needs, and that greatly affects the way we handle money issues in our marriages. Women like to feel secure, loved and appreciated. Men like to feel respected, important, and strong. When a husband wildly spends excess money, it makes a wife feel unstable, worried, and concerned for the future. When a wife does the same, it makes a husband feel like his hard work is not appreciated or respected. When husbands and wives can get on the same page, following the same game-plan, money issues can be much easier to discuss and manage.
Use your personal finances as a means of growing closer, rather than a hedge between you. Choose the spouse with the most financial wisdom to handle the checkbook, but don't let all of the decisions fall on him/her - it's too much pressure. Instead, come up with a giving, spending, savings, or investing plan. Set goals together and work together to reach them. Working toward a common goal can be a bonding, fun experience.
It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor - there are challenges either way. The most important thing to remember is that you are in this thing together. Sow together and reap together.
Recommended Reading: Debt-Proof Your Marriage by Mary Hunt
Denise Craig, Chief Financial Officer
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