Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

SAVE LIVES!
See Life 2021
Double your gift now!
Yes, I will help save babies from abortion!
$

Don’t Let Money Make a Mess of Your Marriage

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Iker Ayestaran
Financial stress is one of the leading causes of divorce. Rather than allowing it to divide you and your spouse, consider these tips to help minimize the tension in your home.

I well remember the day. That moment in my marriage when I just couldn’t take the financial stress anymore.

My husband, Jesse, and I had been married for about four years. We had a toddler and a newborn. Jesse had recently graduated from law school, and I was struggling with postpartum depression at the same time I was running a fledgling online business.

The wonderful starting job we thought my husband was going to have for at least a few years after law school ended up not panning out. Instead, we were left with job leads that seemed to be going nowhere, a bank account balance that was dwindling quickly, seemingly endless bills to pay and a whole lot of stress.

We’d get up each morning and simply try to make it through the day. I would care for our girls, stretch our budget as far as I could and look for creative ways to make my online business turn more than a part-time profit. Jesse would look for new job leads, follow up on old job leads, make telephone calls, send his résumé to any place he thought might be a possibility for employment.

Jesse finally got to the place where he started applying for any and every job he heard of — including with a company that was hiring staff to distribute telephone books.

I’ll never forget the day he got the news that all the openings for phone book distributors had been filled. It felt like a punch in the gut! Jesse was a licensed attorney who had gone to school for more than seven years . . . and he couldn’t even get a job making door-to-door deliveries!

And that was the day when, out of stress and frustration, I blamed my husband for not being able to get a job. I was so tired of having to live on a beans-and-rice budget. I was so tired of wondering how we were going to pay our bills. I lashed out at Jesse. I yelled at him — even threatened to leave him.

It was the last thing my husband needed from me, but as I’ve seen in our marriage and in so many other marriages, finances can cause enormous amounts of stress for a couple. Financial struggles can be the impetus for miscommunication, distrust, fighting and even divorce. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Couples can take proactive steps to significantly reduce their financial stress and to enjoy greater harmony in their marriage.

If finances are currently a source of stress in your marriage or if you and your spouse are simply looking for ways to be on the same financial page, here are six strategies I’ve learned since that rocky time in my marriage. These basics have helped me to live with much less financial stress so Jesse and I can experience married life with much more joy.

Get and stay on the same team.

To win in life and finances, you’ve got to be on the same team with your spouse. When it comes to finances, you have to ditch the me-versus-you mentality. Drop the “his money” and “her money” phrases and replace them with “our money.” If you want to enjoy financial unity, you’ll need to follow a game plan that you come up with together.

Before you start creating any kind of financial plan together, both of you should sit down and discuss your shared vision for life. Answer this question: What are your hopes and dreams for your future — as individuals and as a couple? Write your answers separately and then discuss them.

Set financial goals together.

I’m a firm believer in setting goals because it has the power to change the trajectory of life. So once you’ve discussed your vision for the future, it’s time to start talking about the specific goals you can set to help accomplish your dreams.

Break down your goals into manageable chunks that are realistic and trackable. Don’t just agree that you want to do a better job saving money; agree on a specific goal with a specific time frame. Consider something as precise as, “We want to save $500 during the next two months.” This kind of goal will help you as a couple by providing purpose, momentum and accountability.

As you’re working with your husband or wife to determine what financial goal you can reasonably set, consider where you want to be financially a year from now. What about five years from now? Are you aiming to get out of debt or save for a particular life season, item or vacation? Do you have an emergency fund in place?

Brainstorm these questions together. Remember: The key to success in minimizing stress and accomplishing your goals is to set the goals together. Work as a team.

Create a written budget that works.

Once you have a shared financial vision and have set goals as a team, move on to create a budget that will work. If you want your budget to be successful, it will need to be one that you both agree on and can commit to.

When you sit down together to discuss your budget, come to the meeting with an open mind. It’s never productive for a husband or wife to have everything already mapped out and then show up to the conversation with the intent of badgering his or her spouse into signing off on the plan.

Start the conversation with your spouse by answering the following questions: What is our combined monthly income? What is our total monthly spending? Are there areas we can cut to pay down debt more quickly? Are there areas in which we can save more money? After the bills have been paid each month and our debt has been conquered, where does our extra income need to go?

Discuss the ins and outs of the family budget. Honestly evaluate the lifestyle implications of your new financial plan, clarifying the choices and sacrifices you’re each willing to make to accomplish your goals. To set up your family for financial success, you’ll need to work out the nitty-gritty details, express your concerns and articulate your hesitations right from the start.

Be sure your budget is written down and stored in a safe place. Writing your budget gives you accountability and helps to maintain the spending limits you have agreed to set for yourselves. If you don’t write it down, you will be unlikely to stick to the budget you discussed.

You might consider using an app such as Mvelopes to help you track and stick with your budget. Also, keep in mind that you will probably need to tweak your budget fairly significantly during the first few months of implementation as you figure out what works best. A good budget is one that will serve you and not become a master to strangle you.

Communicate openly and honestly.

If you don’t communicate with your spouse, your shared vision and financial goals will ultimately fail. It’s important that you check in with each other regularly.

I heartily encourage couples to have monthly budget accountability meetings. During these meetings you can honestly discuss your financial situation, revise the written budget, talk about financial issues that may have arisen, and review your overall goals and objectives.

These meetings must be a mutual discussion between a husband and wife. The conversation needs to be a give-and-take debate in which one spouse is not forcing his or her opinion upon the other. Come to these meetings with a spirit of honesty, transparency and forgiveness. If you are not honest with your husband or wife about your concerns, this could lead to bitterness toward your spouse when the financial plan does not turn out as you had originally hoped.

Change your attitude.

When you change your attitude, you can change your life. This is true because your attitude affects every area of your life.

A can-do, committed, cheerful attitude will always take you further than a complaining, defeatist attitude.

If you have the attitude that your financial plan or goals will fail, then they most likely will. If you have an attitude of motivation and dedication, there’s no limit to how far you can go when you work together to accomplish your goals and financial plans.

Your attitude toward your spouse plays a huge role, too. If you have a spirit of forgiveness toward your husband or wife, it is much more likely you’ll have unity in your marriage and finances. When you extend grace to your spouse in times of difficulty or frustration, the unity you experience will propel you forward to continue being wise stewards of your money.

Learn to compromise.

When it comes to marriage, especially in regard to your finances, compromise can be your best friend. You and your spouse are probably very different people — after all, opposites do attract — so it’s important that you learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and discuss each other’s differences.

You will never agree on everything, and because of this, compromise is absolutely essential. A strong and healthy relationship requires give and take, with both parties willingly giving up what he or she wants for the other’s good. Compromise means finding a solution that works for both of you.

One common hurdle I see couples face is the spender-saver dilemma. One person in the relationship is the spender who enjoys spending money and buying things, while the other person is the saver who wants to pinch pennies and never spend a dime.

This is the case in my marriage. But my husband and I have found a beautiful compromise for this dilemma — we have established an agreed-upon “blow category” as a line item in our budget. We each get an allotted amount of money that we can spend on whatever we’d like, whenever we’d like. My husband (the natural spender) has the freedom to spend some money each month, and I (the natural saver) have the assurance that the money is accounted for within the confines of our budget. This arrangement has worked well for us, and I’m certain it has prevented many unnecessary arguments over money.

Both a healthy marriage and savvy money management will require teamwork, planning and dedication. If you put these six strategies into practice, you just might see encouraging results in your marriage as well as in your finances. When you get on the same team financially, you will create a sense of peace in your marriage and in many other areas. This in turn will equip you to enjoy life together, experience a closer relationship and be happier as a couple.

Crystal Paine is the author of Money-Making Mom: How every woman can earn more and make a difference.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.
Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Tell Your Story

By sharing your struggles and triumphs, God can transform your courage into hope and faith for others!