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Marriage and Money

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Poor financial communication between husband and wife is common. Talking about money doesn't always come naturally, but Bethany and Scott Palmer offer tips that can make the process a little easier.

The minivan was loaded down with suitcases, sunscreen and disposable cameras. One thing Mary and Bob forgot to bring to Disneyland, though, was financial communication.

Mary had convinced Bob to take this family vacation. They made plans for the trip, but in their minds, the plans looked different.

Bob decided the family would carry sandwiches into the park and would most certainly not buy gifts and souvenirs. Unfortunately, he didn’t let his wife know.

Mary hoped they could enjoy their vacation without worrying about a tight budget, but she didn’t voice her expectations to Bob, either.

Because of their lack of communication, the entire family was miserable, and the main goal of enjoying a fun, memorable vacation was thwarted. If Bob and Mary had only known how to be more honest and open about their financial decisions, their costly trip to California could have been worth every penny.

This story is all too common. In fact, most couples are able to recount similar experiences of poor financial communication. Talking about money doesn’t always come naturally, but the following tips can make the process a little easier:

Identify each other’s money personality.

Your money personality is the way you naturally tend to handle money. It is not a skill, such as making a budget or balancing a checkbook, but rather a predisposition toward finances. For example, you might be a spender, saver, risk taker or security seeker. As you identify money personalities, avoid making value judgments. No personality is more desirable than another, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Do a money dump.

Lay out all your thoughts and concerns about money. Talk about what each person is bringing to the table as far as debt, spending habits, future financial goals, and so on. If one person is ruining your credit score, address the issue. If one of you is frustrated at having to report to the other about each coffee purchase, talk about it. In short, get it all out.

Have frequent money huddles.

You need to talk regularly about your finances. Even if one person is managing the money, both spouses need to give input about budgeting and spending. It is also wise to set a limit on how much each of you can spend without the other’s approval. This keeps you both accountable and reduces surprises on bank statements. As your financial communication improves, money woes and marital tension can be sent packing, creating a more blissful home.

Bethany and Scott Palmer are financial advisers and the authors of First Comes Love, Then Comes Money. For more financial resources from the Palmers, visit themoneycouple.com.

Marriage can have its twists and turns, but the detours don’t have to lead you off course. The 12 essential elements outlined in the Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage are biblically based and chart the course for a romantic adventure that will last a lifetime.

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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.
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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.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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