In many marriages the issue of money is the #1 cause of arguments. Our family backgrounds – our personalities – affect the way we look and deal with money. Oftentimes these differences can lead to some clashes. Example: A spender marrying a saver. So money does not become a sore spot we encourage couples to work as a team with the financial Three Ps. That is what we have done which has eliminated all the hassling we went through for years in our marriage. Our goal is to structure unity ? Amos 3:3, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” So to lower your own fireworks when it comes to your marriage money issues, here are the Three Ps.
Are the two of you working together to set up financial goals for you and your family and have you developed a spending plan, keeping Psalm 24:1 in mind?
For too many years we just fumbled along with our finances barely getting by with our money. We made two changes that have enabled us to get our financial house in order and build for the future.
First, we set up some financial goals (buying a house, money for retirement, childrens education, etc). We found to do this we talked a lot about our priorities in life and then prayed and asked God to bring them into an alignment with His Will for our family. His Will be done – not ours. When we set up our goals we found that saving was easier when we both knew why we were putting the money away.
Secondly, we also set up our Spending Plan (our word for Budget). We figured out where our money had been going so we got rid of a lot of wasted spending, got out of debt, and set up a plan of where we would prefer our money to go. We now see our money working for us and not against us. By having prayed-over-our-mutually-agreed-goals we also find ourselves working with each other rather than against each other, keeping Deut 8:18 in mind.
We have regularly scheduled talk times about our finances. It helps us make sure we are on track with our annual “spending plan” as well as our long range financial goals, plus our talk time analyzes any current or potential problems.
Two rules we have for our talk times are – (1) Be sure we are well fed since empty stomachs can make one grumpy, and (2) that we are well rested. We always start out with three things we are doing right with our finances before we discuss ones that need improvement.
We know of one woman who charged her family into a bit over $50,000 in debt and the husband never looked at the finances. He just gave his wife the paycheck and then, if you will pardon the pun, checked out from any responsibility with their finances. Bad decisions on both of them.
A way to break down a team is when the partners have a mindset that it is “his” money or “her” money and maintain independent finances. This creates secrecy and lack of trust in the relationship. Marriage is about coming together and sharing everything with one another.
Praying together over our finances helps both have the mindset that everything we have is from God and is truly His. We are just managers of what God is blessing us with. We need to seek His guidance and wisdom as to how He wants us to handle His resources. It is all temporary since we will not be taking anything material with us when we die. Strange how we put so much value into temporary items instead of investing in eternity.
When we turn our finances over to God it is exciting to be able to do our part of the Three Ps but then we step back and watch how God will guide us and provide for our needs. Thankfully, He does so abundantly.
Keep in mind when dealing with finances you may not always think alike, but your objective is to learn to think and work together – as TeamMates. May God grant you that wisdom. Thank you.