Oh, finances. The topic is sometimes followed by an immediate sigh of desperation when brought up in marriages. There are many things in a marriage that can cause strife, and finances is pretty close to being number one.
A marriage is rarely made up of two spenders or two savers. Usually, we find one is a saver and the other is a spender. The saver tends to keep track of finances best, pays the bills on time, balances the budget, and ensures the family isn’t overspending in any category.
The spender often feels restricted and like he or she can’t do anything without getting permission from the other. This often causes resentment and strife to build up, leading to arguments or carelessness when it comes to considering the budget. Consider these ideas below to ensure you and your spouse stay on the same page with your finances.
3 Ways to Stay on the Same Financial Page Within Your Marriage
Consider the other person.
For the spender: Don’t avoid communicating your needs. But be sure to consider the reality of your budget as well. There may be more to it than just “feeling restricted.” If your budget doesn’t allow for the wiggle room you would like, it’s probably time for you to evaluate the heart behind it all. Are there other things you can do that cost less (or are free)?
For the saver: Don’t restrict the spender. Make sure that there is a fair pre-set amount in the budget for whatever-goes money. Share the why’s of the budget. Don’t just dictate to your spouse what he or she can or cannot spend. A marriage is about being one, and when you are one you don’t try to control the other. Instead, you allow each of you to use your talents and strengths within the marriage to have a successful marriage.
Pray together about your budget.
This is so important. This should be the first thing you do before even setting up a budget, even if you feel there is only one logical way to make the budget work. Pray for:
But overall, pray that you both go into budget planning (even if only one is actively putting it on paper) with God first.
This means that your will with your budget is to honor Him and serve Him with your finances. After all, He is the one who is providing for you, regardless of whom He provides through.
These are some of my favorite verses to go to when my husband and I are dealing with finances and budget:
- “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)
- “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12) – This verse is particularly encouraging when the budget is super tight.
- “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
- “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:18-19)
- “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
- “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
We commit to evaluating our budget quarterly. This doesn’t mean we aren’t watching things throughout the month, but instead it means we evaluate each category of our budget to see how it was working for us over the past months.
Marlene is a wife to an amazing husband and a mom to three kiddos. Her days as spent making her home a haven for her family, and homeschooling their kiddos in-between hugs and snuggles. In her not so spare time she enjoys crafting, painting (canvas not wall), or just relaxing with a cup of coffee and a good book. You can find her blogging at A Diligent Heart. She loves the Lord and is passionate about living life diligently for Him, in everything she does.