My husband and I came into marriage with different ideas about money: how to spend it, when to save it and how to give it away.
Some of our differences were subtle and but they blew up down the road.
I am guessing it’s the same in your marriage; you have different ways of looking at finances and it takes a crisis to reveal your differences.
Here are 3 things that have helped us find common ground as far as making sense out of our cents is concerned.
1. Talk about it.
It’s said that many challenges in marriage arise out of poor communication.
I’ve seen that truth at work in my marriage where ever so often it’s not about that thing on the table but about how we communicate about it.
We got a red-hot introduction to money matters as newlyweds.
I resigned from a 7-year job three months to the wedding and he got laid off about four months after the wedding.
Newlywed + zero money = lots of stress.
Ideally the best time to talk about finances is when tensions are low, when lack is not snapping at your heels.
We had a rough idea about how each one of us viewed money (we talked about it before marriage) and while that helped, we still had to craft new rules for the season.
The one thing that will determine how you order your money – and all your life really – is your unique vision as a couple.
Your priorities, your values, your direction ; they will all determine where and how your money goes.
Now it would be nice if we were all disciplined enough to make sense of our cents when pressures are low.
But truth is many of us delay talking about money until we are in a major crisis. While the crisis forces you to talk about money, it’s almost always a more difficult time to do it.
If you have never discussed your money sense or if you need to revisit the topic (and it should really be a lifestyle) try to bring up the issue when life is easier.
Don’t wait till you have money issues to start a serious discussion on money.
2. Make room for new thinking
We can talk about money until the cows come home but nothing changes until you decide to change your thinking.
I struggled to adjust to little-to-no-money-living during those early months. I was in a new season of life and if there was a time I needed money it was then.
Nonetheless I quickly discovered that “wants” can masquerade as “needs”.
The overarching lesson for the season was God was teaching me to depend on Him.
He was removing my props, changing my thinking, helping me glue to my husband in deeper ways.
Talking with your husband about money is not your grand opportunity to convince him to see things your way.
It’s actually an opportunity to learn how He sees things (and understand how you feel about how he sees things).
It’s an opportunity to communicate your heart and craft new ways to move from where you are to where you need to be.
It’s hard to move forward if your mind is on reverse gear (or the brakes for that matter). Learn – the emphasis is on learn – be open minded, be ready to win some, learn some.
3. Understand positioning
Husbands are tasked with the weighty responsibility of taking care of their families (it doesn’t matter whether you have a paycheck or not)
For a man who’s just learning his way around marriage-ville, the responsibility can feel heavy.
Nonetheless and since you are wired for security as a wife it’s easy to think you care more about financial security than he does.
But it’s rarely the case.
One husband says
“I can pretty much guarantee you that your husband feels worse about everything (financial difficulties) than you do, and he doesn’t need you to remind him of anything. What he needs is a cheerleader.”
It’s important to consider your different responsibilities in marriage as you talk money-sense in your marriage.
You might be more verbal concerning financial matters; it doesn’t mean you care more.
He just cares different, for the most part. In fact when men are under pressure or unsure of something, the last thing they want to do is rush to talk about it.
So when talking money, remember consider where he is it, how he sees things from his point as a provider.
Question – How do you make money-sense in your marriage? Please share your tips and thoughts in Comments.
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