I’m not an expert on marriage or money, but I know that the husband/wife relationship runs more smoothly when both people are in agreement on how to handle their finances.
Here are three truths I’m learning about how money works best in our marriage.
1. Both partners should know what’s going on with the finances. There’s no hiding shopping bags under the bed or a surprise purchase sitting in the garage. Obviously this might exclude Christmas/birthday gifts, but even that works best for us when there’s a general expectation of how much will be spent. We’ve found that doing a monthly budget works well for us; then we know ahead of time where the money will be going and it helps us limit overspending. One spouse may deal more directly with the daily handling of the money, but it’s helpful when both have at least a general overview of where the money is going.
2. It’s all “our” money. Right now, my husband is the sole breadwinner in the family. However, he never makes me feel that it’s “his” money; it’s always been shared, even down to the decisions on how it will be spent. Yes, sometimes it feels weird when I’m buying his birthday present with money he earned himself, but that’s okay in this season.
3. Working together toward a shared financial goal builds great unity in a marriage. At the beginning of each year, we sit down together and write out a list of financial goals for the next twelve months. It gives us direction for where our money is going and helps us delineate our priorities and dreams for our family’s spending, saving, and giving. Whether it’s paying off debt, saving for a vacation, or giving to a missionary need, sharing the vision lets us encourage and help one another to reach the goal.
What other truths about money work in your marriage?