I am a blessed man. Today I am celebrating 12 years of marriage with my precious wife Stacey.
I know that as Scripture says, she is a blessing from the Lord (“House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.” – Prov 19:14).
I believe one of the reasons our marriage works well because we have learned to work together with our money.
It wasn’t always that way but I hope the lessons we have learned that can help you as well.
1) Don’t carry the burden alone.
When we first got married, I took care of paying all the bills and of managing our debt.
My wife knew very little about our monthly obligations and our level of debt. She was ok with that for a while and so was I.
But eventually the financial stress became too much for me. After 18 months of marriage I knew something had to change. We needed help.
It is not healthy to be in marriage where you are not working together in all areas of your life. And arguments and stress about money are the leading cause of divorce.
Once we decided to start working together on our money, things began to improve.
2) Both partners have a voice and a vote.
It is critical that both of you have an input into the money decisions.
You may have different strengths and different perspectives but you have to get to a plan that it is agreeable to both of you.
In our case, I am very detailed oriented so I am the one who prepares our monthly budget. But the budget is not final until both of us agree to it.
My wife has great insights into our financial situation and I have learned to trust her wisdom.
Since we started working together on our finances almost 10 years ago, we have not missed a monthly budget committee meeting.
The budget gives us an objective way to make joint decisions about our money.
Our ability to communicate about money matters has drawn us closer in every other aspect of our marriage.
3) Stay the Course
As I mentioned above, my wife and I have been working on our finances together for almost 10 years now.
In doing anything for a long period of time, you are going to have ups and downs. You are going to experience victories and setbacks.
We had to work hard to get out of debt. We had emergencies along the ways which slow down our progress. We had to make sacrifices and learn to wait for what we wanted.
No matter what, you have to stay together and stay with the plan. You have to stay the course.
“Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.”