The following are quotes from various resources on the subject of Finances as they pertain to marriage. We hope you will find them to be helpful!
• He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf (Proverbs 11:28).
• What’s the most common argument among married couples? Educated guesses might name sex, money, or kids. Survey says: money, hands down. Research says: that’s about right. For richer or poorer, money is a key spark in couple conflict.
It seems common sense to say that paper currency and coins are not themselves the root of the troubles, but it’s the underlying habits and attitudes, or “habitudes,” that drive how those financial instruments are used, or misused, spent or saved. And many people are utterly unaware of their habitudes, attitudes they internalized during the growing-up years: for one, money may represent security, for another it may be about control, and for another, money is the key to power, or freedom. (James and Audora Burg, from the Sturgis Journal article “Marriage Matters: Copping a ‘Habitude'”)
• You can’t have a great relationship until you can communicate and agree about money. Larry Burkett, noted financial author, says, “Money is either the best or the worst area of communication in our marriages.” After years as a financial counselor and working with marriage counselors, I know that money and money fights are the #1 cause of divorce, not to mention the thing we fight about the most.
So if you are married and have money fights, you are normal. But if this is a real problem area for you, there is also an opportunity to improve your relationship and maybe even reach agreement with your spouse. I’m not talking about agreement brought on by surrender, but rather by each person getting a vote, understanding the other’s view, and finding common ground. (Dave Ramsey, from the article, “The Truth About Money and Relationships”)
• Money matters in a marriage relationship. Money may be an inanimate object, but we attach great emotional significance to it. Money only becomes our friend if we as a couple learn to partner around the decisions related to money. One of the prerequisites for partnering in the matter of money is an understanding of the meaning of money to each of us. (Dr David Stoop and Dr Jan Stoop, from the book, “The Complete Marriage Book”)
• Money is amoral —neither good or evil in itself. When money is a problem in a marriage or a family, I’ve discovered that the financial problems are usually just the tip of the iceberg. Hidden beneath the surface usually lies the iceberg of selfishness. Marriage demands commitment, and apart from sexual fidelity, nothing is more important than maintaining commitment to each other when it comes to what we do with our money. (Joe Gatuslao, Bacolod City, Philippines)
• Money was designed to be our servant, never our master. It’s to be used to build our marriage and family and to honor God. Getting a proper perspective on money is the first step to solving financial conflicts. [To the best of your ability] become equal partners. The second step relates to whether you handle money as partners or competitors. There’s no room for competition in marriage; you and your mate are equal partners on the same team. Certainly one partner will need to pay the monthly bills and balance the bank statement. But this doesn’t mean the bookkeeper controls the money. Together you must develop a plan for processing your finances. The bookkeeper simply follows the plan to which you’ve both agreed. (Gary D. Chapman, from the Todayschristianwoman.com article, “Balancing Your Money Mindset)
• There is an incredible vulnerability that comes when we give another person access to our finances. The reality is they can now hurt us very badly by taking or misusing the information we have given them. Prior to marriage, many of us had to answer only to ourselves. A major shift occurred as we began our married life. We are now accountable to each other. How do you react when someone limits you? This is where “iron sharpens iron” (see Proverbs 27:17) and the sparks begin to fly. (Dr David Stoop and Dr Jan Stoop, from the book, “The Complete Marriage Book”)
• The main thing to remember is that most matters concerning money in a relationship are not really about money at all! When a couple seems to be having a conflict or difficulty over budgetary matters they are actually trying to reconcile their different value systems that they have brought into the relationship. These values give us the importance we place on buying good and services and how we save. She places a huge emphasis on appearance, romance, security, and planning. He places a bigger importance on health, spontaneity, and academic excellence. She wants to spend only when they have “enough left over” and when she does spend, it goes towards an evening dress, a romantic escape, and a better looking home. He spends the moment he gets the pay check on “important” things like gym equipment, better schools for the children, and a surfboard. (From the Marriage.com.au article “Money, Money, Money.”)
• One of the best things we can do financially is to align our mind set to the biblical perspective: it’s not ours anyway. When 73-year old Martha Hobbs looks back over her marriage, she sees years of saving, remaining debt-free, clearly communicating money issues with her husband and most of all, her charitable giving. She lost her husband, Dan, a year and a half ago, but thanks to the diligence, is now reaping the benefits of applied financial wisdom and planning.
She summarizes what she learned about money in 35 years of marriage: “Lay all your desires out before each other —where do you want to end up? Set goals and be willing to compromise at times. Be honest even when it hurts —that’s how you learn to trust each other. Budget. Regularly save, no matter how little. And above all, tithe.” It’s our way of saying to God, “I trust you,” and He blesses that. (Kate Bryant, from the Marriage Partnership Magazine article, “Holy Matri-Money”)
• But Godliness with contentment is great gain. (I Timothy 6:6)
• We live in a culture where material possessions are OWNED FOR MY PERSONAL BENEFIT. However, Jesus indicates in Matthew 25 that material possessions are OWNED FOR THE KINGDOM’S BENEFIT. Like any cultural norm that is counter to Jesus’ teachings, we must combat it daily with the renewal of our mind by reading the Word and praying together. As we develop the spiritual intimacy that comes from doing these activities daily as husband and wife and study the Word on finances, it’s easier to come into agreement on our finances. (Bridget Dunk, from GTO Ministries)
• Some may say, “If God is my provider how come I don’t have what I want right now?” That’s a good question. At times when we feel like we are not getting what we want, we feel cheated or deprived. And often, we seek to meet these needs ourselves. However before we seek to satisfy ourselves, we should ask ourselves a few important questions first: Is this a need or a want? Can I wait for this? Can I afford this without debt? Have I thought about the full cost associated with this item (like insurance, maintenance, time to care for or manage it)? Can I get the same or similar for less at an outlet or maybe 2nd hand? Could God be protecting me from something negative associated with this item? Does God want me to wait and trust him for this? Is there a lesson I can learn by waiting?
Does God want to deprive us? NO!!! Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all —how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” God wants to entrust all things to us, however above that he desires our relationship. He wants us to walk closely with him —to experience His guidance, provision, protection, faithfulness, goodness, and love. He is our satisfier. (Willie Quan, Blessyourmarriage.com)
• I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. (Philippians 4:12)
• Pay God, pay yourself by saving, and then budget the rest —in that order. (From the book, Happily Ever After, by Toben and Joanne Heim)
• [A Christian financial counselor told us] “Most Christian couples I talk to don’t understand that all they have is God’s and that they’re only stewards for Him. They may know this intellectually, but it hasn’t become a part of their attitudes or lives. Consequently, they get themselves into debt, quarrel about money, and spend excessively on themselves. I’m convinced that if we could get people to understand the truth of the fact that all they have belongs to God and they’re only stewards handling His property, most of their problems would be overcome.”
My mind probed the truth of what he said. A “steward” is a person put in charge of the affairs or the estate of another, including supervision and management of accounts. The steward acts as an administrator of the finances and property for another. To be good stewards in our Christian lives, then means that we realize deep within us that we’re only managers and administrators for what belongs to God and is temporarily loaned to us. God tells us to be good stewards of our time, talents, and our possessions. But in reality, they’re His time, His bestowed talents, and His possessions —not ours at all. (Jack Mayhall, Opposites Attack)
• Before I lost my first job, I never understood why a married couple would get divorced over money. It really seemed rather petty to me, but that was before I was constantly bickering with my husband Scott over every little dime. Money is stressful when you don’t know how to manage it. The best advice I can give you is to make sure you stick together along the rocky road. No one enjoys being financially stretched. Remember that you’re in this together, and if you’re feeling stress, chances are your partner is too. (Julie Anne Fidler, Adventures in Holy Matrimony)
• Move Forward Now. I shoulda did “x” or I woulda did “y” isn’t gonna get you free in your finances. It’s done now. Don’t pout about it, blame your partner, or let it paralyze you into inactivity. Think of it like this, the longer you do nothing, the longer you stay in bondage. Commit to moving forward now. (Karen M. Pina, from ezinearticles.com, “Is Your Marriage in the Red?”)
• If the worst happens and the family encounters financial problems, the man feels like a failure. Even if the financial problems have nothing to do with him (say, for example, his biggest client went out of business), if the end result is that you have to adjust your lifestyle, can’t buy the children the birthday presents they asked for, or have trouble paying the mortgage, the man suffers emotional torture. One man, whose business is currently in a very difficult season, described it this way: “Every day, with every step I take, I feel like my skin is being flayed off.” (Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only)
• Men who are unemployed or on welfare so often get depressed and lose their motivation. They feel like they have failed at being a provider, have lost their purpose, and are less than a man. (Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only)
• Many of us women have faced difficult financial seasons in recent years, and obviously that’s hard for us too. It’s easy to get nervous and blame our husband or pressure him to “do something.” But most men don’t need more pressure. They’ve got that in spades internally. Instead, they need our steadfast belief that they’ll solve this problem and our steadfast offer to help them do what it takes to stay afloat. …Several men have told me that the best thing their mate can do is to show that she realizes how tight things are by refusing to spend money unnecessarily. That combined with our emotional support, does wonders for the man’s feeling that “we can get through this.” (Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only)
• The very process of establishing a workable budget can help a hurting marriage simply because of the level of communication and cooperation it takes. (Dave Ramsey)
• My oldest brother is 12 years older than me, and he and his wife have one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen… When Scott and I downsized from a house to a small apartment, going to visit my brother always felt like a kick in the teeth because our whole apartment could have fit in their downstairs. But I remember when they first got married, almost 12 years ago. My brother was fresh out of college, editing two small weekly newspapers, and his wife was still in college.
Their first apartment in Pittsburgh was so small, you had to stand flat against the wall in the hallway and suck it in for anyone to pass you. When they moved back to this area, they got a larger apartment and eventually a townhouse, and then they bought their current home. The point here is, they seem to have it all, but they had to work for it. It didn’t happen overnight. So I can’t compare my life to theirs. I have to focus on getting totally out of debt before I can focus on buying a house. (Julie Anne Fidler, Adventures in Holy Matrimony)
• Let’s look at mistakes that engaged couples make by not being frank about finances. Epperson: It’s amazing how much time couples spend discussing the wedding. They’ll debate for weeks what music will be played, what dresses will be bought and what kind of exotic honeymoon they’ll take. But so few put their own interests first about what will affect them for a long haul —your money styles and the amount of debt you or your partner might be bringing into the marriage.
You need to ask about the credit score, the unpaid college loans and the Visa balance. You need to find out if your partner is amassing piles of debt, or whether it’s being managed at a reasonable level. This is going to impact your dreams. Most couples want a house, right? Well, you’re not getting one if your spouse has a lousy credit rating and doesn’t pay bills on time. And that’s ultimately going to hurt the marriage.
Hughes: Weddings are such a perfect storm, aren’t they? Take today’s generation of instant-gratification young couples and pair them with the billion-dollar wedding industry, which convinces them to spend endlessly to enjoy one day. And bam! —here’s a couple starting their lives with massive debt.
Epperson: Right. Like buying expensive table decorations that end up in a box in your storage room. Hughes: Exactly! They focus so much on this that they overlook the bigger issue of debt. Women don’t want to discuss their debt because it may make them look like frivolous spenders. Men avoid the conversation because too much debt makes them look out of control. But you need to take a selfish stand for the good of your long-term relationship. You can bring your partner to confront the situation and work on a plan together to resolve it. And if the partner refuses? Maybe that’s a sign that the wedding should be reconsidered, because living with someone who won’t address mounting debt isn’t much different from living with someone who won’t deal with a dangerous addiction. It can be just as devastating. (Sharon Epperson and Denise Hughes, from the June 15-17 2007 USA Weekend article, “My Money, Our Money”)
• For many of us money is the mirror that reflects our youthful fantasies and our struggles to make these fantasies come true. …Money becomes a magical screen on which we project our fears, frustration, and dreams. Each of us must search our histories for clues as to why we have the attitudes we do with regard to money. (Dr David Stoop and Dr Jan Stoop, from the book, “The Complete Marriage Book”)
• Making a budget is much easier than sticking to one. It is much like a food diet: we plan and intend to stick to the diet, but we keep on eating those brownies because they taste so good. Spending is fun. The daily temptation to buy things is so strong. We get tired of saying “no” and we spend. A more dangerous tendency is to have the attitude that we deserve this. (Jonni McCoy, Frugal Families —Making the Most of Your Hard Earned Money)
• A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live. (Proverbs 15:27)
• It’s often the “little things” or incidentals that are the budget culprits. Take a month or two to record everything you spend. You’ll be surprised how quickly cups of coffee, fast food, and other small items add up. (Toben and Joanne Heim, Happily Ever After)
• The handling of finances is one of the major emotional battlegrounds of any marriage. Lack of finances is seldom the issue. The root problem seems to be an unrealistic and immature view of money. (David Augsburger, The Meaning of Money in Marriage)
• If you misuse a credit card, it can become a bastion of evil. I think having a credit card can be a wonderful thing, on three conditions: (1) You have decent interest rate. I had an excellent interest rate when I was working for the gargantuan bank that issued it to me. But I didn’t read the fine print, and when I lost my job, the rating jumped up to 24 percent because I wasn’t an employee anymore. What a shock to the system! After a while, my finance charges cost more than my usual monthly payments. If you have very little credit your interest rate will probably be through the roof. Trust me, it’s not worth it.
(2) If you do get a credit card, try not to use it unless you have an emergency. Consider it your “just-in-case” credit card. A pair of boots on sale is not an emergency! (3) Don’t spend more than you can pay off in a month’s time. This was one of our giant mistakes. We maxed out the card all at once, and then tried to pay it off piece by piece, and it buried us. (Julie Anne Fidler, Adventures in Holy Matrimony)
• What is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? (Luke 9:25).
• My father gave me this [faulty] advice: “Get a credit card from a major store. Make a fairly large purchase —such as a television —then pay it all off the next month. That way you’ll establish a good credit rating for yourself.” Well-intentioned, says Christian financial counselor Dave Ramsey, but bad advice “unless you want to be in bondage to credit for the rest of your life.” The credit card was a luscious answer to the hunger for convenience and has become a staple of our financial diet. The problem with convenience is that it makes it too easy for us to redefine necessity. Mark Stevens, a systems administrator, says, “My wife and I used to use them for convenience, but lately they feel like more of a necessity to get from one paycheck to the next.” (Kate Bryant, from the Marriage Partnership article: “Holy Matri-Money”)
• Research shows that simply using a credit card for the sake of convenience can make you spend at least thirty percent more than you otherwise would! (Ron Blue)
• It’s not the shopping that’s the problem —it’s the temptation to buy “more” while shopping.
• There is a way, which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12).
• I didn’t know that every time someone checks your credit rating, it actually works against you. Had I known this, I wouldn’t have applied for everything under the sun. Just because you get a free lipstick for applying for a department store charge card doesn’t mean you should. When you sign your name on the dotted line, allowing companies to check you out, you lower your own credit score. I should have stopped applying for credit and saved those points for the many, many employers who would be checking my credit after I lost my jobs. (Which, by the way, is another reason to have as good a score as humanly possible.) (Julie Anne Fidler, Adventures in Holy Matrimony)
• The best way to get out of debt is little by little, and this process requires discipline. It almost always means changing your lifestyle and reordering your priorities. Unfortunately, there is no easier or less painful way out. (From the book, “The Christian’s Guide to Worry-free Money Management” by Daniel Busby, Kent Barber, and Robert Temple)
• If your attitude is, “Well, I’ve never been good with money that’s just the way I am,” your marriage has a problem already. If however, your attitude is, “I’ve never been good with money, but starting now I’m going to work on changing that,” you’re on the right track. (Josh McDowel, The Secret of Loving, pg. 235)
• To stay motivated with your budget, try these tricks: Remember the reason you’re budgeting in the first place; think about the debt you have or the plans you’re trying to make. Go to the bank once per week and withdraw what the budget allots for that week. Don’t return to the bank or ATM until the next week. Only spend what you have. If you have any leftover money at the end of each week, put it in a bank or special envelope and save for a special occasion, purchase or help someone in need. Don’t go to the mall unless you have a specific reason —only one in four people in the malls are there for a particular purchase. (Jonni McCoy, Frugal Families —Making the Most of Your Hard Earned Money)
• We need to think like managers of God’s money, not owners.
• Typically every marriage has a spender and a saver. Generally one person is better at saving. The saver can view the spender as immature and irresponsible. On the other hand, the spender sees the saver as too frugal and a dream killer. Instead of letting it divide you, use the strength of the saver to stick to your financial savings plan and build financial security for the family. (Karen M. Pina, from the ezinearticles.com article, “Is Your Marriage in the Red?”)
• Savings opportunities are all around us if you train your eyes to see them. (Ellie Kay)
• Starting a budget is just like starting on a trip. You cannot set a course without first determining where you are.… And to complete the trip one must keep going. A major problem is to develop a budget and then not follow it. (Larry Burkett)
• Get yourself a spiral notebook. Then write down every penny you spend for two months. When you buy a candy bar from the vending machine at work, write it down. When you write your mortgage check, note it in the book. At the end of each of the two months, review your expenses and label them “O” for optional and “E” for essential. The challenge is to eliminate the optional expenses that give you the least value for your money. (From the book, “The Christian’s Guide to Worry-free Money Management” by Daniel Busby, CPA, Kent Barber, CFP, and Robert Temple, CIC, CFP)
• If you sell out to mammon you’ve committed spiritual adultery with mammon.
• A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree. (Proverbs 11:28)
• Christian stewardship makes us partners with God. The highest motive for giving is an expression of love for our Lord. Giving to our church and other Christian charities helps those ministries pay their bills. But, more important, it does something for us spiritually. It enlarges our vision for ministry, develops character, and enriches our lives. (From the book, “The Christian’s Guide to Worry-free Money Management” by Daniel Busby, CPA, Kent Barber, CFP, and Robert Temple, CIC, CFP)
• Do I want my identity to be reduced to my consumer preferences, or do I want my identity to be rooted in Christ? (From the book, “Living Well on One Income In a Two-Income World” by Cynthia Yates)
• But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:6-10, NIV).
• “Happiness is not based on money. And the best proof of that is our family.” (Christina Onassis)
• When it comes to holiday savings: In the long run, the financial pressure your family experiences is simply not worth the temporary satisfaction of the item that robbed you of your financial freedom. (Ellie Kay, How to Save Money Every Day)
• What about aging parents? Many couples are caught between children and parents who need financial help. Epperson: Take care of yourself first. You’re not going to be much help to them if you’re in bad shape. But it’s also important to talk to them about their financial needs, so you know if, when and how much you may have to step in. Hughes: It’s also a good idea to help your parents with their situation before a problem develops. But because money issues —especially with seniors —are considered personal, don’t bring up the topic in a way that could be interpreted as an invasion of their privacy. Instead, make them feel like their input is helping you.
Try saying, “Mom and Dad, we’ve been looking into things like long-term health coverage and an annuities plan to take care of each other. Have you guys heard about this sort of thing?” just to get the conversation going. You’ll find out where they are financially, and at the same time they’ll get informed about what is available to them. End the conversation by offering to get them more information on the things you are talking about under the guise of asking them for their advice later. Nothing makes a parent happier than feeling like his or her advice is still something. (Sharon Epperson and Denise Hughes, from the USA Weekend June 15-17, 2007 article, “My Money, Our Money”)
• If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)
• Ask God to grant you favor and success in what you are doing. Ask Him for the right words to say. Ask Him for the right attitude in which to say those words. Ask the Lord to grant you success, and then as His servant, you will give the Lord all the Glory! (Ray Hilbert)
• Solomon outlined the diversification concept when he said, “Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.” (Ecclesiastes 11:2) (From the book, “The Christian’s Guide to Worry-free Money Management” by Daniel Busby, CPA, Kent Barber, CFP, and Robert Temple, CIC, CFP)
• Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)