“My wife doesn’t want to budget.” …”My husband doesn’t want to budget.” “And yet something has to be done because we just can’t keep going on this way. It’s tearing our relationship apart!”
It’s difficult to comprehend the damage that can be done in marriage because of money matters.
Little (and big) things that each partner purchases can add up so quickly. They can eventually become like a raging fire that is out of control destroying everything.
How can two people who made their finances work for them as individuals before they married, have such financial problems after they marry and find themselves in a continual battle with each other?
Different Reasons for Conflict
“One of the most basic reasons for conflict is that, as husband and wives, we come from different backgrounds. Sometimes we share a common view of how to handle money. But more often our perspectives set us apart from one another. We spend years shaping and honing our individual beliefs, watching the financial habits of our parents, friends, and mentors.
Even when a couple agrees on a broad financial principle — such as the avoidance of debt or the importance of saving money — there are apt to be wide variations on how to interpret and apply these principles in everyday life.” (Ron Blue, Money Talks and So Can We)
Money Means Different Things
Basically, it comes down to the fact that money means different things to each of us in how we handle it. Until we find ways to bridge our differences in partnership, there can potentially always be problems.
“But in reality, there is no such thing as a money problem. What looks like money trouble in a marriage is almost always symptomatic of something else. It could be a distorted view of money, a lack of understanding about the true purpose for marriage, or a basic inability to integrate the two and communicate effectively with your spouse about finances.” (Ron Blue, Money Talks and So Can We)
Marriage is about teamwork. And working together to make your finances work for your marriage is just part of what needs to be done to grow closer, rather than farther apart from each other. So working together on budgeting your money is important to the foundational strength of your marriage.
Budget Frees, Doesn’t Confine
One problem however is that putting together a budget seems so restrictive and difficult. However, in reality:
“The purpose of budgeting is to free you, not confine you. God expects us to be a participant in planning a budget, not an observer. As Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Therefore, as we apply practical concepts in handling our money, God provides godly wisdom. It should free you from worry about whether the annual insurance payment will be made, whether you put money aside for the taxes on your home, and whether enough money will be available to by the clothes the children need.
“If those are not problems for you, you’re one of the fortunate few. They are problems for the majority of [people], and they may well be problems for your children when they have families. If you’re not willing to live on a budget, you will not be able to help them live on budgets. So a budget can be a good teaching tool, as well as a good measure of self-discipline.” (Dr Larry Burkett, Answers to Your Family’s Financial Questions)
But what do you do if your spouse doesn’t want to work with you on budgeting your money?
Below are a few links to some helpful web sites that have articles posted that could help you with this. Prayerfully read the following articles, posted on the Focus on the Family web site:
• GETTING A RELUCTANT SPOUSE ON BOARD WITH BUDGETING
• STORY: RECONCILING BUDGET DIFFERENCES
Keep in mind that (as Crown Financial Ministries says, and we agree):
“We are all stewards of what God has entrusted to us —talents, possessions, income, gifts, family, and jobs. We must be prepared to give an account of how well we managed all that He has provided. ‘It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy’ (1 Corinthians 4:2).”
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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Filed under: Finances in Marriage
7 responses to “My Spouse Doesn’t Want to Work Out a Budget”
(EAST HARTFORD CT) Money is the route of all evil but at the same time, you have to pay bills. My husband delays in sitting down with me and working out a plan to pay bills together. When you marry, you are both one. We have been married before and ashamed as I am of it, I know I have to make this marriage work. Trusting and letting go of the fear of getting financially hurt is something many of us go through but give it to the Lord and he will guide you through it. It takes two to make a marriage work and when you marry, you are one.
Proverbs 16:9 says, "The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." How true. Why can’t one sit down and work out a budget together? Is it fear or joining together the money? Do you think someone will get hurt financially? Well, I have got some news for you and me… when you marry, you make a covenant with the Lord that says "for better or worse and for richer or poorer." Let go of your fears or and communicate in the most loving way you can and know that budgeting will help both of you grow financially.
It was hard for me to do that as I am as hard headed as my husband, but when you can talk things out, find out why one does not want to make a budget. I am still praying to keep my budget because my husband goes back and forth with how the bills should be paid and of course if you don’t agree on who can handle the money best… then you can both sit down and do it together by listing all you bills and making sure that the money is in there to pay them off.
Be strict with your budget. It does get thrown off when my husband decides to go shopping for something he likes and I admit when I go to Home Depot and the garden section hits my eye.
I love my husband and I will continue to try different ways till we get it right. I love this discussion; it hit me right at home as I know it did for many other couples. I have not read the links but will and hopefully it can help me to understand why a husband or wife does not want to make a budget, what is their fear in budgeting together and how we can break through those walls of (you, me instead of we). Thank you so much for the insight from the discussion on hand and to giving me your ear. Lucia
(USA) Please everyone don’t misquote… MONEY is NOT the root of all evil… it is the LOVE OF MONEY that is the problem. Money in and of itself is only problematic when we begin to love it. That is an important point. Be well… God Bless!
(USA) My husband and I have been apart for five months. He left because I refuse to pay all the bills. He bought a new truck that was WAY out of our budget. I make twice as much as he does but I dont belittle him with that. I see it as ‘our’ money. When we first got married, I had already bought a home. (I met him 6 months later.) When we got married 4 years later I suggested to buy a home together or add his name to the deed. He refused. I didn’t realize that was the beginning of many problems.
I wanted 50/50 on the bills but he ‘runs away’ from home when his part is due. I’ve gone many times without water, power, food, no heat all because he gets mad when the bills are due and starts arguments. He makes statements like, ‘its your house; you pay the bills’. I told him that God states that the man is head of household. My husband says the head of the household is the person that makes the most money! Please correct me if you think he was dropped on his head. I’ve tried to pray and keep the faith but, I am to the point of giving up. Pray for us.
I am praying for you. Please understand that when two become one that means finances too. In today’s society many women make more than men. However this should not negate the fact that you all are a household. Oftentimes intimidation and love an cause a conflict. Your dear spouse seems to have accepted you but not fully assess the full picture (pre-owned house etc).
First step is prayer; second practical step is tithing. If your spouse refuse to honor God with his increase then honoring a budget or plan has a scarce chance. When you take that leap of faith and know what the household finances are… take a stand for God’s money and watch him manage the rest. The benefits of tithing is beyond the church (although used to aid the church); it’s a covenant. We today are so concerned about our house payments car notes and delete or ignore the tithe. But I would suggest reversing the issue and acknowledge the one that is providing the money first. If a man doesn’t regard God and his principles, you will be spinning your wheels. I believe there’s hope!!
What a joyful tone to a typically non-joyful topic!
I blog a lot about budgeting and run a budgeting support group and find the stress and strain in a marriage over the budget can be overwhelming for most people. Knowing where you derive your worth and value (from God) goes a long way in alleviating the consumerism tendencies to which we all can be swayed.
I really need help. I have been married to my husband for 19 years. He will not sit down and do a budget with me. I try to make sure we dont overdraft our account because he will spend and not tell me where its going. We donate to a local ministry every month and I have emailed them and told them we are having financial issues right now. Would you believe they emailed my husband and told them I said this. Then they emailed ME and said that since it was in my husbands name only he could stop payments. This is a group claiming they support “family”. A young woman came to our church and she is going to be a missions worker.My husband again without telling me has pledged 25.00 per month to her on top of the 10.00 we give to the other missions each month.
There are times we have had serious issues paying our debts because he is so busy taking care of everyone else. It’s really sad because every time I cut back on stuff for our family he turns around and pledges to help others. I am very hurt and have felt so insecure like the bottom will fall out at any time. He has told me its his money and I can go get a job. I told him before we got married I wanted to be a stay at home mom.
Don’t get me wrong he is VERY giving to other people. It was one of the things that attracted me to him. My question is when you get married shouldn’t you also be giving towards your own family? I remember when our car needed repairs we could not afford. A few weeks later we get a call of someone wanting to give a car to someone that needed one. I thought wow what a blessing God heard our prayer. He gets off the phone and calls a couple from church and gives them the car. We won a prize at an event that would have been nice for our children. He turned around and gave that away. I am not selfish, I just think our family should also be given consideration. Please pray for us.
My spouse and I have tried to do budget. I am the one who tracks and figures; my husband refuses to follow budget. He agreed to at one point and after a month decided he was tired of it and now blows money constantly… He makes barely enough to cover the bills and I was able to put some back in savings but that’s slowly being depleted by him… He is not a Christian and I am, although I did not know this about him until after we were married.
He is very passive aggressive in how he treats me and our daughter and it is so hard when he refuses to keep his word or try… What do you suggest I do about budget?