“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:
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