Any More Money, Honey?

Money Tug of WarIt is a well-documented statistic that the biggest cause of divorce in North America today is money fights and money problems. No surprise that our consumer mentality as Americans spills over into our marriages. The trend toward two-earner households over the past several decades has only served to divide what ought to be united. Couples use terms like “my money” and “your money” and develop self-centered plans to spend it. Many couples engage in protracted power struggles over their resources that result in debt, hurt feelings and empty bank accounts. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometime one or both spouses engage in “retail therapy” as they try to “medicate” their unhappiness or to satisfy a longing in their heart that “Stuff” will never fill. Jesus spoke of the desire for more like this: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12: 15 In other words, more stuff isn’t the answer. What we crave is unity: oneness with our God and oneness with our spouse.
Successful married couples view their income as “our money” as they share their goals and dreams and the future together.
So let’s start with the basics: Where does money come from? They say there are two things everyone should teach their children. Where babies come from and where money comes from. The answer is: Money comes from work. “Work is a sure-fire money-making scheme,” according to money guru Dave Ramsey. Early on in marriage, couples need to decide who is going to go out to work. It is OK to decide that both husband and wife will work, especially while getting started and establishing a home. Couple with BabyThroughout your marriage this decision can be re-evaluated as children are born, go off to school, and as they leave the nest. During different seasons of life, you may decide that one spouse should stay home to devote their time and energy to raising your children. That will be their work for the next X number of years. The most important thing is that the couple makes these decisions together
Then next thing we want to understand is that there are three things we should do with our money. A healthy balanced life includes all three: Saving, Spending and Giving. When couples agree upon how their money will be saved, spent and given, they agree upon their core values.  They say you can look at a person’s check book and learn what is important to them. Jesus said: where your treasure is, there your heart will be also Luke 12:34.
The Dreaded B Word
Money Scrabble TilesIf you’re feeling hopeless, like you can’t get a handle on your money it is probably because you’re disorganized. When we want to solve complex situations it is very helpful to write them down instead of just letting them swirl around in our mind. Plus, since our spouse isn’t a mind reader, a BUDGET will help us put all the facts on the table and agree on a plan we can work on together. If you want help establishing a budget, and a sound financial plan for your life and marriage, I highly recommend you sign up to take Financial Peace University together. Thousands of couples have attended with the intent to fix their finances, only to experience the added bonus of gaining valuable communication skills, which revolutionized every other aspect of their marriage. I’d say that’s worth the price of admission. Wouldn’t you?

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About John Paladini

John Paladini is a husband, pastor and author. He has been happily married to Andrena for 30 years. They have three adult children, six grandchildren....and counting. John has devoted hundreds of hours to marriage counseling, conferences and bible studies that strengthen marriages.

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