Jim, I thought I had a good marriage and we seem to get along about most things except money. We constantly disagree about money and we are at a point where the word divorce is starting to come up, any advice?
I have received this question many times over the years and it is a tough one. What I have learned in talking with couples that have disagreements over money is that they do not have a financial plan. If both spouses sit down with a financial planner or financial counselor and come to an agreement on a plan, there seems to be harmony over day to day spending issues. The trigger point in most of these financial disagreements are the impulse purchase decisions made by one spouse without the other spouse being made aware of it. These are not necessarily frivolous expenditures. For example, if one spouse goes to the grocery store and spends $200 on groceries when there is only $100 in the budget for that, World War III might break out when an attempt is made to balance the checkbook.
Six Ideas To Reduce Arguments Over Money In Your Marriage:
1. Pray together about God’s plan for your future, including your finances.
2. Set long term financial goals that you both agree with (this may take
some compromise). If you are both on board with a long term plan, it will be much easier to find agreement on daily spending issues.
3. Set Up A Monthly Budget (again compromise is the key).
4. Have a weekly financial meeting so that both of you know what the status is of your inflow, outflow, and current checkbook balance. Sometimes just simple communication can prevent many financial disagreements.
5. Each of you should be able to have some reasonable amount of discretionary money that you can spend each week without having to be accountable for. Throughout the course of a day, if one of you wants to buy a candy bar, a soda, or a cup of coffee, you should have the freedom to do so without feeling guilty or that you need to get permission. This will allow each of you to have a little space and freedom.
6. Seek the advice and counsel of a Crhistian marriage counselor. Many times arguments over money are really not about money at all, but are related to other serious problems in the marriage.
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Helping you make the most of God’s money!