Does your marriage ever feel more like a UFC fight than a love story?
My wife and I have never really fought that much but when we do it’s always about one thing: money.
We also have one rule when we fight that we’ve both come close to breaking: Nobody can leave. No storming out of the house. No going for a walk. No friend’s house. Everybody stays. We don’t have to be in the same room and we don’t even have to finish the fight right then but nobody leaves.
We’ll celebrate 4 years of marriage together in less than a month. Even though I can count on one hand the times we’ve had fights where we’ve had to remember our one rule, they were all about the same thing, money. All the medium-level fights we’ve ever had have been about the same thing, money. In fact, basically every time we’ve argued about something other than money, we quickly realized that we were really arguing about money.
But that all changed about 6 months ago. Hayley and I went through Dave Ramsey‘s Financial Peace University at our church. We haven’t had a fight about money since. Long story short, we know where every single dollar of our money goes because we have a plan and we work the plan, together. As followers of Jesus, we realized that proper money management was more than just wise marriage advice; it was a discipleship issue. Click here to find out where FPU is offered in your area.
I don’t know where you’re at in your marriage or what your financial situation is. But I do know there are tremendous benefits from being on the same page financially. It’s an absolute must.
4 Thoughts on Being Financially Unified in Marriage:
- You build trust and intimacy when you work toward a financial goal together. This is true regardless of what age and stage you are in your marriage. Right now, we’re in the debt payoff stage. We’re gazelle intense, as Dave would say. You might be in a different spot. Maybe you’re saving for a house. Maybe you’re looking to give more than you ever have or trying to retire early. Whatever it is, working hard at it together will make anything in your marriage seem possible. Unfortunately,the opposite is also true. Doing it apart makes everything in your marriage seem impossible.
- Disagreeing isn’t always fighting. After several half-hearted attempts that fell apart over categories like shopping, eating out, and…baseball tickets, we finally sat down and made a full budget. We told every single dollar that comes in the front door where it goes. (You can download the same budget template we use every month here). As we wrestled through the budget-making process we were tempted to quit because we mistook disagreements for arguing. It’s not a fight when one spouse wants to spend less per month on clothing or more on entertainment than the other. It’s just something you need to work through…together.
- When you fight with your spouse about money you’re really losing a fight against your own selfishness. Don’t be mistaken: it takes 2 people to fight. Even if you feel you’re only 3% wrong, you’re still 3% wrong. Focus on serving and loving your spouse and let them focus on serving and loving you.
- Being on the same page about money helps you dream together. Clearly communicating about money means you’re clearly communicating about your dreams. Before you know it, your love for each other is growing in the trenches of life, fighting and scratching toward your dreams…together.
How do you and your spouse make sure you’re on the same page about money?