I don’t need to start this article with all the terrifying stats about how money is so commonly a source of tension in marriage. We’ve all heard them, so no need to rehash that here.
But, instead, I want to point you to 4 pretty simple things you can do today (or this weekend) to help you get in more unity with your spouse when it comes to your money.
1) Have a “money date” that they can tolerate.
In our house, I (Bob) am the spreadsheet and numbers type, and my better half (Linda) is the chase around a butterfly type.
I enjoy running the numbers, crafting a good budget, and making a plan, and she hates that part. And always avoided it like the plague.
But I discovered that if I wrapped these money conversations in a sugary coating, suddenly she was willing to tolerate our money conversations.
What this looked like for us was taking her to dinner and eating ice cream while we had some of these conversations.
Dinner and ice cream might not work for your spouse, but if you have a spouse who doesn’t want to talk about money with you, ask yourself, “How can I make this less painful for them?” or “What do they love that I could bundle this money date with to make it tolerable?”.
It’s nearly impossible to be in unity with money without talking about it, so finding a way to even have the conversations is the first step for many.
2) Focus on the big picture by asking big questions.
Now that you have got a sitter for the kids and you have them at the ice cream shop with 3 scoops of Rocky Road, you can start the conversation.
There are obviously a million different things you can (or may need to) talk about with your money, but here are some big picture questions that are worth discussing.
Ask each other these questions and answer objectively without any blaming, name-calling, or hair-pulling:
- What are you thankful for with our finances?
- What do you wish we could do?
- Are there any dreams God has put on your heart?
- Do you have any ideas of how we could do things differently?
3) Get your own spending money.
This one simple tweak to our marriage instantly reduced our money fights by about 90%.
If you and your spouse don’t each have your own spending money, it is time. As in, money that you can spend without being accountable to anyone. As in, me spending $250 on the 5th type of saw that I have in the garage, or Linda spending I-don’t-even-want-to-know-how-much on a purse to go with her shoes.
By simply creating a separate account for each of us, we both have the freedom to spend on whatever is important to us… without asking the other for permission.
This was huge for us.
Because when the grocery budget is running low at the end of the month and she runs out and spends $150 on a pair of jeans, I don’t have to get upset because it was already earmarked for her, not for groceries.
4) Pray together.
If you aren’t praying about your finances together, you are missing out on your secret weapon. God knows our spouses (and us) better than we do, so why not bring him into this equation?
If you need a head start on some financial prayers to pray together, I created a FREE PDF you can download with some prayers that we have prayed over our finances as well as some of our favorite Bible verses to stand on.
You can do this!
I believe there is a 10x multiplier (Deut 32:20) when you get in unity with your spouse. This is why the enemy is fighting so hard against our unity with our spouses. And he will do whatever it takes to keep us out of unity. But that unity is worth the fight – don’t give in!!
Bob Lotich is an award-winning blogger & financial coach married to a butterfly-chasing spender… so he gets it. His new book, Simple Money, Rich Life is the operating manual he and his wife Linda (a middle-class couple) followed to pay off over $400k of debt and reach a personal goal of giving $1 million by age 40. He currently lives in Franklin, TN with Linda and their three children.