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To Spend or To Save: How Can My Spouse and I Agree on Money?

By: ashley worley

My blood boiled and my heart sank as I opened my bank account app. Money had been taken out of my beloved savings for a new home and spent on dinner out and a rental car by my husband, who was away on a trip.

Feeling betrayed, I gripped my phone and prayed about how to handle it with him. God convicted my heart that this feeling is usually a red flag that I am idolizing something and that this was an opportunity for unity in our marriage, not an excuse to declare war on each other.

Finances are an opportunity for unity in your marriage.

When you and your spouse have different perspectives on money, how do you work together to achieve God’s call on your life together?

3 Practical Steps to Unify Your Marriage and Your Money

1. Talk about it.

The more you can candidly communicate openly and agree about money, the stronger and more powerful your marriage will become. Try to see each other’s point of view and find a place of compromise. Intimacy should permeate all areas of your marriage, including your finances, so that each of you can feel free to discuss openly.

Use an “I feel” technique so you can attack the problem and not the person. For example, “I felt insecure and betrayed when you spent our savings.” Let your spouse talk too, and hear him or her out without nagging or judging.

Maybe the two of you can create a budget in which the spender allows the saver to budget a savings and the spender gets an “allowance” to spend, like a “blow category” that he or she can spend on whatever he or she wishes for the month.

2. Be engaged.

Even if your spouse is the one who manages the money, do not check out—no pun intended! Be engaged and informed about where your money is going (Proverbs 10:4-5). In contrast, if you are the one who manages the money, do not neglect your spouse’s opinion about where your money should go. Give each other feedback: criticism or praise…and grace.

The budget may not be perfect the first month, but give it a few months and work together through it, tweaking it each month to reflect your goals as a couple.

3. Appreciate each other’s strengths.

As with every other area of marriage, use your differences to bring the best out in each other and balance the relationship. Let the spender have some flexibility in spending and the saver to put some aside, neither being extravagant. The Bible advises for us not to make our treasures on earth but in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20), but also that wealth gained slowly over time allows increase rather than hastily gathering it (Proverbs 13:11). God knows your heart and desires the best for your marriage and your finances.

Tithing is the first priority (Malachi 3:8-10), and God has given you freedom to decide how to spend or save the remainder of His financial blessings to you and your spouse. Manage your money to enhance unity in your relationship and to build a legacy to pass down to your children and to further His kingdom, God’s ultimate call on your life to be better together.

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