One of the toughest things about money management is sharing the burden with a spouse. As crazy as that may seem for you single folks, blending financial habits can be very challenging. People look at money differently resulting in different views of spending or saving it. Those differences can cause major friction.
I can attest to this in my own marriage. My husband is a financial “free spirit”, while I am more of a “cautious soul”. It did not take long for these variances to reveal themselves and for us to recognize that our individual approaches to our newly combined budget were not working. Neither of us were happy, and our financial plans were falling apart.
So, what did we do? We scheduled a date night! No seriously. We devoted an evening to team building and dedicated ourselves to the following money management guidelines:
- Be Open, Be Honest: We listen to each other. We do not hide things from one another. At all costs, we keep the lines of communication open!
- Budget Together: We review, revisit, and revise the monthly budget together. We make sure it includes opportunities for him to spend and for me to save while living within our means.
- Dream As A Team: We discuss our short term and long term goals and attack them as a team. This requires some give-and-take. I have hit “pause” on a goal in order for him to pursue one of his own and vice versa.
- Celebrate Successes: We applaud ourselves on wise choices made and cheer each other on towards our goals. We motivate each other with encouragement.
- Remember The Bottom Line: We focus on what is most important – being content with the blessings God has given us. We use money as a tool, and we practice godly stewardship. We do not let it become our primary goal or focus. While I would love to report that this date night ended all financial quarrels and discord forevermore, it did not. Marriage and money management are hard work y’all! When we find ourselves off course, we revert back to the guidelines and get back on track. And honestly, if we can do it, I know you can too!
Until next time, keep calm and keep up with the CASH blog!