When talking about managing money in marriage, most couples fall into two categories. They either have no problem talking about money and welcome working together to manage their finances. Or they try to avoid talking about money at all and leave one person responsible for managing their finances. I can admit that when I first got married, we fell into the latter group.
I managed our finances because I like numbers and did not mind making sure all the bills were paid. My husband rarely asked any questions and as long as all the bills were being paid he was okay. We quickly learned, like so many of you may have, that in marriage we are supposed to manage our money together. It definitely was not easy going from being solely responsible for finances and not talking about money at all, to not only talking about money often, but managing our money together. However, it can be done. I have found that there are two keys to managing money in marriage well.
1) Knowing You Are Both In This Together
When you get married, two become one and that includes your money. No matter what you came into the marriage with, once you are married it belongs to both of you. It is no longer his or hers, but ours. When you start to take the viewpoint of ours, you both can take ownership and want to work together.
“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” -Matthew 19:6
It is not his savings account or your student loan bills that you need to pay off. But our savings account and our student loan bills we need to pay off. Taking ownership and believing that you are both in this together helps you to manage your money better. Managing money in marriage well also includes setting goals together.
2) Setting Goals Together
It is hard to get anywhere if you do not have a destination in mind. This is true not only in life, but in your finances. Setting goals as a couple helps to ensure you are not only in this together, but working towards the same goals. Setting goals is more than just talking about what you what to do, but actually writing them down together to make sure you are on the same page.
“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” -Amos 3:3
When my husband and I first did this is was very eye opening and helped us to learn a lot about each other. My two main financial goals were to pay off our student loans and save for retirement. His two main goals were to pay off our car loans and pay off our mortgage early. Our goals could not have been further apart. If we had never set down to talk about our goals and to write them down, we would have never achieved them either. So after many discussions and number crunching, we put all our goals in an order we could both agree on. First, we would pay off our car loans, second student loans, then save for retirement while making extra payments on our mortgage.
What your specific goals are, are not nearly as important as setting your goals together. Every financial situation, much like your marriage, is uniquely different. So setting your goals together allows you to come together and address the things that are most important to you both.
Managing money in marriage may not come easily to us all, but it something that we can all learn to do well. Knowing that you are both in this together and setting goals together are two important steps we all can take to ensure we managing our finances in our marriages well.
Would love to hear any other steps you have taken in your marriage to manage money well in the comments!
Ayanna is a stay at home wife and mom of 3 little divas-in-training, two of which are identical twins. She is saved by grace, and believes her faith and belief in Jesus keeps her grounded and gives her strength. She loves to use her life and lessons learned to inspire and encourage you to live fun, joyful and abundant lives that shine like Stars.