5 Ways to Start Thinking Right Towards Money in Your Marriage
Everyone wants to be wealthy, but few put in the time and effort that it takes to become wealthy. Hence, the poor and middle class make up almost the entire American population. Similarly, everyone wants a great marriage, but few put in the time and effort that it takes to be a good spouse and develop a marriage worth bragging about. Hence, millions of marriages end in divorce.
These two phenomena, in my opinion, are what the average American citizen consists of in today’s culture: either broke and divorced (or broke and wishing they had married someone else). I believe that this cycle can be broken, and I don’t believe it’s a daunting task. With the proper mindset, a prosperous marriage is very achievable by anyone reading these words.
Here are 5 perspective shifts to begin your journey to a healthy and wealthy marriage.
1. You and your spouse are one.
Whether you have joint or separate bank accounts is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter who the bread winner is or who spends more. You are one. Your money is your spouse’s money, too, and the sooner you grasp that concept, the sooner your conversations about finances will stop ending in fist fights.
(Figuratively, or course. If you and your spouse are literally having fist fights, stop reading this and call a marital counselor immediately!)
2. Money is not God.
Too often, we let money control us instead of controlling our money. We get caught in a cycle: if we make more, we spend more, which means we need to make more in order to support our spending habits.
If we can get a grip on this when we have little, it will be much easier to tell your money what to do in the long run.
Learn to pay yourself first, and cut unnecessary expenses now instead of having to make drastic changes later on. Rather than reducing the amount you tithe or eliminating date night, maybe consider cutting cable for a while, or eat out less. You dictate how your money is spent. Don’t let the desire for more money and more stuff ruin your relationships.
3. Your spouse is your priority.
Your financial well-being should not determine your attitude toward your spouse. Yes, you should work hard to be successful, but the success of your marriage is more important than the success of your bank and investment accounts. Go on dates, practice intimacy, and share in all things. Money should never take priority over loving one another daily.
4. Your job is what you do, not who you are.
If you are wrapped up in a title, it’s very easy to settle. For example, I’m an Actuarial Analyst at a consulting firm. If that’s all I am, then that will forever be my only source of income, and likely the most important part of my life.
However, I choose to be a child of God and a husband who does actuarial work at a consulting firm, as well as writes blogs, invests, cares for people, and a handful of other things. I refuse to let a title override who I aspire to be and what I aspire to do.
5. Live for the hard times.
Couples that encounter tough times financially usually have one of two outcomes: they develop a strong, unbreakable marriage, or they call it quits. It may be difficult to see and understand the advantage you have when going through the trenches with your spouse.
We often make some sort of ultimatum, even if we don’t say it out loud, that isn’t easily met. So both parties give up, claim “irreconcilable differences,” and start over with someone new, hoping that this person is a little more on the same page.
What these couples never understand is the tremendous opportunity for growth. If you’re struggling financially right now, may these be the most thrilling times of your lives! Only in the trenches are you forced to find creative ways to make money, save money, go on cheap dates, or make a meal out of whatever is in the pantry.
You learn to rely on God for what you need and stop depending on things you don’t. And when times are good, you will already be prepared with the proper mindset to handle wealth and prosperity.
Whatever season of life you are in, may it make, not break, your marriage. May the proper mentality carry you through this season and into the next.