Want a great way to save yourself emotional strain, spiritual concern, and financial pressure? Take proactive steps to safe guard your marriage. When you work to improve your marriage save you in so many different ways. There are many ways to invest in your marriage. Want the good news? This is a investment that does not require any (much) money but has a great return.
Several tips for investing in your marriage are listed below:
- Go on dates with your spouse on a regular basis. Just remember dates do not need to be expensive. Be creative. If you have kids ask a grandparent to baby sit, join a baby sitting co-op, trade baby sitting with friends, or see if your local church has any babysitting programs.
- Find time away from conversations distractions like internet, computer games, television, newspapers, books. Create opportunities for conversation. You can take a walk, unplug all the electronic gadgets, or just sit outside. There is no substitute for talking heart to heart.
- Get on the same page financially. Money is often listed or cited as a leading cause of divorce. Having trouble agreeing? Read something together to begin a conversation (how about this blog). Visit with someone from your church. Seek counseling. Money issues, if unaddressed, will always continue to escalate within a marriage.
- Experience something new. Novelty offers a new experience that brings couples closer together.
- Here is my final idea – don’t forget your anniversary.
Improve Your Marriage Money Relationship
So here it is. One big fat list on how to improve your marriage money relationship with your spouse. Interestingly, many of those things listed do not directly relate to money. But, if you can’t get together on all levels – spiritually, emotionally, and physically then it will be hard to connect financially. When your entire relationship is healthy it will flow into your marriage money relationship. When your relationship is struggling it will flow over into your finances. You must be willing to have money discussions as a couple.
Since money is one of the leading causes of divorce in North America, it is important to address how money impacts your marriage relationship.
Enhance Your Marriage Money Relationship
- Pray about your finances.
- Openly share your past financial mistakes – don’t have any money secrets.
- Budget together.
- Get a joint checking account.
- Go for a long walk, hold hands, and talk about your future. Focus on marriage money issues or problems.
- Work out a game plan together.
- Set spending limits on certain categories. How much do you both think should be spent on certain items? When shopping, make sure you know if it is something your spouse would agree with you buying.
- Make some important decisions once. What percentage of your income will you give? What percentage are you willing to pay for a car? Will you buy cars with cash? Once you’ve made the foundational decisions you don’t need to remake them every time you encounter a new situation.
- Ask for forgiveness for past mistakes.
- Talk openly about your financial background – How did you parents spend money? How would you evaluate our marriage money relationship? What ways are you like your parents? What ways are you different?
- Know each other’s income. Money earned by either spouse belongs to the family.
- Have a weekly budget meeting. That’s what we do and, well, it works.
- Keep a list of all important financial documents. You never know when you’ll take a shortcut to heaven so make sure your spouse has easy access to all your important financial documents.
- Divide financial responsibilities based on giftedness and passion. Wouldn’t the marriage money relationship be better if you each got to do what you loved and were good at? Whatever is left over agree to do it for the team.
- Set ground rules for disagreements. These are simple rules. Don’t yell. Never say “you always”. Be completely humble and gentle. Honesty is the best policy.
- Schedule a money planning day once a year. On this day you’ll deal with all the “big” financial decisions that have a huge lifelong impact. Here’s a long term financial goals checklist.
- Get counseling.
- Read a financial book together – here’s a list of 88 top personal finance books to get you started.
- Take a financial knowledge test.
- Husbands, love your wives, and wives, respect your husbands.
- Work as a team. I know you know this already, but have you made a covenant? I will work together with my spouse no matter what happens. Make the promise and keep the promise.
- Change your vocabulary – our money, not my money.
- Honor the non-working spouse. Appreciate the contribution you both make. Say at least one encouraging word each day to the non-working spouse.
- Take time to play together. When you feel like a team you’ll work like a team.
- Agree on a budget for dates and babysitting. I think it is essential for you to take dates together. Perhaps the greatest investment any young couple could make is for a babysitter. Don’t have the money? Form a frugal community.
- Learn each other’s love language, then speak each other’s love language.
- Think not only of your own interests.
- Never go in it alone. Don’t take a job without consulting your spouse. Don’t make a big purchase without consulting your spouse.
- During a financial crisis switch into survival mode.
- Hug your wife every day and tell her you love her. Compliment your husband every day and tell him you respect him.
- Take premarital counseling. Identify and address important issues before they morph into marriage breakers.
- Don’t talk negatively about your spouse to others – especially when your spouse is not there. Honor and respect your spouse with every word you speak.
- Recognize your differences. Know that spenders will spend and savers will save. When you know what to expect of each other you are less likely to be surprised when the predictable happens.
- Think of three positive things to say to your spouse every day.
- Consider a policy of complete support. When you make a decision, be the wind beneath their wings – not the anchor.
- Make business family decisions together. Learn how to keep your small business without losing your family.
- Listen to the advice of your spouse.
- Put emotions above financial gain. Do what feels right, not just what makes the most math sense. Choose a good night of sleep over a fatter wallet.
- Talk frequently about each other’s work schedule. Are you getting enough time together as a couple?
- Carry the financial burden together. Don’t ditch your spouse and leave them with important financial decisions. You are both responsible to make a contribution to your marriage money relationship. Give input and feedback as needed.
- Change the environment. Talk about money at a restaurant or on a walk instead of in front of the computer.
- Write a letter of appreciation to your spouse. What have they done recently that has helped your financial situation?
- Ask honest questions and listen. Do you think I’m too controlling? What areas do you think I spend too much money on? Am I frugal or cheap?
- Never raise your voice. Well, actually if you’re at a sports event it is OK, but I’m talking about when you disagree with your spouse.
- Identify the core issues, and then brainstorm till you have a headache. Often couples talk about money symptoms, not money reasons. Debt, for example is a symptom (Larry Burkett). Why did you go into debt?
- Be willing to give as often as you seek to take.
- Resolve any family baggage that is contributing to the issue.
- Agree together that you need to get out of debt.
- Prioritize your financial game plan. What is currently your greatest financial problem or need?
- Look for the sickness, not just the symptom.
- Don’t accept loans from your parents. It will drive a rift between you.
- Always try and side with your spouse. Some couples thrive on disagreement. They simply love the tension. Make better use of your energy and strive to agree with each other.
- Know that money fights are normal.
- Don’t focus on blaming each other. Focus on solving the issue.
- Write down your goals – short term, medium term, long term.
- Create a mock budget separately to help show your spending differences. Focus on areas of large differences.
- Set up automatic deductions to reduce the financial workload.
- Agree on the appropriate emergency fund amount.
- Contribute equal amounts for retirement, regardless of who earns the income.
- Nominate one spouse to keep financial records. Hint: choose the most organized.
- Develop a credit card use policy.
- Learn each other’s investing risk tolerance.
- Let the nerd be a nerd, but don’t force the non-Geek to look at all the numbers.
- Make big financial decisions slowly with a lot of wise guidance. Marriage and money decisions should always be made together.
- Agree on gift amounts. Who will you buy for and how much will you spend?
- Hold each other accountable – kindly.
- Make retirement decisions based on what is best as a couple, not just as an individual
- Purchase enough life insurance to protect your spouse.
- Prepare a will together.
- Go deeper and share your fundamental view of money. Why do you want it? When do you have enough? How do you define financial peace? What do you do when you have enough? How has money impacted you marriage relationship?
- Know that money fights often reveal issues in other parts of your relationship.
- Recognize and honor the financial commitment each of you are making to the marriage.
- Don’t avoid money concerns; your frustration will only increase.
- Take a romantic weekend away at least one weekend a year.
- Take regular dates.
- Set goals based on your joint values.
- When you meet together always set action items. What needs to be done and who is going to do it?
- Keep talking about purchases until you are both in complete agreement.
- Decide to find lost money – review the budget and cut out unnecessary expenses.
- Agree together about where you want to give and how much you want to give.
- Let the financial nerd research, but present ONLY the relevant information to the non-nerd.
- Answer all financial questions and doubts before proceeding. Both individuals should feel comfortable with the decision.
- Have a garage sale and agree to sell some stuff.
- Have a night out where you agree not to talk about money at all.
- Care more about your spouse than your net worth. Communicate that priority.
- Both of you should know what your money is doing and where it is going.
- Be sure both of you have a general sense of your financial standing. Do you know your net worth?
- Make investment decisions together.
- Agree that it doesn’t matter who makes the money.
- Revisit your financial game plan at significant life stages – birth of children, children in school, empty nest, retirement years.
- Attend a marriage seminar.
- Join or form a small support group for married couples.
- Do a bible study together on the topic of money.
- Send a random email thanking your spouse for their involvement in the finances.
- Recognize and reward small changes.
- Set a BIG goal like a vacation. Keep those goals in front of you to motivate you to work together. Always enjoy the rewards together.
- Agree that it is better to have little money with love than a lot where there is strife in the home.
- Work together to teach your kids about money.
- Attend church together.
- Allocate spending money for each partner.
- Visit the financial advisor together.
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The Gold Digger's Guide: How To Marry The Man And The Money
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