Monday, November 10, 2014

5 Ways to Take the Fight Out of Finances

By: Jenifer Metzger

Money can be a stressful subject when it comes to husbands and wives. Studies show that the number 1 cause of marital arguments are finances, so even thought it's stressful, it is something we must tackle.

How can we talk about money and not fight? Here are 5 ways:

5 Ways to Take the Fight Out of Finances  #finances #marriage

1. Communicate honestly. Don't hide money. As women, we want that financial security. So it can be easy to hide money. Don't do it. You need to be honest with your husband about the money you have. My husband doesn't always know the exact dollar amount I have, but he always has a good idea of what we have. The same goes for him, I may not know the exact amount, but I know about what he has. If he were hiding money from you, you wouldn't like it. So, unless you are holding the money back for a gift for him, make sure you are open about it.

2. Communicate gently. Make sure you are watching the tone of your voice and your words. When you talk about finances, do not use an accusing or harsh tone of voice. If you feel your husband isn't being financially responsible, don't go to him ready for battle. That is just going to make him put his defenses up and the fight is on! Be gentle.

3. Know your role, but be willing to share. When my husband and I first married, he wanted me to handle the money. He knew he wasn't great with balancing a checkbook and all that, so he wanted me to handle it. So I have. But I also know that I can't hold on to it tightly and keep him in the dark. He needs to know what is going on with our finances. He needs to know if the money is tight and a bill is overdue. He needs to know if there is extra. If you handle the money, keep your husband in the loop! If he handles the money, don't purposely stay in the dark. You need to know how to handle the finances, just in case the need would ever arise for you to take it over, even if only temporarily.

4. Set limits. It can be a pain to call your husband every time you want to stop for a soda or buy a new nail polish. It can also be a pain every time he calls just to stop for a burger or needs to put a little gas in the tank. But it is also a detriment to spend money without sharing. We need to set limits. What is the dollar amount that is okay to spend without talking it out first? It will be different for every couple. Your budget may be extra tight right now and anything over $10 needs to be discussed. Or maybe your budget is flexible right now and you can easily spend $100 without discussing. Find your limit and stick to it. Anytime my husband and I want something over about $15, we discuss it with each other first. But those small purchases, we take care of on our own.

5. Tithe. The Bible commands we tithe. In Malachi 3, it even goes as far to say that if we are not tithing, we are robbing God. My husband and I struggled with tithes for many years. We would get good about it for a few months, then just stop for many months. It was a horrible cycle. For a long time, I took the blame and guilt of this sin upon myself because, as I said above, I handled the money. After crying to my husband about it once, he told me that he felt responsible too, because he knew and didn't encourage me to tithe or pay it himself. We need to tithe. It is an act of worship and obedience. As a married couple, it should be an act of worship and obedience together. If your husband is not a believer or is not at the point in his walk with God that he feels the need to tithe, talk gently with him. If he is still not willing to tithe, do not push him. Pray about it. Wait on God. If you have income on your own, discuss with your husband that you would like to tithe on your part of the income. But do not push him. God will honor you for submitting to your husband and making it a matter of prayer.

What other ways do you and your husband communicate about finances?

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