/ 26.7.11 / 18 Comments / marriage , Tuesd , Tuesday Tea
Tuesday Tea ~ Could a Budget Save Your Marriage?
No, there’s nothing wrong with my marriage..or our budget for that matter. :o) I’ve just been working on the budget this week and will be chatting over our financial plans for the month at a date night with Dear Hubby this evening, so naturally the topic is on my mind.
A sample debt snowball.
I was also working on our ‘debt snowball’ yesterday using a debt snowball calculator from What’s the Cost.com. The chart above was just an example. It’s a great tool recommended by my financial hero, Dave Ramsey.
Putting a little extra ‘sparkle’ in our marriage has also been on my mind. (I think my mind needs to go on a vacation—tee-hee!) I found a great used book on this topic, 52 ways to Re-energize Your Marriage, while killing time at a coffee shop/book store. Voila! A new post is born. :o)
I found it interesting this morning, to discover that conflicts over money were listed as #2 on James Dobson’s list of 12 marriage killers….. Curious what #1 is?? Read on….
Welcome to Tuesday Tea! I’d love to have a chat with you over a nice cup of tea..perhaps poured over ice. Both Amy of Tea Girl in a Coffee World with her post Heat Wave Tea and Wanda Lee of the Silken Purse, whose friend hosted an International student ‘tea’ with iced tea in tea cups decided to skip the ‘hot’ part. So I’m in good company. :o)
I so enjoyed everyone’s tea posts last week. Thank you so much for linking up. The comments you left were so insightful! That’s what makes our chat so fun—your input on the ‘topic’ whatever that might be. Please feel free to link up here.
So….how can a budget improve your marriage? I think it’s pretty obvious, but I mustn’t assume. I’ve had friends who never even thought to have a budget. Not to worry, you can find some great ones right here.
Yesterday we talked about the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness.” It showed, in stark colors, how financial pressures can destroy a marriage.
The main message of the movie, which was based on a true story, was to show the courage of a man who was determined to provide for his family against all odds. Sadly, his wife grew tired of waiting for the solution. And who could blame her? She worked double shifts while hubby tried to sell outdated computer equipment. She brought in money and he was unable to at the time. Bill collectors can sure kill romance!
Some of the things that can cause financial stress in a marriage are
- One of you is a ‘spender’ and one is a ‘saver’….or some milder version of this... and you have trouble seeing ‘eye to eye’ on money matters.
- Excessive debt which puts a heavy burden on Hubby or Wife.
- Overspending without regard to the lack of finances.
- Being discontent with what you have.
- Financial Reverses
- Using spending as a way to ‘get back’. (Getting to the bottom of the barrel here.)
- One of you is very focused on saving for the future…while the other is out bargain hunting for immediate needs.
- And there are many more…
One thing is for sure, a budget is a GREAT solution…as long as you are both using money for it’s proper purpose—meeting material needs...and you are on the same ‘side’. :o)
If your marriage is to the point where money has become a weapon or is a constant source of fighting…it’s probably a good time to seek some counseling. Most marriage problems come down to a lack of mutual love and respect rather than the problem itself. This is where you need to start.
A couple who cares about each other faces their problems together..whether it’s money, depression, rebellious children, job loss, in-laws or health problems.
First..build your relationship and work to grow closer. THEN tackle your problems..rather than each other! You are in this for the long run not the short-term. You need each other. Together all of your problems will seem lighter.
It’s important not to blame each other, but rather discuss the issues and try to hear each other’s perspective on money. Rarely is it a one-sided problem. If one spouse is having severe problems, however, and they are open to discussing it, you can help them work through it rather than condemn them.
One of the best ways to say, “I love you” to your spouse is to spend money in a way that is mutually acceptable. A budget helps you ‘pin down’ what needs to be spent and when, taking into account both points of view.
Since I have a hard time with ‘impulse spending’, Hubby and I have put some ‘checks and balances’ in place to help me stay in the budget. These were my ideas mind you. :o)
Tim and I both get a daily email alert telling us what our checking account balance is and what transactions have taken place. This puts some accountability in place (and I need that!) and also makes sure that we both know how things are going financially regardless of how crazy our schedule has gotten.
We’ve also put some ‘spending money’ in the budget so I know what the ‘limit’ is on spending for projects or home improvements. As far as Hubby was concerned…you just quit spending on anything. (Sounds a lot like the idea of dieting by just not eating any more—LoL!)
For Tim, this was a great solution. He has a ‘far reaching’ perspective. He doesn’t EVER want anything that money can buy. He just wants to save for the future. His focus is on our ‘future’ security and happiness.
For me, as a mom surrounded by active teens, the immediate needs of our family are the focus. I’m thinking about today, tomorrow and perhaps next week and what needs to get done. I’m focused on details and what needs to be done NOW.
We had to find a middle ground. We often joke that Tim is part ‘monk’ and I’m not. The kids, being kids, didn’t care for that approach much either. To ignore immediate needs for future security is no more realistic than spending all your money with no regard for future security.
With a mutually agreed upon budget, we make allowances for both perspectives. We’ve set aside money for immediate needs and even wants, and put a lot of money on our past debt (much of it medical), plus we put a decent amount of money into our emergency fund every month. We even have a small retirement fund. Now we are ALL happier.
If you would like more help on this topic..be sure to check out Dave Ramsey’s website. I think taking the Financial Peace workshop is one of the best things you can do for your marriage..and what a perfect wedding present for a young couple!
Why do I talk so much about marriage? Because, if you really think about it, is there anything more integral to your lifelong happiness than a good relationship with your spouse? It’s worth working at.. We need to nuture our marriage...just like you would a flower. If we don’t take care of our marriage relationship..it could wither!
I’m working on ‘me’ and on ‘us’. It’s an investment worth making. Learning to spend within our agreed upon budget, getting out of debt, saying NO to unnecessary expenses--these are great ways to say “I LOVE YOU” to our Dear Hubbies.
I’m so grateful to good friends like Christi L. and her hubby who hosted a Financial Peace class in their home. Our older kids attended with us…and I learned how to discuss financial matters with hubby in a constructive way and to say NO to ME (and the kids) through this class.
Perhaps, like me, you would like to make a quiet promise to the Lord, to “honor your husband’ in your spending..each time you walk into the doors of a store (or online). :o)
The heart of her husband trusts in her.
He shall have no lack of gain. Proverbs 31:11
How about it? Are you a saver or a spender? (I’ll tell you right now—I’m a spender. Yipes!)
PS. Still wondering about No.1? The No. 1 marriage killer is over-commitment and physical exhaustion. Read more here.