Finances & Relationships
Tonight is my third financial class. If you missed the notes from Week One, click here.
Lesson Objective: Working with your spouse in a God-honoring and mutually encouraging manner.
1. In the world you'll hear "his" and "her" money, and some would do better by calling it our money when in reality it is God's money. So, couples need to work together as a team.
2. Understanding money history and personality:
- Big Spender - love the new, nice and latest. They are not bargain shoppers and don't fear debt. They can be impulsive.
- Savers - often viewed as cheap skates! They turn off lights close the refrigerator quickly, control the water flow when using a faucet, etc.
- Shoppers - derive emotional satisfaction from spending money. They can be bargain hunters too.
- Debtors - they don't keep track or have a handle on what comes in, goes out...'debt will go awy by itself.'
- Investors - are not necessarily "rich". rather than being passive, they are proactive.
I love him. I respect him. And it makes him happy so I will...
4. Ten Mistakes Couples Make
- Not talking enough
- Thinking you can buy love (It does not increase happiness).
- Ignoring conflicting spending habits
- Not agreeing on how to divide money
- Taking on too much debt
- Hiding purchases or debts
- Lending or borrowing money from/to family
- Traditional Stereotyping - only the man can do the finances
- Failing to recognize that money carries emotional weight
- Not enjoying your money together. (gifts vs. event such as dinner, movie etc)
5. So where and how do you start?
- Set a day and time for the discussion. Don't surprise your spouse!
- Give yourself at least an hour of uninterrupted time.
- Prepare and educate yourself with facts and details
- ask questions rather than accuse or blame
- inform rather than get caught
- Be willing to negotiate...always give hope, encouragement (look forward)
- Delegating the responsibility does not mean becoming ignorant - there needs to be frequent updates, easy access to all finances (bank accounts, check books etc.) Transparency is key!
- Educate yourself with the basics at least.
- Learn to communicate in a way that your spouse understands (details vs. big picture).
- Decide on things like whether you have two accounts and spending money.
- No matter what the system, both couples should know that the boundaries are being maintained.
- Eventually two visions, goals, desire, etc. need to merge into one. (End goal is one)
- You have to make a (common and single) budget. You can't do this until you have started to track your expenses. (Which was homework #1)
- With the Reluctant Spouse - getting upset, threatening, etc. doesn't work. You will need to prayerfully try to find an appealing way to start a conversation that is not emotionally charged but fact led. Of course, if the other spouse is ruining the family finances, you need to seek outside help for Marriage Counseling because this is not just a "money" problem.
- Singles/Single Parent - you would do well to find an accountability partner, a confidant who is well versed with finances (not necessarily your best friend). A family member, a church member, or even a Financial Advisor will be worth your money spent.
- Find small victories...things to praise God for.
- PRAY and ask God's help!
- Find a time of day to do the first conversation (if you haven't already)
- Determine how often you both need to have this conversation - for starters it shouldn't be more than once in two weeks (bi-weekly).
- This conversation can be a macro...big picture conversation (that's if you are not able to handle the hard and brutal stuff).