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Marriage and Money - a deadly or blessed combination?

Did you know that the #1 cause of divorce is money? You've probably heard that statistic before but have you really spent time thinking about it? Maybe you have, you are married, and you fight over money most of the time. Bills owed can be a stressful thing. Then again maybe you haven't spent much time dwelling on it, you push it aside and don't deal with the pressure. It really don't matter if you have thought about it for a long time or not at all. In order to have a healthy marriage you need a plan.
I grew up in a home where both parents had separate checking accounts. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my dad "paid my mom" on a regular basis. There was always tension in my family when it came to money. There was always more going out then there was coming in and unfortunately up until recently I think many Americans thought this was an ok occurrence. Sadly, there was no communication when it came to money in my parents marriage.
Though I didn't grow up with a healthy view of money I did know one thing, I didn't want to ever be dependent on the pocketbook of my parents. So from the first minute I could I got a job and started buying what I could on my own. I'm thankful that I didn't get myself into much debt but I do wish I would have had a more healthy view of how to save and budget at a young age. This is a skill that I hope to be able to teach my children well.
A couple of months ago my husband and I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and in it Dave helps you come up with a plan for your finances. I highly recommend his book The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. I always thought I knew how to do a budget until I took this class. No wonder every budget I ever tried failed miserably. Here are a few things that have helped my husband have peace in our marriage when it comes to finances...

1. Budget (together) and Learn to Stick to it - The second half is VERY important, Dave can help.
2. Have the same Checking Account - This will help you communicate!
3. Ask each other before you make a purchase - If it helps to set an amount that is fine as long as you are communicating your expectations
4. Make financial goals and work together to achieve them - pay off debt, save for something

Following these simple steps can not only improve communication with your finances but in other parts of your marriage as well. It's worth it!

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Comment by Melissa Gregg on July 29, 2010 at 6:19pm
Thank took us a long time to learn how to communicate finances.
Comment by Becky Webb on July 29, 2010 at 4:22pm
But yay! So glad you have reconciled and are getting back together! Money can be such a hard topic!
Comment by Melissa Gregg on July 29, 2010 at 3:30pm
So true my hubby 2 b and I ended up divorced. Yes you read that fought about money to no end. We decided eventually it was not healthy to stay together and argue. We sadly divorced. Happily five years later we have reconciled and are remarrying on 9/25/10. It took us a long time to work out our differences and learn how to communicate our finances. Your tips are absolutely correct.

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