On Money In Marriage
When it comes to money, my husband and I have very different ideas about how it is best handled.
We couldn’t be more different in our approaches to handling finances.
My husband buys whatever he wants or needs once he’s decided that he wants or needs it. He is quick to pass on items that are no longer useful to him, keeping unnecessary clutter out of our house. He’s a spender, I’m a saver.
By contrast, I go to great lengths to avoid making unnecessary purchases, and sometimes I wait so long to decide on an item, I find myself up a creek in a desperate situation—without the needed item. I have a hard time letting things go if they could still somehow be useful (even if they’re not useful to me), and that habit has fueled my longstanding challenge to keep clutter at bay.
It has not always been easy to get on the same page with our finances. I don’t want to be wasteful, and he doesn’t want to be without something we actually need.
And over the years, even if our preferences haven’t always matched up, we have learned to recognize the benefits that have come of our opposite perspectives.
Our different perspectives sharpen and challenge us to proactively communicate and navigate our finances as a team.
Both of our perspectives about money have a place in our marriage, and it is the sum of them together that makes our partnership strong. My husband always makes sure we have what we need, overriding some of my militant frugality in gentle ways. He has taught me that some needs are decidedly not frivolous, and some purchases are necessary.
On the flip side, I could tell you many stories of how we’ve saved money because I spoke up about my concerns about a given purchase, or suggested an alternative, lower-cost solution than my husband originally proposed.
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.” Ecclesiastes. 4:9-10.
The plurality of our vision for our finances makes us a strong and formidable team.
How to Navigate Differing Perspectives on Money in Marriage
Respect the differences you and your spouse each have about how to handle money, and make room for whatever feelings arise in either of you when money talks happen. Support each other by listening to your husband’s concerns about your perspective on money, and share kindly with your husband how you feel about his. Work together in your pursuit of financial strength.
I’ll tell you what does not work well in marriage: Trying to micromanage how your spouse is predisposed to handle money. Financial pressures have a way of poking at fears and insecurities, and disagreements over money tend to break open deeper and more dramatic feelings. It’s not easy to meet in the middle, but it doesn’t have to be one way or the other.
Navigating finances in marriage is a team effort, and both parties should have a voice in the conversation.
Wife Step: Next time you and your spouse have a conversation about money, tell him you value his perspective. Additionally, don’t be afraid to speak up about your view in a loving way. Even if you are not in agreement, and practicing honest and respectful communication about money will strengthen your marriage.
Emily Sue Allen is the founder of the Kindred Mom blog and host of the Kindred Mom podcast. Soul care for moms and helping women find rest and joy in the midst of busy life are among her greatest passions. She is a contemplative, creative soul who celebrates the beauty of a humble, handmade life and deeply values the power of encouragement. Emily lives with her six kids and husband of 13 years in the Pacific Northwest, and personally blogs at emilysueallen.com. Find Kindred Mom on Instagram and Facebook, and follow Emily personally on Instagram.