You made it to week 3 of the Take Back Your Marriage Series and today we are talking about money, money, money! There are so many things begging for our attention that it is hard to find time for anything, let alone our marriage. It is time to take back your marriage: from your kids, from technology, from your finances, from your busy schedule and from yourself. Finances tend to be a hot and controversial topic in marriage. If we are not careful, finances can be very stressful and put huge strains on our marriage. Here are 5 Ways To Take Back Your Marriage From Your Finances:
First things first, both you and your spouse should check your perspective on finances. In our marriage, we operate out of the perspective of “we own nothing” and “we have everything we need”. Our “we own nothing” perspective is based upon the biblical term “stewardship”. Stewardship is the concept of being responsible or caring for something that someone has entrusted to you. Basically, everything we have is from God and we have been given it to care for, for His Glory. As humbling as this sounds, we do not bring anything to the table. Everything is from God and for him. God has entrusted us with certain resources, gifts and abilities. These things rightfully belong to him. Our responsibility is to live in accordance with His plan and design. Next, “we have everything we need” – We have shelter, we have food, we have clothes and so much more. It is so easy to get caught up in the next trend or next phase of life. We so easily confuse wants versus needs.
The next thing I urge you to do is dream together and set goals for your finances. Do you dream of elaborate vacations? Or a big custom house? Or kids college funds full? DREAM. But, dream together. Discuss what is important to both of you and find a middle ground to establish goals. Dreaming together is a fun time, without pressure to really enjoy each other. From your dreams, set goals. Do you want to vacation once a year? Do you want to save for a new car? Set goals with time limits.
Set a budget. Yep, I said those 3 scary words. But here me loud and clear, this is NOT to control your spouse or get your way. Setting a budget does not have to mean giving up things you love. Start by writing out your income. Then write down all of your bills and payments. Next, set a budget for food, clothing, gas and other misc. expenses. The first 3 or so months you do this will take WORK for both of you, but then, it will become easy and second nature. By setting a budget, you establish a plan to reach your goals. You both sit down TOGETHER and decide on finances.
Keep up with your budget. As you spend throughout the month, make sure you are sticking to your budget. If something goes outside of the budget, make sure to check with your spouse before making the purchase then adjust the budget for the purchase.
Through the application of getting your finances in order, it is also easy to get so strict that you lose sight of enjoying what God has blessed you with as well. Make sure to take time to do things that you enjoy together and individually. For my husband and I, we love going to dinner and movie. Do you enjoy shopping? Does your husband enjoy golf? Make sure both of your hobbies are incorporated into your budget so that you each stay renewed and joyful.
If you are really looking for guidance in your finances and feel overwhelmed with where to start, I highly suggest going through a Dave Ramsey class. I cannot recommend it enough for couples. Because of this class, my husband and I have had ZERO money fights in our marriage. We have a plan, we work the plan together and we dream big together.
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