My husband and I have been married for over 15 years now. Our love and money story starts with a one-sided budget-maker and a reluctant spouse. I always made a budget based on our previous spending. We never had much money for extras, and our income has always been variable.
The Little Things
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Whenever we would have extra money, he would spend it. It wasn’t big purchases, but lots of tiny purchases that would add up and soon we wouldn’t have extra and would be scraping by until the next influx of income. He hated feeling guilty for making a small purchase or having to ask for permission before he bought a cup of coffee and I hated looking at the budget knowing that we were going to have to stretch to pay our bills.
Fast forward to early 2017. We took a finance class at our church together with the idea that we wanted to finally get things on track. We were both committed (I was excited and he was willing) to working together. We started a budget that year based on our previous spending and he created his own budget lines for the things he enjoys purchasing. He felt like he had control and a voice in the spending, and I felt like I could finally start maintaining the budget I’ve been working to use for so long.
Emotional and Practical
We took the Love & Money course during the middle of this adventure. It gave us renewed enthusiasm and helped us commit more fully to one another. We loved the emphasis on communication and relationship building. We had the practical pieces already in place and this helped fill out the emotional side of the equation. We delved into why we do things the way we do and how we approach them based on our family history.
The B Word
We’re now at the end of our second year of budgeting. We both are so much less stressed because he doesn’t have to ask permission to spend money. If there is money in the budget, then he can spend it. I know that there will be money to pay the bills when I need it. We’ve managed to pay off over $12,000 of student loan debt and save over $8,000 toward a new car. It’s such a good feeling to know that we’re finally communicating our needs to each other and working as a team to meet our goals.
Here are resources to help you get started to being a stronger money team:
- Relationship Health Assessment: Gut check where you are with your relationship as you navigate managing your finances together.
- Choose 2 Change email series: An email series helping you adopt healthy money habits and become a stronger money team.
- 7 Days Devotional email series: 7 days of encouragement with your love, money and faith.