Managing Money & Marriage

Managing money and marriage can be a delicate endeavor. Timing is important. Discussing a major financial decision right before bed may not be a good idea. My spouse and I made a pact to not discuss money on Sunday (God’s day) because we don’t want to set the day off in a negative direction. You also have to have money boundaries that work for the two of you. The two of you may decide on an amount of money (fun money) that you can spend without having to discuss it. Trying to micromanage your spouse’s spending is not going to have a positive outcome in most cases. It’s also important to discuss money goals. What do you both want to accomplish with the money you earn? Have you discussed retirement? Do you have adequate life insurance? If you have children….are you planning for college expenses? Do you have a budget? Which one of you crafts and maintains the budget? Not talking about significant money issues will NOT solve the problem. It’s not just what you say but HOW you say it. If things get too heated it’s OK to call a time out as long as you agree on another specified time to discuss the issue. Remember you are on the same team. Have you merged your two paycheck into 1 checking account? Do the two of you operate from separate accounts? What bills get paid from each account? The two of you may want to have a Money Date. This is an opportunity to discuss money issues specifically. You don’t have to go to a restaurant.  You can have the date on your front porch if you wish.

Money Talk Guidelines:

  • Use a civil tone of voice
  • Discuss one topic at a time
  • Agree to research a topic and bring it back later
  • Don’t play the blame game
  • Take responsibility for poor decisions
  • Be willing to forgive each other for mistakes
  • Be consistent in scheduling money talks (at least once a month)
  • Listen closely to each other
  • Remember that you both are on the same team

Discussing money issues in your marriage can be both challenging and rewarding. It is my hope that suggestions in this post can help guide your money conversations. What talking tips could you add to my list? Feel free to share your tips in the comments.

12 Money Goals

Do you have a goal for your money? Where do you want it to go? What do you want it to do? Without a goal for your money you are unlikely to succeed. Goals give you direction. Goals give you motivation. To succeed with money you need to have financial goals. Have you ever written a financial goal? Are you guilty of the “get it and spend it” mentality? Below are some suggested money goals for you to establish in your financial life.

  1. I will save $1,000 in an emergency fund.
  2. I will live by a budget. For a free budgeting resource visit
  3. Spend less than you earn.
  4. I will open a retirement account and invest $50 a month.
  5. I will talk regularly about the budget with my spouse.
  6. I will save up and pay cash for vacations.
  7. I will visit personal finance blogs to learn more about managing money.
  8. I will check books out of the library to learn more about managing money.
  9. I will schedule an appointment with a financial advisor to discuss my financial situation.
  10. I will purchase term life insurance to cover my family if the unexpected occurs. Great company with competitive rates:
  11. I will talk to my spouse and make sure he/she has adequate term life insurance.
  12. I will begin talks with my children about making, spending, saving, and giving money.

Continue reading “12 Money Goals”

Get Off the Spending Carousel!

The media in our culture invites us to spend money every hour of every day. Banks and businesses compete aggressively for your money. Billions of dollars are spent in marketing and advertising. We’ve all fallen prey to the media pressure to buy that newer model of whatever we desire. Below are some tips to help you get off the spending carousel.

1) Pay Cash – When you pay cash you spend less. Watching that cash leave your hand makes a lasting impression on your brain. Research says that we spend less spending cash than plastic.

2) Don’t go to the mall – If you don’t go there you can’t spend there.

3) Research your purchases – Stop buying things on impulse. There are good deals out there if you’ll be patient and weigh all your options. Sometimes a ‘slightly used’ item can be just as good as brand new (with less expense).

4) Try out a No Spend Weekend. Commit to spending no money on anything for a 3 day period. You might actually eat food off of your shelf. Isn’t that what you bought it for?

5) Don’t Compare Yourself to Others. There will always be someone that has more than you. Did you ever stop to think they may earn more than you? Did you ever stop to think they may be over their head in debt? Spend based on your needs and goals, not those of someone else.

The mantra of “I gotta have more” is ever present in our culture. Have you been listening and acting on this pressure? You can get off the spending the carousel. It begins with choice. Dave Ramsey shares that winning with money is 20% knowledge and 80% behavior. Are you ready to behave better with your money? I hope the tips I shared will help you begin to make necessary changes. If you have a tip you would like to add please share it in comments.