March 11, 2014
Filed In: Marriage
Finances are central to our lives. Money is how we buy the things we need, and do the things we love. Having money can be a great thing, but it can also be a tremendous burden. If you don’t take the time to decide what you’re going to do, you’ll soon find you don’t have any. In your marriage, working with your wife to determine how you’ll spend your money is one of the most important things you can do together.
When we were dating, Alison introduced me to Dave Ramsey. Dave is a biblical financial counselor who is fairly well known in the financial world as a relentless advocate for living a debt-free life. Dave’s main point is this: if you take the time to plan for your money, you’re going to be set up for a great life.
Starting with the first day of our marriage, Alison and I have always worked together on our finances and it has made our marriage better for it.
The number one cause of divorce in our country is money problems. That makes this subject a top priority. Dave presents the concept of a “Budget Committee” as a way of coordinating the allocation of resources. The Budget Committee is simply you and your wife. You sit down at least once a month and decide what bills and purchases will be funded that month. You and your wife both have 1 vote and you each have veto power. If you both don’t agree on something, then nothing gets done on that subject right now.
Here’s what I like about the Budget Committee:
- It promotes transparency. There are many aspects in a marriage that an abusive spouse can take and turn into a weapon. Money is a big one. By meeting regularly as a Budget Committee, both spouses know where the money is, where it came from, and where it’s going.
- It keeps you both in control. Too many spouses hide money problems from each other. Not only is this dishonest, hiding a financial burden can be overwhelmingly stressful. By working together, you can both see where the problem areas are, develop a plan to fix it, and then execute.
- It forces you to be a mature adult. Money is finite, so you can only do so much with it. By putting together a monthly financial plan, you have the “need versus want” discussion and spend your money on the right things.
Setting up the Budget Committee can be challenging if both spouses don’t buy in to the concept, but it has the potential to take your marriage from good to great.