By Dave Willis
I recently read a report that listed “financial stress” or “disagreements about money” as one of the top two reasons for divorce. Financial pressure can certainly squeeze a husband and a wife in some very unique ways, and if the couple can’t find unity around a financial plan, money troubles can become a wedge that drives them apart. Financial stress is a factor in almost every marriage at one point or another, and how you choose to deal with it can make a tremendous difference in the long-term health of your relationship.
Ashley and I can relate to this in our own marriage. In recent years, we’ve been unified in our financial goals, but in the early years, our lack of a financial plan created immense stress. We were young and in love and we naively thought love alone was enough. We learned the hard way that credit cards aren’t the same thing as money and debt takes away freedom.
Digging our way out of financial debt from our early years of marriage took time and it took a disciplined plan, but most importantly, it required unity. Ashley and I had to resolve to be on the same page when it came to money (and everything else for that matter). In retrospect, I’m thankful for those early, hard lessons, because working through them together actually strengthened our marriage.
We still feel the pinch of financial pressure at times, because as kids get older, they keep getting more expensive! When the pressure comes or an unexpected bill shows up in the mailbox, we try to take a deep breath and remember the hard-earned lessons from early in our marriage.
7 Ways to Remove Financial Stress From Your Marriage
If you are in a season of financial pressure in your marriage, please remember these principles. I believe they could help your marriage as much as they’ve helped mine. In no particular order…
Financial Stress Removal Tip #1. Remember that your spouse is always more important than your money.
First and foremost, you’ve got to remind yourself and remind each other that the marriage is more valuable than any financial matters. You can’t put a price tag on your marriage or your family, so decide in advance that money struggles won’t come between you.
Financial Stress Removal Tip #2. Fight for unity instead of fighting against each other.
Decide that unity is more important than “winning.” We all have a desire to “win,” which essentially just means getting our way. In marriage, it’s never worth getting your way at the expense of your spouse. You’re on the same team, so you’re either going to win together or lose together. Work to develop a set of goals where you both can win. You will both most likely have to give up some wants and some preferences along the way, but those minor sacrifices are well worth the investment into the health of your marriage.
Financial Stress Removal Tip #3. Aggressively eliminate debt.
The Book of Proverbs in the Bible is full of practical wisdom related to money. Proverbs tells us that debt is a form of slavery because it removes our freedoms, so we should avoid it, and if we’re in it, we should relentlessly work to get free of it. Dave Ramsey’s“Financial Peace University” book and/or course is a great resource to help you start the process of getting out of debt and truly finding financial peace in your marriage.
Financial Stress Removal Tip #4. Develop a plan and stick to it.
The word “budget” can be a scary word if you’ve never really had one before. Don’t look at a budget as a prison, but as a path to freedom. It’s pre-deciding what the family’s primary needs and desires are and then allowing your money to reflect those values without getting distracted by that shiny new thing at the mall. You can also grow your money by starting investing as little as $5 check this Stash review to know more. Make sure your plan includes saving because having a cushion of savings will help prevent future stress. The free app called “Every Dollar” is a great resource to help you get started with a plan.
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Source: Church Leaders