There are a handful of topics that can easily derail a couple and finances is near the top of the list. Sometimes the issue is most challenging because there is just not enough money to make ends meet. But for many, the bigger issue is disagreement with how best for a couple to manage their finances.
Most of us were influenced by what was modeled for us in our family of origin. I have known families who made an average amount of money and accumulated quite a nest egg. But looking at their lifestyle, you would have never known it. Others have manifested an image that says “I’m loaded” when in reality they lived on the edge of “broke” from month to month. Success comes not from one particular management style being necessarily right or wrong as much as it does from a couple getting on the same page with some basic principles.
Pastor Ted Cunningham writes about four steps to financial balance and success: earn, give, save, and spend. While this does not sound like rocket science, they are true foundational components to managing money. Most of us are able to earn a paycheck and have no shortage of things to spend it on. Giving is sometimes an area that needs work. But “saving” is a foreign word to many – which can lead to conflict.
As Cunningham states, “Our desire should be to produce, give, and save more than we consume. The fool spends everything he makes.” In other words, we need to “Make sure something goes in the bank before going shopping online.”
If finances challenge the peace and security of your relationship, maybe it is time to sit down with your partner and talk about these four components and how to best bring balance to your finances.