Marriage Musings

Falling down the rabbit hole of marriage

When two become one…the weird math of marriage

on April 12, 2010

When two people get married that means two people are bringing all of their belongings and trying to combine them into one harmonious space. The difficulty I faced is that most of the stuff we own came with me. It has been an adjustment to change my thinking from this is my (chair, bookshelf, fill in the blank) to it is ours.

One combination that has not been a struggle is combining our finances. A couple should organize their finances in the way that works for them but I think the best way is to have the money shared between the two, even if both spouses work. Any money that we make is put into a shared account. We know how much we have all together and all of our bills are paid out of that account. If one or both of the people come from a family who is not good with money, it ensures that both know how much money is coming in and where it is going out.

Making a budget is an important part of this process. I think it is important that both are involved with the finances. There are many who say that money is a major issure in marriage. By working together, it shares the burden and keeps both people in the loop. Each person should have a say in how their money is spent, but first ensuring that anything that needs to be paid is getting paid. Just like every other part of the relationship, there needs to be some give and take. Allow each person some “fun money” that they can use to buy what they like without having to ask the other.

Money can be a stressful part of marriage if it is allowed to overtake everything else. Like Richard Foster mentions in his book The Challenge of the Disciplined Life:Christian Reflections on Money, Sex & Power, money is not benign. Approach it with a wary attitude and use it for good, do not let it destroy your relationship. Keeping God in the middle of your relationship, means keeping him in the middle of your finances too. He will provide what is necessary, we do not need to worry about the rest.

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2 responses to “When two become one…the weird math of marriage

  1. Christine says:

    My husband and I are reading the book, “No Sweat, NO Debt!” by Steve Diggs and it is very good. Having been married 23 years, we have, over the years, implemented many of the suggestions, including the envelope system. It has never failed us. We budget the amount we are spending in each field (grocieries, gas, entertainment, misc, repairs and household) and put the money for standard bills (utilitites, insurance, payments) in the checking account. The checkbook gets used on payday, has vertually no money left in it after that and sits on the desk. the envelopes are used for the more discretionary purchases.

    Another suggestion he made in the book is to have a decided amount that must be discussed before spent. . .ie. . . I want to purchase a piece of furnature, it is $400, we must discuss it, he wants to buy a (nother) car – it’s $500 we discuss it. Interestingly, when we read the book recently, we hadn’t discussed how much was too much to spend without consultation- for years . The book prompted us to discuss it, and low and behold it was about $200 in each of our minds. Now, when we first got married it was more like $20, because we had no money! So another key to money and marriage is to be in constant communications about it.

    • I definately agree with that. Just the ways things started to work out I was doing pretty much all of the money stuff. When sat down and talked about it and now we try to go over it once a week (balance check book etc). It has helped a lot and took a lot of stress off of me. Another thing I enjoy about marriage is we can share the responsibilities. Life is easier when it is shared with another person.

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