Establish a mutually agreeable limit on discretionary spending. By setting a maximum amount you each can spend without discussing it with the other spouse, you’ll remove the pressure of having to discuss every minor purchase and learn how to work together on plans for major purchases.

Set up three bank accounts.  If you establish one joint checking account and two individual savings accounts, you’ll be able to manage most of the money in your household budget together, while also giving each other the freedom to make some discretionary financial decisions on your own. You can each deposit an agreed-on portion of your monthly household income into your separate savings accounts on a monthly basis, and then either leave it there as savings or withdraw it to spend – however you like.

Set waiting periods. When you don’t agree on whether or not you all should spend an amount that requires a mutual decision (because it exceeds your individual spending limit), you can wait for a certain length of time before making a decision about the expenditure in question. Use that waiting period to pray individually for guidance about the decision, and then meet after the time is up to discuss how you each sensed God leading you. Usually, God will bring you into unity during that time, but if not, the husband then can make the final decision, being careful to keep the wife’s best interests in mind.

Fully disclose your financial information. Don’t withhold any financial information from each other, since doing so damages valuable trust between you. Every month, thoroughly discuss how each of you has spent or saved money in the previous month as you go over your household budget and bills. Explain why it was important for you each to make the individual financial decisions you made, so you both can grow to understand each other better.

Fully disclose your emotions. Don’t hide your feelings from each other; be honest about your emotions, since doing so helps you appreciate each other’s values and perspectives on money. Discuss negative emotions, such as feeling frustrated about not being able to spend money on something you value or not being able to save enough money to meet a certain goal. Discuss positive emotions, too, such as why you’re excited about a particular opportunity to either save for something or spend on something.

You and your spouse will always have the personality differences God gave you, but you can put an end to financial conflicts in your marriage by spending and saving in ways that honor God and each other!

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: angels@aboutguide.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.

Publication date: January 23, 2013