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Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

Marital Money Troubles? Find Peace with These Tips

  • Pam and Bill Farrel Authors, The Marriage Code
  • 2009 10 Oct
  • COMMENTS
Marital Money Troubles? Find Peace with These Tips

Ever fight over money? All of us want to have the things that are important to us. For this reason, a budget is also an expression of your personality and motivational style. Consider these four money motivation styles:

Inner Drive #1: Authority — For those who are motivated by having authority, money is power. It represents options and opportunity.

These individuals are exciting to be around because they are highly productive, visionary, focused, and fearless. They are hard working, hard-driving people who have the capacity to handle large budgets and large challenges, but often take large risks. With spiritual depth and maturity, they can accomplish much for a family, a marriage, a community or a church. The danger for those motivated by authority is the pursuit can become so important that people slip down their priority list. One compromise might be to set aside a certain amount each month to save toward the big dreamer's long term goal while a stable amount is used for family needs.

Inner Drive #2: Attention -- Money makes memories. Money is all about people.

This person spends money to make memories. The shortcoming is they like to appear like they have a lot of money—whether they do or not! They love to spring for fun, trips, shopping or meals out.  As a result, they are very generous; they will give you the last crumb off the table and the shirt of their own back.

Your family finances work out easier if this person is given the freedom to work very hard to earn extra money that is set aside as discretionary funds to do with as they see fit to enhance relationships. The solution to the ever pressing inner need to spend money is to picture your most important relationships at the point of every purchase, realizing that sometimes saying "No" would please the recipient more than the gift itself.  For the spouse married to the generous heart, create a line item discretionary amount he or she can spend without consulting you.

Inner Drive #3: Acceptance — This person purchases peace. The goal is to create as simple a process toward money or resources as possible.  

When the money is there, this type is very cooperative. If finances are tight, they get stubborn because they feel like a crisis is being created. If the family is spending less than they are making, this person relaxes. If, however, more is being spent than they earn, this person will grow to resent the spending habits of his family. This spouse has a remarkable ability to simplify things when it comes to money. They remind us that life is not all about money. You will find your marriage is better when you commit to a savings account because it helps this motivational style relax. 

Inner Drive #4: Accuracy -- This person is all about a system and they are emotionally attached to the process. When a budget is set, they take the budget literally. So if the budget says $50 for groceries per week, they mean $50 -- not $55 and not $60. However, because they love managing money and resources, they often have money and resources to manage! They are savers, planners and investors (as long as the investment is prudent and safe). This is the spouse that may say "I love you" with snow tires!    

This person will make sure you are never without funding for your life, but cooperating with the budgeting plan might be a challenge. The key to working things out is to discuss ahead of time any foreseen changes. This person also needs consistent encouragement, so daily expressions of appreciation go a long way.

By discussing, then budgeting in a way that includes your motivation, there will be less arguments. No money motivation style is right or wrong as long as you keep in mind Biblical mandates of respect, honor, love and desire to create a spirit of unity by valuing the way God wired your mate.    

October 20, 2009

*Listen to Pam and Bill on Focus on the Family radio Oct 21-22.

For more information on money and marriage see  The First Five Years by Bill and Pam Farrel, or their soon to be released book, The Marriage Code. www.farrelcommunications.com.