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Money and Marriage: Bridging the Gap Between You and Your Spouse

marriage and money bridging the gap between spouses

Early on in your relationship money didn’t come up. And if it did the glasses of love dimmed out any differences.  Now you find yourself with a spouse whose money philosophy (or lack thereof) makes you want to scream.

If you’re the Spender in the relationship you probably liked the stability your Saver spouse brought to the table early on.  Or as the Saver the carefree attitude and spontaneity of your Spender partner gave you a sense of freedom you didn’t often feel on your own.  But now, you look at your polar opposite and wonder what the heck they are thinking.  The constant penny pinching and budget checking of your Saver make you feel like your suffocating.  And you see money flowing like water through the Spender’s hands and you feel a bit nauseous.

You’ve probably been opposite through your entire relationship but the reality of your differences in spending and saving didn’t show up until after “I do.”

Neither position is wrong.  God has created each of you, the Spender and the Saver.  I see couples who are opposites all the time and as I coach them I often marvel at how God can bring to people together and with Him in the middle create a union that somehow works even when you would never think so.  It takes commitment and an open mind but it can be done.

Often times couples see the negative side of their opposite-view spouse.  They stop seeing the stability or the spontaneity and see only restraint or over indulgence.  Then, as human nature would have it, they often give up on each other and settle in to be at constant odds with one another.  They forget they are a partnership that needs to work together seeing both the good and the “needs improvement” areas in themselves and each other.

How can you Spenders and Savers come together and work toward financial success?

Here are a few tips to bridge the gap:

Do a self-evaluation

Determining if you’re the spender or the saver can go along way to improving your communication.  Then, take a look at yourself and ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you areas that you need to renew your mind when it comes to money.  Why do you behave the way you do with your finances?  Do you hold on too tightly because of past hard times? Is fear of tomorrow holding you back to spend today? Are you too carefree because you don’t want to see past Friday night?  Are you afraid tomorrow will never come so you over spend today?  What are the root causes of these issues?  This Free Printable Marriage and Money Spender Saver Evaluation can help you identify which side of you lean toward.

free spender saver evaluation tool

Recognize the balance that can be

Like two ends of scale you can balance each other out.  But you have to see yourselves as a team.  Sometimes you can’t always wait until the biggest, best deal comes along.  “Praying about it” shouldn’t take 6 years.  (I’m preaching to the choir on that one). You might need a nudge from your Spender to get the ball rolling.  But you too Spender need to realize that your emotions can’t control your spending.  There are times when praying about it will reveal God has a different desire than you signing on the dotted line.  Your Saver can often save you from foolish purchases.  Pray and seek if God is telling you to wait or move ahead.

Don’t condemn and don’t play Holy Spirit Jr

Only Holy Spirit can change your spouse.  Condemning them for being too tight or too wild is not going to help. It will only alienate them.  Pray for them, pray with them, but don’t try to manipulate them into thinking differently.

Stop comparing your marriage

Social and religious norms can stress you out if your marriage and money aren’t measuring up.  Yes, the Bible says the man should be the head of his house and maybe in your circle of friends all of the moms clip coupons and just love to pinch pennies but in your house your husband does the clipping.  It’s okay.  If your husband isn’t yet the head of your house pray for him.  God will give you the strength and wisdom you need to guide your family until he is receptive.  (Be sure to see the above tip as well).  And girl, if he like to clip coupons more power to him!

Get unbias help

If you can’t seem to come together or even together you can’t seem to make the progress you want to it may be time to seek some unbias help from a third party.  Your pastor, a Christian counselor or a financial coach can help point out things you might not see and guide you in the right direction to reach your financial goals.  Sometimes all three are necessary.  If you’ve got root issues causing your over spending or extreme tightness a counselor can help with those spiritual issues and a financial coach can help with practical budgeting advice and accountability while your pastor covers you in prayer.

 {Free Marriage Self-Evaluation Tool}

Financial issues are consistently among the top reasons couples divorce.   It doesn’t have to be that way.  Your spouse’s differing style is something to celebrate. and your marriage is a beautiful union, a compliment to our Creator even in your financial differences.  Keep the lines of communication open, don’t be afraid to discuss your differences and remember to seek the Lord in all your major financial decisions.

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  1. This is such great advice! When we try to change our spouse, we are so focused on them that we forget to work on ourselves. Not only that, but the Holy Spirit will do a much better job that we ever could. Focusing on working as a team and remembering that God put us together is also a very helpful part of a happy marriage. We need to work harder at appreciating what we have right in front of us as opposed to what someone else has. Thank you so much for this post. When committed to God and your marriage, you can not only survive, but learn to thrive, even with money issues.

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