Because so many couples struggle to survive from day to day, it is difficult for many to plan ahead financially. Money problems can weigh relentlessly on a couple. If a marriage is weak to begin with, overdue bills escalate contention. Satan loves to ruin marriages through financial oppression. Jesus said a divided home will soon fall (Luke 11:17). When a couple has no financial plan, there is little to restrain spending. Many avoid discussing finances because it is an explosive subject. Resentment builds in a marriage when a couple can’t talk about money without fighting.
No one gets into debt accidentally, but playing “the blame game” won’t solve financial problems. Wise spending tends to draw a couple together, whereas out of control spending drives them apart. Two people, working together, can live more economically. Every person views money differently, but God’s Word tells us two can walk together in harmony (Amos 3:3). Positive financial strides can be taken if both stay in step. The Bible tells us two are better than one, for their labors will be rewarded (Eccl. 4:9-10). Being in agreement is the key to financial freedom.
The best way to stay out of debt is to make a budget and stick to it. Once you commit to a budget, you are on the road to financial freedom. A budget clearly reveals where your money is going. It provides accountability. It is an agreement concerning where the paycheck goes before it is cashed. Only by budgeting can spending priorities be established and controlled. It takes the emotion out of financial dilemmas because good decisions have been made in advance.
Budgeting includes tithing which should be your first budget item. Obedience in giving allows the Lord to open the windows of heaven and bless you (Mal. 3:10). Financial strength will result from years of careful spending and saving what the Lord has allowed you to use. Another fringe benefit of budgeting is the peace of mind you get while you are saving for your future.
Jesus said no one would think of building a tower without first sitting down and counting the cost (Luke 14:28). A budget is both a management and an evaluation tool. It deliberately restricts spending and assures money will be available for things that really matter. While having a budget may build a couple’s financial confidence, its success is directly related to its use. Any budget that works depends upon the commitment to stick to it. It should not breed a false sense of financial security or rule your life. Try out a budget you have both designed. If it doesn’t work well, talk it over and make adjustments.
Designing a financial strategy will promote profitable discussions and enhance marital communication. View your budget in terms of accountability rather than cold figures on paper. Budgeting allows you to redefine your marital priorities. It clarifies marital goals by helping you discover your mate’s values and desires for the future. Through budgeting your income, a couple will learn patience, self-control, sacrifice, prioritization and faithfulness to God and to each other. Make all budget decisions together, seeking the Lord for direction. Through effective financial planning, couples can have hope in the future God has planned for them (Jer. 29:11-13).