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It's a new calendar year, so you've probably been looking at your budget (or lack thereof) and already had a spat with your spouse. You think he's restricting the family's use of money; you think she doesn't care about the numbers. You want to pay off the last credit card; she wants to take a spontaneous weekend road trip.
Disagreements over the budget are normal. The key for working through them and coming out alive is learning how your different views on money can complement one another.
There’s no denying that men and women look at money differently. Typically, one spouse is a nerd and the other is a free spirit when it comes to the budget.
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Nerds enjoy putting together the monthly budget and calculating the numbers. They like that it gives them control, and they feel like they are taking care of their loved ones. Free spirits don’t want to have anything to do with the numbers and tend to “forget” about a budget. They may feel controlled or not cared for and appear irresponsible to the nerd. This can be a dangerous combination that leads to problems in your money and your marriage.
Thankfully, there are ways to work around these problems. The number-one cause of divorce in America is money fights. But when couples learn to agree on their money and are determined not to let it drive them apart, they form a unity that is crucial for a successful marriage.
The challenge in a marriage is to work through the different identities, ideals and values you each bring to the relationship. You win at marriage by losing your need to get your way in every battle. You get a happy marriage by giving up selfish desires in order to win together—you create shared visions and goals out of your own individual goals!
That’s why it’s important that both spouses be involved with creating the monthly budget. The partner with the natural gift can prepare the budget, but the decision-making must be done by both of you.
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When you sit down with your spouse to have a budget committee meeting, there are three rules that each of you must follow.
| Rules for the nerd:
|| Rules for the free spirit:
Remember that opposites tend to attract in marriage, so work together for maximum wisdom. When you have a budget that reflects both of your goals and ideals, you will experience fabulous unity in your marriage.
Dave’s powerful class, Financial Peace University, is perfect for couples to strengthen their communication about money—even if they’re not in debt. Dave even focuses an entire lesson on how we relate with money in different ways. Angie in Iowa had this to say about her experience:
"Almost every class helped us to look at our finances in a totally different way. It answered questions that we had in the past but were probably too embarrassed to ask. For the first time in 15 years of marriage, we are on the exact same page with our finances. This class has truly been a blessing to our marriage and our family."
This can be you! Financial Peace University classes are starting right now, so find one in your area!