Families, communities, and nations are stronger when financial information is known by all who are in leadership positions. Elder Marvin J. Ashton quoted a study by the American Bar Association that indicated that “89 percent of all divorces can be traced to quarrels and accusations over money.”
One way to achieve oneness with a
spouse on finances is to discuss finances while dating. In their textbook
titled Fundamentals of Family Finance – Living Joyfully within your Means,
Jeffrey Hill and Bryan L. Sudweeks discussed this topic. In chapter 13 Marriage
and Money, the authors listed lots of questions to discuss with a potential
spouse. Some of those questions are as follows:
Are you a saver or a spender?
What is your net worth?
What is your attitude about debt?
What is your attitude about financial help
What is your credit score?
Do you currently have and live within a
budget? If so, what are your living expenses each month?
How are you paying for your college
How do you foresee sharing finances and
assets with your spouse after marriage?
How many children do you desire in hour
What is your expectation about who is
going to earn the money in your family?
What do you think about tithing and other
The authors taught that the purchase
of “the engagement ring is the first major financial decision that you will
make related to your marriage” (p. 177). The decision on the ring should be a
joint decision. The second big expense is the wedding budget, and couples
should avoid going into debt to pay for a wedding.
The authors gave four principles for
handling money in marriage: (1) Spouses should be equal partners in financial
decisions. (2) There should be total trust and transparency between marital
partners. (3) Couples should work together to reduce and eventually eliminate
debt. (4) Couples should counsel with the Lord in all thy financial doings.
In addition, the authors gave six
practices for handling money in marriage: (1) Do your budget together and
review it frequently. (2) Make major purchases together. (3) Agree to spending
limits. (4) Sleep on big purchases. (5) Deal with financial disagreements
constructively (remember H.A.L.T. – hungry, angry, lonely, tired). (6) Both
spouses should have some mad money to spend on anything they desire without a
need to account for it.
Marital partners can strengthen
their marriage by getting on the same page with finances. By following the
authors’ suggestions, they can strengthen their marriage, family, community,