Yesterday my husband and I celebrated 12 years of marriage which is a feat considering the times we live in. But I began reminiscing over “married life” and how various money “matters” affected our marriage.
From having enough just for the two of us, to working hard to pay off everything to purchase a home. From having to buy “new” furniture to fill the home, to creating a new credit card bill after just paying all of them off to buy the home. From coming home to work as a part-time contractor after giving birth to our 2lb 15 oz, 29 week preemie, to finding out when he was 7 months old that we are expecting another little one while living off one and a half of a salary. To having medical bills, more baby bills, daycare, credit cards, new car note, and having a third child, there were many of days where we (or at least I) did not know how we would make it. But 12 years in, I can say “We Made It”. We made it with the fall outs, temper tantrums, and “Why Me?” (and mind you, I am talking about myself and not the kids, lol). Was it hard? Yes! Is it hard? Yes. But throughout these 12 years, no matter what “matters” have come into play concerning our money, looking back, it only made our marriage stronger.
Here’s some of a few lessons we learned about money in our marriage:
- We have learned that money matters! I don’t care how spiritual you are, when there is a money issue, there is a marriage issue. Can I get a witness, ladies? Not having enough can cause stress and having too much can lead to overspending and if not careful can get you back into the same bad money traps you were in before (Trust me, we know from experience). Money and the lack of communication around money, is the number one reason marriage end in divorce. So, money matters. But what we have learned (and still learning) is not to let the money manage our marriage, we manage the money…which leads me to my next point.
- We have learned we have to talk about money, even when we don’t have enough. And trust me, after being married for 12 years and having three kids, there were many days when the money was “few, far and in between”. But as painful as it was, we had to talk about it. And not just talk about it, but pray about it. And not just pray about it, create a plan for it. Again, “if you do not tell your money where to do, you will wonder where it went.” We had to create a plan and tell our money what to do so when circumstances come up that were out of our control (as they will) we could a) alter the plan temporarily to make it work for our current situation or b) use the plan (i.e. emergency savings) to fix our current situation, but then quickly get back to the original plan.
- We have also learned that we speak different money languages. Because I am a planner by nature, it is really hard for me to make a rash purchase when it has not been planned, particularly when it is a “big ticket item”. I am what you would call “Security Seeker” based on the Money Couple’s definition. Money is security for me, so getting out of debt would be my top priority. My husband, however, is more of a “Saver”. If something catastrophic happens to our finances, he wants to ensure we are covered via our Emergency Fund. And we both have “Spender” tendencies, hence, the reason why I write about “Getting Out of Debt” (we got ourselves in it, now we have to dig ourselves out of it). But we balance each other out!
- We also learned that regardless of how much we have or don’t have, we can make it through the ups, the downs, the enoughs, the more than enough, the how will we ever pay this off and the “Yes, we paid it off!” because we did it TOGETHER! Why? Because we both have learned “two are better than one”. My husband recently presided over a wedding ceremony and quoted Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and it speaks to what we have learned. When one is down, the other one can lift him/her; when life hits, both can fight back. And when you have a three stranded cord (husband, wife and God), it is not easily broken.
So happy 12th Anniversary to my husband! I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to “do life” with him. Although we have had many “matters” with our money in our marriage, it is good to know money does not manage our our marriage–we manage it. #marriageovermoney #12yearsawife
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.