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Keeping money stress out of marriage

By Kyle Phillip, GuideStone Financial Resources

One of the top stressors in most American households is money. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Although you and your spouse were likely raised to have different views on money and personal finances, you can take some simple steps to help ensure you’re on the same page and headed for a peaceful financial future.

  1. Pray for wisdom and unity in your financial decisions.
  2. Openly discuss your current finances and set expectations for the future.
  3. Create a plan to help you reach your shared goals.

Openness and honesty are crucial to any healthy relationship — and this certainly extends to your finances. So make some coffee, grab a seat and have a straightforward conversation about your financial union.

Here are some helpful questions to start the discussion:

  • What debt do you currently have?
  • How do you plan to make space for giving?
  • What are your typical spending habits? (You should be able to say, “My spouse is a penny pincher when it comes to _____, but spares no expense on _____.”)
  • How long do we plan to live in this apartment/house?
  • How often should we go out to eat versus cook at home?
  • When we need to buy another car, will we buy new or used or lease? How do we feel about car payments?
  • Will we both work or will one of us stay home to take care of the kids one day?

Once you’ve established some common ground, it’s time to create a shared budget. One of the most important aspects of planning a home budget is determining where your money is going. Resources like Mint or You Need a Budget can also help you stay on track toward your goals.

Communicating openly and frequently will help secure your marriage and your money. And remember, God gives one talent to some and 10 to others. It’s important that we understand that it’s all His — no matter what we have. We aren’t called to worry over money; rather, we are called to be good stewards of what God has given us.

About the author: Kyle Phillip has been a GuideStone® financial advisor for the past seven years. During his free time, Kyle enjoys spending time with his family and running after his 18-month-old daughter.

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