After 20 years of marriage, Dave and Ashley Willis have been through it all! This morning they joined us on Rise and Shine to share the lessons they have learnt about dealing with finances in a marriage.
It would come as little surprise to most couples to know that finances are a major stressor in any relationship. But did you know that in fact it is the second most common reason that couples divorce?
Finances are a huge issue in a marriage, and in this current season of continuing job losses there is more pressure than ever on couples and families to manage their money well.
“When a husband and wife fight about their finances, its usually not about money at all”, says Ashley. “It is almost always about communication. Couples need to work together to get on the same page when it comes to managing their budget and sharing their expectations”.
Dave agrees. “There are usually two types of personalities when it comes to money: the spender and the saver. Neither one is right or wrong, simply different. But couples need to learn to acknowledge each other’s perspective to create unity in their finances. They also have to agree to respect each other’s decisions.”
But no matter what financial stress a couple may be going through, nothing is more important than their marriage, their family, and their faith.
Dave & Ashley’s Podcast About This Topic
Ashley suggest one simple tool that has helped her and Dave over the years. “I encourage couples to set a spending limit”, she says. “Anything above that limit triggers a discussion between husband and wife to check in with each other before they spend. This allows them to be on the same page and can bring some peace to their financial discussions.”
Dave believes that pride often gets in the way of effective communication about money. “Both of you need to be in communication about the management of your finances. Perhaps one of you is more gifted in that area, or maybe it will alternate between you depending on the season of life you are in.”
“Remember, everything belongs to God. So, when you need to bring clarity to your financial situation, make decisions that honour your partner, and therefore honour God. Your goal is clarity and unity.”
Ashley agrees, and believes it also helps if both of you know exactly what is coming in and going out. “That way there are no secrets, and no misunderstandings. You can be open and honest with each other.”
Their best advice is to work together, pray about it and look for a solution that brings both of you the most peace.