Marriage Tips for Couples

Healthy Marriage Tips

Healthy Marriage Pamphlet Series



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Have you ever fought over money with your spouse? If so, you are not alone. Money is one of the leading sources of conflict in most marriages. However the following tips can help you manage your money and marriage in a way that can strengthen your relationship rather than damage it.

1. Learn the two basic laws of the money harvest. First, if you spend MORE than you earn, then you reap financial stress. Second, if you spend LESS than you earn, then you reap financial peace.

It's obvious which law we should live by. Financial peace is much more desirable than financial stress. Why do the vast majority of Americans choose to live by the first law? In most cases financial stress builds up slowly over time while gratification from spending money is immediate. Many couples do not notice the increase in stress until their financial burden is overwhelming. Couples must decide together to exercise discipline in order to climb out of their financial problems. Unfortunately, many couples choose to blame each other instead of working together to solve their financial problems.

Choose as a couple which law you are going follow. Write down your choice and place it in your wallet or purse.

2. Learn the basics of money management. You can either learn about money mistakes ahead of time or you can learn about them as you make them. Invest as much time as you can educating yourself about managing money wisely. A good place to start is by reading the book The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason. Click here to order it from

3. Get out of debt & stay out of debt. Mitch Huhem said “I am willing to live my life like most people won't so I can live the rest of my life like most people can't.” Most people choose to go into debt early in life so they can live like people later in life. Those who take this path spend the rest of their lives struggling to keep up with their payments and lifestyle.

A better way is to sacrifice for a few years early in life. Invest the money from your sacrifices and only increase your standard of living using the money your investments produce. This path allows you to spend the rest of your life enjoying your lifestyle without financial stress.

It's never too late to make the changes that will help you get out of debt and stay out of debt. The sooner you make the changes the less painful they will be. Start by paying off your highest interest debt. Once paid off take that payment and use 100% of it to pay off your next highest debt. Continue this process until you are debt free.

This debt reduction plan only works if you stay committed to spending LESS than you earn.

Getting into debt can be done overnight but getting out of debt will take time. The debt will be paid one way or the other. By paying the debt off early you will not only save thousands of dollars but enjoy years of financial peace instead of financial stress.

4. Track your spending. In order to take control of your finances you have to know how you are spending your money. You can either do this by hand or purchase a software program that can help you.

5. Needs vs Wants. This area is the source of the most financial conflict in marriage. One spouse views a purchase as a need and the other spouse views the purchase as a want. Trying to convince your spouse the perceived need is really a want almost never works. Instead, ask your spouse to help you understand why he or she views the purchase as a need. When we feel understood the likelihood we will be willing to comprise significantly increases.

In reality, there are very few needs and limitless wants. A need is the most BASIC purchase that will keep you alive. EVERYTHING else falls into the want category. While meeting your BASIC needs will keep you alive, spending money wisely on AFFORDABLE wants can make life easier and more enjoyable.

6. Create a Monthly Financial Freedom Plan. 1. Start by writing down how much money you bring home each month. 2. Subtract 10% of that amount and place it in your retirement and rainy day accounts. Your rainy day savings account should only be used to replace money that you normally earn but due to job loss, illness, etc. are no longer receiving. You should build up a minimum of a three month rainy day savings account. 3. Subtract the amount to meet your BASIC needs for that month. 4. Subtract the amount you need to set aside each month to meet future unexpected expenses such as car repairs, home repairs, medical expenses, etc. 5. Subtract the amount you have both agreed on for debt reduction. 6. Subtract the amount of the AFFORDABLE wants you both agree on. 7. You and your spouse will rarely agree 100% of the time on how money should be used. Address these differences by dividing the remaining amount of money in half. This represents the discretionary money you can each manage as you individually see fit.
Your spouse will make mistakes with his or her half of the discretionary money, but so will you. By using this budget method the mistakes you both make will be ones you can pay for in one month rather than for years to come. Hopefully, both of you will quickly learn from your mistakes and manage your money in a way that will yield years of financial peace.

You will need to adjust your plan for the first few months, but will soon be able to accurately estimate the amount of money that should go in each category.

8. Strengthen Your Financial Willpower Muscles. Most of us have already been taught these principles but have found it difficult to live these principles. The key to living these principles is to strengthen your financial willpower muscles. Like any weight training program, these principles will be difficult and uncomfortable at first. Over time these principles will become easier to stick with and can help you achieve your financial goals. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said “That which you persist in doing becomes easier to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed, but that your ability to do it has increased.”

By using these tips you can significantly decrease the amount of marital conflict you experience over money and significantly increase your financial peace of mind.

Learn even more skills and information that can help you form and sustain a healthy marriage by taking a healthy marriage education workshop. To find one in your area visit the directory of marriage education programs at the SmartMarriages website by clicking here.

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