Finances are a notoriously tough subject for couples to discuss, but talking about them is actually good for your relationship!
A survey conducted by Ramsey Solutions found topics like money goals and dreams are important for spouses to talk about. 87% of couples who said their marriage is “great” also said they and their spouse work together to set long-term goals for their money, compared to just 41% who said their marriage is “okay” or “in crisis.”
Keeping those money conversations going seems to also be important. Those who said they have a “great” marriage are almost twice as likely to talk about money daily or weekly compared to those who say their marriage is “okay” or “in crisis.”
(source: Dave Ramsey/Ramsey Solutions, “Money, Marriage, and Communication”)
One of the tough money conversations couples have to navigate is whether to tithe, and how much. Many couples have shared with us they feel as though they don’t have enough money to tithe and they wonder if it’s even that important.
The first question we would ask you is: Have you and your spouse gone over your budget in great detail so you know exactly what’s coming in and how much is going out? Have you really taken a strong look at the details of your budget?
Cash flow can be a real drain on a couple. The very first step is to really dig into the details of your budget. Often it is best to have a third party involved, too, because he or she might help you pinpoint areas where you’re spending that you don’t even think about. Another option is to spend thirty days tracking every expense you make, no matter how small. Take a little spiral notebook and every time you spend cash for something, write it down. That can be a real eye opener and help you see where you might be bleeding money.
But let’s go one step further. Maybe you’ve done that exercise and trimmed your budget to the core; there’s nothing else that is discretionary in your budget. What we’ve told people is that God wants you to be out of debt. He wants you to be debt free. Debt robs you of the joy of giving and actually puts you in the position where you’re the servant. Given that scenario, there are two areas of resources that you have—time and money. If you cut back some on the resource of money that you’re giving to your church, maybe you can give of your time and talents. Then get your financial debts paid off so that you can joyfully tithe once again.
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It’s available in our online bookstore!