Sometimes, I’ll be randomly out, shopping or somewhere in public when I hear a snippet of conversation that sticks with me. That was the case today when I walked away from the pet food shop after buying cat food. There was a lady pushing a trolley with her son in it. She was on her way to the car when her husband approached and the woman said, ‘there’s Daddy!’ There was a brief exchange of conversation between father and son which I didn’t hear. As I walked past them to my car, I heard the wife say,
“Honey, have you got R20 for me?”
Without hesitating, the husband replied, ‘I’m sure I have.’
As I got in my car, I thought how telling those few words were about their relationship.
Money can be such a divisive issue in marriage – it’s the leader in marital conflict.
He could have said a number of things which would have also been quite telling. eg. “No”; “What do you want it for?” ; “I just gave you money – what have you done with it?”
But instead, he automatically said, ‘I’m sure I have.’
That made me think that the way they live their lives when it comes to money is “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours.”
There was no fighting over money. He would find R20 for her, even if it was in R5 coins!
He didn’t ask what the money would be for. He trusts her that if she asks for R20 it would be for good reason. He’s not a control freak needing to know what she is doing with their money.
Sometimes I hear and am told stories of what goes on in other people’s lives and it seems to be money that brings out the worst in people.
I read an article on Forbes.com written by Jennifer Ryan Woods. It was entitled 10 ways to prevent money from ruining your marriage. It was loaded with good advice such as starting off the right way but not overspending on the wedding! Full financial disclosure also came up – don’t hide any financial secrets. Get on the same page. Understand each other. Maintain a budget. Have ground rules for spending. She even mentioned the golden rule.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Financial pressure puts a huge amount of stress on a marriage.
For Mike & I, there have been a few financial rules:
- Pay a tithe.
- Pay tax.
- Be generous.
- Don’t get into debt.
- Spend less than you earn.
- Earn your keep!
In regard to ‘earn your keep’, Mike has always wanted to me to do something that will keep me even a little bit ‘financially viable.’ When the children were tiny, I worked part time, one night a week in nursing and then half day. Over the years, I found a number of low earning positions that kept me feeling I was useful.
It’s worked for us.
These are the days!
Keep the smile going!
God bless you!
In His Grip,
Helga xx 🙂