moolah, benjamins, loot, dough, greenbacks

there's all kinds of names for it, but there's no way around it. this world runs on money.

so it's no surprise that in marriage, it's a HUGE topic. and sometimes, shall we say, "heated discussions" ensue. there's lots of different ways i could discuss the issue of money in marriage, but i'll focus on the practical.  

1) don't be afraid to talk about how your parents spent money.
that's right, i said your parents.  it's easy for accusations to fly, and feelings to get bruised when we're discussing how our spouse spends, or defending how we spend.  but it's not quite so personal to talk about how our parents viewed money when we were growing up.  and in doing so it gives your spouse a lot of insight into why you make the decisions you do.

2) find help
although most of us are far wealthier than we think are compared to the rest of the world, we could all use some advice in the area of finances.  and there's no excuse for not finding that advice.  there's books, cds, podcasts, blogs, websites, and software all dedicated to helping you get "on track" when it comes to your finances. if you have now idea where to start go to www.daveramsey.com and click the link at the top of the page titled "new to Dave Ramsey?"

3) know where your money is going
"budget" is not a four-letter word. and it doesn't mean "not spending".  it simply means knowing where your money is going before it's gone.  DO IT!! whether you do it on paper, in a spreadsheet application, or some fancy computer software, DO IT!!  (and do it together with your spouse)

4) be generous
even Ebenezer Scrooge didn't want to be known as  a scrooge by the end of the story.  and in all honesty, i'm not even throwing this one in because Deb and I are currently in a process asking people to support our ministry with FamilyLife.  even if you aren't or don't want to give to our ministry, we still want you and your spouse to be generous people.  and save the excuses for why you're not, i've heard them all.   you'll thank me later.  be generous.

if money issues are a source of tension in your marriage, then you owe it to yourself, your spouse, and you kids to figure this money stuff out, and get on the same page. whether this is the first advice you've received on marriage, or if you've already been through FPU and just needed a refresher course i hope this has nudged you and your spouse in the right direction.