How To Talk About Money
By bro Lee Tian Seng
Most couples believe that they are very much alike in their beliefs and attitude about everything. This is far from the truth. For instance, a couple could differ in their attitude towards money. One could view money as a source of security and thus is a saver of money, but the other views money as a resource that should be spent rather than saved. One could believe strongly that saving and spending money for children’s education is a priority, while the other believes that saving money for retirement is a priority. Such differences are the cause of conflicts over money in the family. Therefore, couples need to be aware of their values, beliefs and goals about money and start to talk about it.
Firstly, couples need to talk about what money means to them. It would be easier to negotiate concerning money matters if couples understand each other’s beliefs. God teaches us concerning the proper attitude toward the use of money:
(1) We need to understand that God blesses us with money, since everything comes from our heavenly Father.
1 Timothy 6:7 – For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
(2) We are to be good stewards of money and not to use it selfishly or carelessly, as it is taught in the Parable of the Talents.
Matthew 25:19 – After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
(3) We are to provide for ourselves and our families.
1 Timothy 5:8 – But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
At times, couples need to decide on how much to spend on a particular item, such as buying a car or doing a house renovation. What God teaches us on the proper attitude towards the use of money is a good guide to work with.
Secondly, couples need to share what they see as important and a priority in their family. What are the short-term and long-term goals? An example of a short-term goal is to support one of the spouses to complete a study or training for three years so that he or she can find employment or have better job opportunities. Examples of long-term goals are saving for children’s future education or having a medical insurance for the family. If couples agree on these goals, then they should support each another in setting aside money for them. Having common goals help couples to know where their money needs to be invested in. Just like how we should be investing in heavenly treasure.
Matthew 6:21 - For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Thirdly, couples need to negotiate and compromise on money matters so that it will not be a subject of constant quarrels and arguments. Things will work out well if couples talk about their differences and agree to give and take.
Colossians 3:14 - But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.