In a marriage, finances are often seen as a place where you can win or lose. Many women spend a great deal of time trying to wield the upper hand in this area because they don’t understand their husband’s financial philosophy and don’t appreciate the way he manages money.
Whether you see your husband as a cheapskate or a spendthrift, you may think it seems logical to counter his approach in order to balance him out. If you decide to beat the cheapskate by talking him into buying something or to conquer the spendthrift by nagging him into saving, your celebration is likely to be both lonely and brief.
Scripture says that there is joy in giving, in honoring and in loving. When you are being good to your husband on purpose, you think in terms of what he prefers. You try to understand his philosophy of money and learn to respect him in spite of, or maybe because of, it.
You will be happiest when you have the attitude that your husband’s happiness is one of your greatest joys—when you recognize his wins as your wins, too. Pray for this attitude. Often, the inexplicable result of your prayers is that God uses the attitude He gives you to bless you in ways you could never imagine.
PHILOSOPHIES OF FINANCES Money is much more than just legal tender or something to exchange for what is desired. In some sense, your husband feels as if the money represents who he is, since he traded part of his life to get it.
Spending habits are really statements about him. They say what he values and how he relates to his environment.
Consider the philosophies of money management that follow, and choose the one that best reflects your husband’s attitude about finances–the Saver, the Fun Addict, the Status Seeker, the Artist and the Aspiring Millionaire. Then respect your husband by choosing to look at why he spends money where he does.
The Saver. A saver’s goals are control and security. There is much power in withholding. It eliminates risks and minimizes vulnerability. At worst, a saver can use power to frustrate your hopes; but, on the other hand, a saver can provide valuable caution and accumulated resources when needed.
So, how do you thrive in a marriage to a saver? If you are also a saver, little negotiation is required. However, if you are naturally inclined to “shop ’til you drop,” you may have to recall the way you originally interpreted his attitude about finances.
No doubt there was a time when you were actually attracted to the stability of a saver–he seemed to be very mature and have good business sense. You weren’t wrong then. You just looked at it differently. Look at it again that way, and the temptations you have to call him cheap may go away.
A saver may relax a bit if he is totally convinced that you consider him much more important than his goods. Even if the saver doesn’t loosen up right away, by showering him with attention, appreciation and love you can make the wait much more fun.
The Fun Addict. If you married your husband because he was a fun guy and he never changed, you need to respect–look again at–his thinking. A fun addict thinks the slogan “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” is the wisest saying in the world.
A fun addict is likely to frustrate you because it seems as if he just “blows” money. He’s the kind of guy who sees no reason at all to keep a life insurance policy when cashing it in would provide enough money to buy two snowmobiles before the last snow of the season melts.
“After all, you said you wanted us to spend more time together,” he’ll happily explain.
How can you thrive in a marriage to a fun addict? If you are a fun addict, too, then you probably really do enjoy your husband. However, two people who see money only as a means to play can easily come to financial ruin. So, before you go have fun, minimize your chances of poverty: Cut up every credit card you have, pay your bills on time and then play with the remaining cash.
Often, however, it is the serious woman who is drawn to the “fun” man. If that sounds like your situation, the best you may be able to do is get the absolute necessities taken care of and then relax. A fun addict is not going to be interested in a budget.
However, he may be quite willing to enjoy a certain amount (meaning the most that can be spared, not the least you can possibly agree on) that can be spent any way he wants, whenever he wants, without your rolling your eyes. A fun addict adds zest and perspective to life. Enjoy him.
The Status Seeker. A status seeker is always bidding for approval. Voted the one most likely to pick up the check, he always gives the impression that he is running for political office. The status seeker will wait to sense the direction in which the majority of people are about to go; then he will try to get in front of them.