From a Fellow Wife. There is no specific “right way” for a godly couple to handle money issues. I love to give lots of different couple’s approaches so that wives can prayerfully consider different options and seek God’s wisdom for their own marriage and maybe have some ideas about how to respectfully approach the issue with their husbands:
April asked me to write a bit about how my husband and I handle our finances. I want to say that to my knowledge, there is no one certain way this has to be done. But this is what we do and what is working very well for us.
- First, let me paint you a before-things-changed picture:
The way we used to do finances was that *I* did them. I had the checkbook. I had all of the bills. I paid them or if there was not enough money, *I* decided which ones to pay. This was difficult for me. I was very capable of doing the clerical work. But the weight of making the decisions on what should be paid if there was a shortage in our finances really weighed on me. At times I would find myself worrying late at night about our bills when I should be sleeping. I gave our bills and our finances a lot of mental space.
It got to the point that I just could not do it any longer. I reached a place when the weight of dealing with the bills was just too much and was really stressing me out. Sometimes I would even cry because I was so upset and stressed over our finances. I would tell my husband that I was worried about these things and he would be unhappy because he doesn’t like for me to worry and he would feel badly and feel that perhaps he was not providing well enough. But I didn’t really know what to do about it.
It was also at this time that I was working on becoming a peaceful wife and was also reading about how many women turned the finances over to their husbands. I thought that sounded wonderful! I thought about the pros and cons of that situation but decided that the idea of less worry was very enticing!
So I told my husband that I just could not do it any longer and I needed him to either take over completely or take over the decision making and I would be the secretary. He chose option 2.
- Now, here is how we do our bills….
We have a bi-weekly meeting where we sit down and I have all of the financial stuff ready. (Bills laid out, envelopes, stamps, checkbook, calculator). I give him the stack of bills and then I write checks for whatever he decides is going to be paid. I tell him what I need for groceries or any other expenses I know of that I will need money for. (Gas, copays at a doctor’s appointment, etc). He is careful to leave that amount in checking for me to have. It is so much easier and better to just sit and write the checks for the bills he decided to pay rather than handle all of this all on my own.
I think my husband does so much better at making these decisions than I did.
For one thing, I come at doing bills and finances from an emotional (heart) viewpoint. I would think, “Oh, we have to pay this dr. I told them I would. They will be mad if we don’t pay this month.” Or I would think “I feel really sorry for our insurance agent. They are going through a hard time right now so I should pay this bill.” It sounds silly now but it is true that my emotions got totally wrapped up in doing the bills.
My husband is able to keep emotions completely out of it. He comes at bills and finances from a logical (head) viewpoint. If there is a question about what needs to be paid, he goes in order of priority. What is most important? What do we need? As he says, “What keeps us living?” He prioritizes. Mortgage, utilities and groceries come first. The other bills come second. I admire his wisdom in finances. And every time we sit down to do bills, I always think about how talented he is in this area and express that admiration and respect to him.
I was not good at prioritizing.
Not only did I come at bills with my emotions attached but I tried to pay it all and at times that was not possible. With this arrangement, I can relax and trust in him to make the best decisions for our family. There are times -very rarely- but there are occasional times when I feel a different decision than the one he makes might be better.
But here is what I do then:
I remind myself of how stressed I was when I had the bills on my own and how even if I don’t agree with a small decision he makes that this is still a better arrangement. I also sometimes mention that I might feel concerned about something in our finances but I STILL choose to follow whatever decision he makes. I can tell him my feelings and concerns and he welcomes that. Sometimes he agrees, sometimes he does not but I feel heard and I trust him to make the best decision for us.
This is working out beautifully for us. I feel so much better without the full weight of that responsibility on me! I love not having that burden any longer. And to my husband, it isn’t a burden or something that weighs him down like it did me. He is much better equipped to carry this load than I am. I love being sheltered from that worry and overwhelming weight of dealing with the finances all by myself.
There are a lot of different ways handling finances can be done. This is the one that is best for us. I hope this different perspective has been helpful to some of you.