Making, having, and spending my money was very important to me because hearing the words, “There’s no money”, growing up made me determined to always have money; money that was mine to use as I wanted.

Then I got married, and money became an issue. My husband was of the mind that he should decide how I spent my money and made me feel uncomfortable with what he called my “frivolous expenses”. I felt that it was money I had made from a job I had gotten by myself, so he didn’t get to have a say about how I spent it. As you can imagine, we experienced some turbulence when it came to money.

Looking for a way to get us out of that mess took us to the Bible, to that Scripture that seems to explain everything when it comes to marriage:

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

Reading this Scripture helped us to calm down and talk things through. I explained to him my mindset about money, and he explained his. We agreed to

  • Always tithe and give to the partnership in the church
  • Always set aside money for church offerings and gifts
  • Always save a certain percentage for an agreed-upon goal
  • Always set aside something for ‘flexing’
  • Always tell each other when we get money, how much it is, and if we have plans other than what is agreed on for the money
  • Be open with each other about finances: we are a judgment-free zone.

Every marriage has the thing that works for them when it comes to money: some couples advise that you have a joint account, but others don’t, and it is okay to try a few things to find out what works for you. What is important is that you’re open with each other about your finances, understand each other’s financial strength, and work TOGETHER to make sure that you own your finances, not your finances owning you.

When it comes to marriage and money, the priority is God and what He says about it. My husband understood my need to decide how I spend what I earn; I understood his views about spending, and we met in the middle. Money shouldn’t tear apart what God has joined together.

Are you having trouble managing finances in your marriage? Have you tried working it out yourselves to no avail? Try going for couples’ counselling or marriage counselling – and if you are here, you are already in a good place to start!

Nguhiden Jessica Gar is a freelance creative professional and fiction author, who spends more time reading than writing. She’s happily married to her husband, Benjamin, and dreams of the day she can have a room filled with floor-to-ceiling shelves covered in books. You can read her work and contact her on Medium.