Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The M Word

No the M word is not marriage.
M is for Money

'I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay...money, money money, must be funny...'

Name the band who sang those lyrics.

Of course it would be a lot more fun here to discuss the music of Abba than it would be to talk money, because really what isn't??? But my A-Z Blog Challenge theme this month is marriage, so discuss it we must.

Technically money is one of those topics that should be discussed prior to marriage, but it's also one that comes up on a pretty regular basis once you've tied the knot.  Ha-that might be an understatement of gargantuan proportion.

Hubs and I talked just a very little bit about money prior to getting married, mostly in the sense that we'd definitely be needing some. I'm only half kidding. We each had college degrees, our first real jobs, automobiles, and small checking accounts. Very small.

Oh, and love but you can't live on that!

We joined our meager checking accounts when we got married, and that's worked for us. What's mine is his, what's his is mine, and that's how it's been since the day we said I do. We began our life together living in a modest apartment furnished on the cheap, put money into savings accounts, bought insurance, worked hard, and planned for the future.

In 1984 most of our friends who married were in similar positions. Back then young adults didn't necessarily feel like they needed to have all their ducks in a row regarding home ownership and hefty bank accounts in order to commit. We just got married and figured together anything was possible.

'For richer for poorer...'  
We hoped for the former, but expected some of both. 

I know in the year 2014 young adults have a different mindset, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with having money in the bank, or owning a home before you marry. I'm just saying it's not essential, and those things don't guarantee happiness or satisfaction within a marriage.

What I do think helps happiness along is knowing if your intended is a saver or a spender, and also being honest about which category you fall into. 

It's understanding who pays the bills on a monthly basis, who manages larger investments, and what will your budget look like.  Will you take vacations? Give money to your church and/or causes close to your heart? Tuck money away for the college education of children not yet conceived? 

It's talking about your hopes and dreams and plans for the future, and how finances or the lack thereof, will help or hinder those plans. 

In almost every survey taken, or study conducted on the top stressors in marriage, money problems rank in the top three, often taking the number one spot.

Hi Girls-

Have an honest conversation about the M word before you get married. 
And keep having honest conversations as the years roll by.

Mom (and Dad)

No hubs doesn't blog here, but I know he'd say the same.


  1. So much good advice here. It's hard to always agree about where it should go, but if a couple can talk openly about it and have some give and take, they can save themselves much grief and hard feelings.

  2. Very good advice! My hubby and I also went into marriage with the notion "what's mine is his; what's his is mine." I think when you marry you have to love the person so much that you WANT to give him yours… if not, it's a control issue. It can become very damaging. Well said.

  3. Great advice! I have to say when I got married in 1988 we didn't have that conversation and I don't remember getting any advice on this matter. I do remember it being really hard to go from buying shoes just because to running it by my hubby.

  4. That's our 1985 Saab. The grey car is my Grandmother's 1971 Impala. The most sensitive brakes on any car ever.

  5. Yep, every word is true, and this is good advice! Money is always on a burner somewhere it seems. Somehow it never really got discussed when we married either. And only the hubs had a college degree when we did. We did both have jobs, and cars (if you want to call them that, lol) and a 2 year old as well. We have had years of scraping by and years where there was plenty, but honestly if we had waited like they do today and tried to buy a house and have plenty in the bank first we'd never would have tied the knot, or so it would have seemed. Got to have this issue covered that's for sure, but I've seen many with plenty not make it either. Enjoy your day!

  6. I think you both have to have similar views on money and saving vs. spending otherwise the marriage is doomed. You can't change a spender into a saver and you can't change a saver into a spender.

  7. This post is great advice. There is usually a saver and a spender in most marriages, and if you take the time,before marriage, it's easy to figure out who is who.

  8. This is good. I've seen marriages go down the tubes because of the money problems. Everyone needs to learn how to talk with your mate about finances before and during the marriage. Lots of good advice.

  9. Thank you a great and wise post .. money, like bad breath, can be one of those topics that can be difficult to talk about but it is essential. And once breached and talked about honestly and clearly, can bridge many other misunderstandings. Stopping by via the A-Z!
    Garden of Eden Blog

  10. Such wonderful advice, Joyce...especially for newly engaged couples. Having money "issues" can cause such turmoil in a marriage if both partners don't see eye-to-eye. I always joke with Chris how his money is ours and mine is all MINE! :)

  11. I'm starting to worry about our 7 questions :-) ?
    Love your money talk!


  12. Such great advice, Joyce. Hubby and I were a bit unique in that when I started working, I opened my own account. Both our names were on each other's account, so it wasn't necessarily "mine and no body else's." We both shared the bills and areas of responsibility. This arrangement has remained to this day and neither of us has ever had cause to complain.

  13. Marriage is always a tough subject. And it is indeed important to talk about BEFORE getting married. Even if you haven one to speak of. Or a ton of debt like Mr. Sexy and I. As a couple we hate money. It's stressful mostly because it's been hard to make ends meet. But thus is life. God continues to provide every day.

    I'm visiting from the A to Z link up.


  14. Oh yeah, and after getting married I had to learn that "retail therapy" is not the best kind of therapy and is just about as expensive as the real thing. Haha

  15. Such good advice, Joyce. I hope your girls appreciate what a wise mom they have!

  16. Visiting from A/Z; I like your theme and I liked reading about your thoughts on money management in a marriage. Definitely something to think about for those getting married as well as any other couple no matter how long they are married if something needs to be fine tuned with how the money is spent, saved, etc. Very wise words indeed!


  17. Excellent advice Joyce! My girls really need to read your A to Z Challenge posts.

  18. Hi Joyce! Just catching up here and I'm so excited for your family with the big news! Many congrats and wishes for a blessed marriage for your firstborn.
    This post reminds me of when Josh and I married right out of college. We started with nothing, although we had no debt which certainly gave us a rolling start compared to most grads these days. We have the rather odd money problem of being two savers married to each other. We have to talk each other down from time to time from being too cheap! ;)