The “m” word can invoke a lot of different feelings and curiousities, and a lot of different guesses. Mom? Mad? Monday? But no, this time I’m actually referring to two different “m” words that relate together a lot. Sometimes in good ways, sometimes in bad ways.
I can just feel the hush fall across the room as I type at my computer. But don’t worry. I won’t bemoan the downfalls of society or talk about the doom and gloom that can sometimes follow this subject. Really, I want to share what I’ve been learning this year regarding marriage and money.
Separate, these two topics are huge. Together, it’s colossal. I’ve heard it said many, many times that most arguments in marriage come from or revolve around money. I know Zach and I have had our share of discussions about money too, so I can see how that would be an issue for people. Thankfully Zach and I aren’t really the explosive types, so we haven’t had the knock down drag out fights over money.
But it is something that we are striving to work on. Anyone else out there married and struggle with money? I know for a fact that we aren’t the only ones, and that is comforting to me.
Recently, Zach and I started doing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, so that we could learn how to better manage our money at an early age and in the beginning of our marriage. It has been SO eye opening.
You know how I talked about men’s brains and women’s brains being so different? Well it applies to money too! Which seems silly that I didn’t really think of that, but it makes so much sense. And it brings a relief to my heart knowing that we are not the only ones- amen?
I would say that my biggest “AHA” moment so far in the series (and we just started) was how Dave said men and women relate with money, and the roles we typically take. He talked about how women have a “security gland” and we feel better knowing that something is there in the emergency fund just in case. And he talked about how men can feel really bad about themselves when in financial struggle. It’s just all so fascinating to me.
The other “AHA” moment was when Dave discussed how generally in a relationship, you have the “nerd” who likes to save, likes to do the budget, and so on. And you have the “free spirit” who likes to spend, can find the “bigger, better deals” and so on. It was hilarious to me listening to these because I can see Zach and myself so much in his description.
I am definitely the nerd. I love planning, I love lists, I love dreaming up ideas and spreadsheets and categories, and well, you get the picture. I could sit and think of a budget and write it all out and enjoy it. Zach is the free spirit, though he is not unwise with our money. He dreams up the places we can go and things we can do. And sitting down for hours to write out categories and do spreadsheets is not his cup of tea.
I actually love that we balance each other out in this. I used to always in the back of my mind think “okay, we have to both be the same, we have to both be the savers! We have to do this or else something bad will happen!” (Of course that’s the “nerd” in me talking). But we balance each other out. He helps me loosen up and give up control, and I help him organize and plan. It’s a beautiful give and take, and I love digging into it.
We both have roles that we excel in, and we use those to our advantage. For example, Zach is incredible at balancing a checkbook, and always keeps his up. Mine? It’s probably somewhere in a box buried in my closet collecting dust from the early 2000’s. And I like to write things out and make categories, so I take the reigns on that and get his input.
The point of all this is, I want you to know that you are not alone. Like I said, it was very comforting to me to know that we were not alone in how we are different and how we operate. Don’t be afraid of the fact that you are different from your spouse. Learn to work together and use the strengths you have.
Find the balance and do that…balance each other out!