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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Money Question Monday - Budget Disagreement

Every Monday, I'm going to answer your money questions. Email your questions to charlottewoodwind at gmail dot com, and I'll change your name to something unusual so no one knows who you are. David will help out like he has today when there is a disagreement/discussion between spouses about how to manage or spend money.

Finances is the one thing my husband and I disagree on. I think we need to increase our spending in the areas of groceries and personal money and giving. My husband tries to spend as little as possible all the time. I just hate one ply toilet paper. First world problems!

Anyway I feel it is very important to buy non GMO food and eat natural and he wants to buy the cheapest food possible! We compromise on this because I cook, but my husband still grumbles about it. Any thoughts? 


David says: This sounds like one of you is the saver, and one of you is the spender, which makes you...NORMAL.  :-)  The saying that "opposites attract" tends to be true, and can present challenges when it comes to money.

My first thought is, have you both sat down and agreed on a budget together?  Normally the saver would take charge of this task as it's more important to them, but they need to listen to the input from the spender, and what's important to them.

The idea here is what you just said.  Compromise.  The budget may not come out exactly how either of you would have wanted if it were just you, but it will come out how you, as a married couple (two becoming one) agreed to.

My second thought is how powerful prayer can be.  Why not open your budget meeting in prayer and ask God to guide your discussions and hearts?

When I think about this, I think about how too much of a spender would be dangerous (we'd go broke).  And too much of a saver could be dangerous too (take life too seriously and not have fun).  So, it is through working together that we enter a healthier blend of these two personalities.

Charlotte says: Since the two of us have corresponded a little bit about money before, I am pretty confident in guessing that you do not have any debt, except for your house, you have a plentiful savings account, and you are right where you should be in saving for retirement. Your husband is careful with money, and I imagine that is one of the reasons that you felt he would be a good man to marry.

Maybe if you sit down with your financial adviser (I have a feeling you have one), and you discuss with him your goals for your retirement, and you determine that you are saving an adequate amount, your husband might feel like it's ok to spend a little more money each month.

Are you using the envelope system When you choose a number ahead of time for what you're going to spend in each area, it really cuts back on disagreements about spending too much personal or grocery money.

I don't worry about non GMO food myself, but what matters is that it's important to you. If you were on a tighter budget, or trying to get out of debt, then I might say that you don't have room to eat only non GMO food. But I think you probably do have room in your budget. You just have to come together on the numbers. It might help if he goes shopping with you, so he can see what food really costs (if he hasn't already done that).

When you say giving, do you mean giving to your church or gift giving? An envelope for gift giving will take care of that. Giving to the church is a little more complicated when it comes to agreeing on how much to give. My pastor has a great sermon about tithing. Everyone should listen to it. What I have learned about tithing is this: It's not about making sure the church has enough money, it's about worshiping God and putting Him first in your heart and in your wallet. If your husband doesn't believe in tithing, it is going to be hard to convince him. I hope your pastor talks about tithing. It will probably be easier for your husband to hear from him. Of course, pray for your husband, that he would make the right decision about this. If you were to talk about it too many times, it would come across as nagging. Bring it up once without discussing/arguing, and just say that you want him to think and pray about it. You pray about it, and wait. I hope you will find that he is the one who wants to talk about it next time, though it may take days, weeks, or months.

I hope you find something here helpful. It's hard to know how to get husbands and wives to be of the same mind. If I knew how, my husband wouldn't be setting his alarm for one hour earlier than he actually gets up.

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