I’m going to strongly suggest that you and your mate do something really romantic—are you ready—take a weekly money date! Doesn't sound too romantic does it? But handling money well as a couple affects every area of the marriage relationship.
These weekly money dates are vital because they establish the habit of regular financial conversations when there’s no crisis. Many couples don’t begin a conversation about money unless a problem has surfaced and the panic button has already been punched. Tension can reach the boiling point in a hurry when blame and defensiveness take over. That’s when it gets personal and hurtful, with a couple screaming at each other instead of working to resolve the problem.
The weekly money date is something you can do at home or wherever you choose. Select a time during the week to focus on your finances, and do three things during the money date: (1) pray together; (2) review your income and spending for the week; and (3) celebrate the progress the Lord has enabled you to make. Let’s take a closer look at these.
1. Praying together
Praying together should be the first thing you do on your money date. Jesus makes this remark- able promise in Matthew 18:19-20, “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them” (NIV).
Wow! Think about what Christ is promising! When a couple prays together about their finances they invite the God of the universe to be personally involved with their earning and spending. They also learn what is important to their mate.
So, I want to make a strong recommendation because many couples do not regularly pray together. Use this study to establish the habit of praying together daily. Determine a time that is convenient for you both, and keep a list of your prayers so that you will be encouraged to see God’s faithfulness in answering them.
The purpose of reviewing your income and spending is to make sure that you both know where you are financially. Do not use this as an opportunity to argue or nag one another! Instead, use it as a time to discover the facts, because couples simply make better decisions when they are fully aware of their finances.
3. Celebrate progress
When couples think about money or discuss it, often they are dealing with problems. It’s not fun. Someone is spending too much or not earning enough. Frequently it ends in an argument, and the whole experience feels negative.
Married couples will always face financial challenges, but we should balance problem solving by intentionally creating a culture of encouragement, gratitude and celebration. Celebrating financial progress is important because you are more likely to continue your progress if you celebrate along the way.
Did you know that God isn't a party pooper? The Bible is loaded with examples of celebrating God for enabling success. The words celebrate and celebrated are found 52 times in the Bible. This is one example: “Celebrate the Feast . . . Be joyful at your Feast . . . For seven days celebrate the Feast to the Lord your God . . . For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete” (Deuteronomy 16:13-15, NIV).
These farmers had worked hard planting and harvesting the crops. Now it was time to celebrate God’s faithfulness.
One of the keys to celebrating is to make it a memory. Fortunately, celebration doesn't have to cost a lot. When Bev and I started out, all we could afford was a day visit to the beach nearby. No, we couldn't go out to a nice restaurant, but we loved it.
The point is, don’t allow your budget to dictate how meaningful your celebration can be. As you progress financially, you will discover that each new destination enables you to afford to spend a little more on your celebrations. Be creative and have fun!