Statistics state that many marriages are destroyed because of lack of communication and bad decisions concerning money.
It has been my advice to my daughter that when she married, to make sure that she had an account for her, he had an account for him and then they had a joint account to take care of all household expenses. This way, she had spending money that she did not need to account for down to the penny and he did as well. Because they have heeded my advice, they were able to afford a house, they were able to go out and they were able to purchase items for each other without having to account for everything to each other.
Now, I am sure that many like the idea but there are many who do not. Let me address the ones that do not.
In my first marriage, I was expected to earn money-but not more than my husband. All of this money then went into the expenses for the family care. The sad part was, if I wanted to purchase his Christmas present, he knew how much it was. He would give me a certain amount to spend at the grocery store and then I had to stay within the tight budget to feed all of us($40 for the week for a family of 5 was normal). When I received a paycheck, I signed it and then never saw it again. I had no idea how much the bills were. We did not discuss them because he felt that he was the man of the house and he should take care of all of it.
When we separated and prepared for the divorce, I had no credit because my name was not on most of the bills. I had no budget, so did not know what our expenses would be. According to Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “How important are money management and finances in marriage and family affairs? May I respond, ‘Tremendously.'”
How could I pay tithing when I did not know how much it was?
How could I invest for my future when I had no idea what my present was?
How could I balance my checkbook when I had no idea what was out there?
How could we make a decision about how to improve our lives without knowing what our options were?
Now, I work in finance. I allow myself to play a little bit. I know how much is coming in and how much goes out. I actually get to touch my check before it is gone. I am able to pay my tithing and know that I earned it. I am empowered and you know what? I like it!
So, does this mean that I am in charge in my new relationship? No! We have already agreed that there will be a family joint account that will be contributed by both of us. We will share the bills and if one is not able to keep up their end, we will work it out. But I told him that my wish is that I purchased items for him because I wanted to, not because I had to. He understood and highly agreed!
May we all be willing to talk about things such as finance without feeling cautious with each other is my wish.