How to Be Broke, Married and (Still) in Love

How to Prevent Finances From Ruining Your Marriage

Remember when you became friends with your spouse? When you did whatever you could to make each other laugh? I’m going to take a wild guess that you were broke at that time. We certainly were.

Four years later, we’re still quite broke, but we’re still married and still in love. We laugh about it and say, “Hey, we’re broke, but we’re not poor!” By that, we mean broke is temporary. Poor is an identity.

I’m not an expert on marriage, so I won’t insult you by pretending to be. However, I will direct your attention to many resources and things that have helped us.

Here are three powerful ways to stay married and in love, even when you’re broke:

Get on the Same Page Financially

Financial differences can kill a relationship. It is difficult to save when your spouse wants to spend thousands on a new truck every year. Or maybe they buy lunch every day and it is not a small amount they spend.

Whatever the issue, you need to be on the same page financially and working towards the same goals. Ideally, this is a discussion you would have had before you got married. However, many simply gt married then realise how many issues they have, a big one being differences in money.

Decide on some goals together. Get counselling if you need to. Create a plan to work together and go for it.

Know Each Others Love Language

When you get to know each other better and how each other gives and receives love, it will help you understand how money works in your relationship. If one of you has the love language of gifts, that is likely to cost more money than the one who has a love language of quality time.

To find out your love language, do the quiz on the site. Then take what you learn and apply it.

Have Regular Money Meetings

How can you know if you’re on track with money unless you talk about it? Have regular money meetings to check your net worth, budget and goals. We do ours weekly, others do theirs monthly. Whatever works for you, do it!

Pursue Your Friendship

I don’t know what hurts have transpired in your relationship, but try to remember what drew you together in the beginning. What made your spouse laugh? Budget for date nights. Make them a priority, no matter how little extra money you have. Especially if children have entered the picture. This is a journey you signed up for together.  Invest in your friendship.

Don’t Let Money Consume You

Yes, we need money to live but sometimes we take it too far. If you are in a financially abusive relationship, get out. If either one of you is in total control of the money, this probably needs to be reassessed. It’s ok to have separate finances and work on things separately but it is best if you both know what is happening with all the money in the relationship.

Join the Discussion:  What remedies would you suggest when financial conflicts threaten to overpower a marriage?

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6 thoughts on “How to Be Broke, Married and (Still) in Love

  1. Great advice! For us, we have found two things that help: First, monthly budgeting. It gives us a time to share our individual opinions and come to a compromise that agrees with “us”. And second, understanding “why” you want to manage money in the first place. Is it to have a big bank account? Or is it something more meaningful? Our “why” has carried us through the not-so-fun times when sheer willpower would have been nowhere to be found.

  2. Awesome post, Laura!!! God simply has to come first. When we “seek first the kingdom of God” it seems that all other things fall into place a whole lot easier.

  3. Tricky dilemma regarding tithing: When one spouse (say, hypothetically, the wife) is open to it, and the other (say, the husband) is not, what is to be done? My understanding is that the one who is open to it needs to wait it out with prayer and patience – and not force it or even discuss it too often. Is that your understanding too?

    • I agree, Ruth. God refers to tithing as an act of obedience, therefore it’s a heart issue and shouldn’t be forced. The spouse who wants to tithe can talk about why he/she feels convicted to do it, but God knows the unwilling spouse’s heart best. As you said, prayer and patience are great steps to take – handing the matter over to God. Not that it’s easy.