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Why Should All Couples Have a Money Date Night?
"Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty." Proverbs 21:5
Money and Love
The Most Un-Romantic Date Ever ... Once a Week Even!
Reading my title up there at the top, one may think, "Alright ...what fun, a date night to go on a spending free together with my sweetie; spending money as if there is no end to it!"
Alas, the bubble is burst, when the subtitle here speaks of the most un-romantic date ever. Now, I know you may be thinking …who even wants to go there? I do not think I do, well, wait a minute then, why am I writing on such a topic as the most un-romantic date night and to add even more insult, suggest that such un-romantic date night should be scheduled once a week!
Okay, bear with me here, and let us not lose sight of the big picture when it comes to money and love. Money and love …sounds like an oxymoron to me, for can the two even co-exist? Do not get me wrong, for I am not writing on the love of money, as that is a whole different ballgame. In that scenario, it is without a doubt the root of all evil.
So, why the scheduling of a weekly most un-romantic date night ever?
I am reminded of that song from back in the day by Pink Floyd, when it comes to couples and their money and the line, “…keep your hands off of my stack.” In my younger married days, I may have even stated such ...just kidding, maybe. We were married five years before we had children and I worked and contributed my fair share, as I do now, even after my children are grown, so why not, keep my stack to myself, even though married?
I am not too sure that many couples have heard of setting aside time once a week for a money date night and exactly what does such entail. Well, I will tell you that it does not involve a spending spree! Quite the opposite in fact is true. To be honest, it is the most un-romantic kind of date, yet possibly the most important to the life of one’s marriage in terms of being on the same page when it comes to money issues.
More couples than not, experience tension, if not actual all out arguments when it comes to money. Unfortunately, such money issues are truly one of the leading causes of divorce.
On my commute home the other night I was listening to Faith Radio Broadcasting and they were discussing this very issue of having a weekly money date night.
One of the biggest mistakes that a couple makes is going into debt, which is so huge today. Be that as it may, however, with marriages, it usually involves a lack of communication between the husband and wife. To help in the area of such lack of communication, the idea of a money date night is born!
Talking About Debt
God Cares About Our Finances
- Money is mentioned about 2,000 times in the Bible.
- Jesus spoke about money more than any other subject.
- In the New Testament, money is mentioned more times than heaven and hell combined.
Money Date Night Involves Three Important Factors
As one can imagine, it may be good to begin to pray a good bit prior to the arrival of the first scheduled weekly money date night! It is important to look to what God has to say about money in His Word. God intends for us to be wise stewards of our money, no matter how much or how little we possess.
Each spouse should simply ask God to reveal the areas of problems in the marriage as relates to money. He will answer. When He does reveal the specific areas of concern, write them down, ask for forgiveness and then share what has been revealed to you with your spouse. This is the first step (admitting areas of failure to your spouse) in tearing down any walls that may have been built up over money in the marriage.
If your spouse does not respond positively, do not become upset, for you will have peace about it before God. If you continue to do this week after week, with loving words and acts to show that you are sincere about wanting to make changes, then, hopefully, your spouse will respond in a good way.
Come together once a week to review what monies you had coming in as a couple and what monies you had going out as a couple. Treat it as a fact finding mission together and not as a time to argue or fuss at each other. It is a fact that husbands and wives make better financial decisions when they both know what is going on with their money in their marriage.
On another note, sadly, it is often the case when one spouse loses the other due to death, the spouse who is still living, sometimes is totally lost as to finances, for there were no discussions together as a couple. Although, the death of a spouse is certainly something one does not want to think about; however, your love shines through for the other, when it is imprinted on the mind of your spouse that should such happen, there will at least be peace of mind when it comes to what is what as to the finances. What a beautiful gift to leave behind ...peace of mind.
Lastly, celebrate. This is really important because when husbands and wives usually talk about money, there is already a problem. It is either due to one not earning enough or one spending too much. It corrodes and damages the relationship. So couples must do their best to create an environment of gratitude with one another and celebrate when the Lord allows for a debt to be paid off. Celebrate together!
Going over the Budget Together
"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are---no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought." ---Matthew 5:5 The Message Bible
Staying Focused on Life Goals Together
Although financial planning might not be romantic, there is some peace of mind in sharing the same goals for building a life together. Research has shown that the more couples pool their money, the happier their marriage.
Financial decisions that impact the success of the family are a shared responsibility. Whatever the source of God’s provisions, whether the result of the husband’s employment or the wife’s employment or both, the assets accumulated are the responsibility of both partners together as a team.
Establishing a budget is most important to a couple when it comes to handling money in a marriage. Surprisingly, most couples do not have a budget, and sometimes even the mention of the word “budget” causes a lot of couples to go into trauma because they simply do not want to be under a budget. There is really no need for such a traumatic reaction to establishing a budget, for it is simply a plan for handling your money.
Even those couples who are single, but in a serious relationship, often begin to share their hopes and ambitions for life, which then become central to the relationship.
Financial Strain Takes its Toll on Marriages
The Security and Ingetrity of the Romantic Relationship
Fear can certainly undermine that feeling of security and integrity of the romantic aspect of the relationship; that is fear of economic insecurity.
Different couples handle this fear in different manners, and if not handled appropriately, such fear can lead to many relationship problems.
The following are two extreme examples of how some couples may cope when fear of economic insecurity sets in:
1) Denying the need for any material possessions.
2) Spending lots of money on financial “feel goods.”
In the first scenario, where every penny must be saved, there are never any financial risks taken and no room for the couple to enjoy any financial recreation. Obviously, such restrictive coping behavior leads to many relationship problems.
In the second scenario, where money is spent to make one feel better, is usually short lived. This type of spending is called emotional spending, which many of us are familiar with the problems associated with this type of coping behavior. Ah, yes, I must buy those beautiful new pair of shoes for I will just feel so much better about myself … and when this happens too often, the feel good aspect is replaced by a worse feeling when the credit card debt starts to pile up and then comes the shock into reality.
Couples who work together to identify, and balance, their financial obligations and their financial recreation time, are achieving the same goals in life by working together at it.
No Secret Spending
The Most Commonly Misquoted Verse from the Bible
"Money is the root of all evil" ...do you see what is missing? The words "the love of ..." and the context. Read on ...
1 Timothy 6:9-11
"People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life…" (Emphasis added.)
One may have the impression that money is always bad. It’s not.
Avoiding Problems Later
In the image above, it may very well be obvious she only desires to purchase a new pair of pants for her sweetie ... kidding, of course, well .... on the other hand, she may want to buy herself ... I am sorry; I digress. The bottom line is that secret spending is out of the question in any marriage.
Of course, for a person to have to report to his or her spouse each penny or dime that is spent, is a bit ridiculous. Therefore, it is good for the couple to determine an amount that they each receive every month that each can spend at their own discretion. This is money that does not have to be accounted for to each other, so that one person is not asking the other one for money every time they want to purchase something or go out to lunch with a friend. If the person wants to spend it all that month then he or she is free to do so. If a spouse wants to save it all and purchase an expensive item in the future, again, that is fine.
It is helpful for couples to determine what amount of money needs the approval of both people before it is spent. For instance, couples can agree that they will not purchase something that costs more than $100, or whatever limit they set, without first discussing it with their spouse.
Deciding these things ahead of time, before faced with financial decisions, will help couples avoid problems later. Once a couple is in agreement on how they are to handle their money, the issue of money then becomes a whole lot easier. There will not be as many conflicts.
More Good Advice Here
Do you think that couples should commit to having a money date night?
Time to Celebrate
Romance Does not Have to Cost A Lot
- Watching the sunset together.
- Volunteering somewhere together. It will be quality time spent together while helping others. How cool!
- Feel like children again while flying kites together in the fresh air.
- Go for a nice drive together, with your favorite tunes playing and ride off into the sunset.
- Taking a walk together holding hands, and do not forget your dog or pet.
- Watching your favorite movie together at home, snuggling under the blanket.
- Spending a lazy afternoon together in a hammock under the beautiful blue skies, talking, reading and listening to the birds chirping.
- In our small town, we have free movie night on Friday nights in the spring and fall. Just bring a blanket or lawn chairs and enjoy the cooler night air together.
- On those brisk Autumn nights, have a bonfire, complete with marshmallows for roasting and add chocolate squares and graham crackers to make delicious s'mores.
- Go on a second “first date” … Get dressed up, drive separately, and pretend you have just met. Hold hands. Ask questions awkwardly. Get butterflies.
Finally ...Time to Celebrate Together!
After all of your hard work together as a couple in working through matters related to money and, when the benefits of such are beginning to be seen, it is so important to take time out to celebrate together when you reach a milestone such as paying off one debt.
Back in the day, my husband and I always enjoyed going to concerts together (rock concerts then), and believe me, we saw many of the great bands of the day. Of course, the ticket prices were not as insane as they are today!
Nowadays, we enjoy the comforts of sitting at home watching a live concert streamed to our television ... boy, we are getting old for sure now!
I am sure most couples experience set backs as relates to money matters no matter how long they have been married. My husband and I certainly do, and we need to set a date each week to begin to go on this most un-romantic money date night ourselves!
Watching a Sunset is Romantic and Free
Grand Funk Railroad Ticket Stub
Going to a Concert was Our Thing back in the Day
I am reminded of one time way back when my husband and I went to a Grand Funk Railroad concert on November 11, 1981, in Tampa, Florida. I do not know how many of you remember that band, but I loved their song, "Some Kind of Wonderful." That was the same year the band released Grand Funk Lives.
Anyway, in thinking back of that time, I decided to go to YouTube, where I found an amazing remake of "Some Kind of Wonderful" by Mark Farner, one of the lead singers of Grand Funk Railroad, who became a Christian. I really got a kick out of this new version here, and I hope you enjoy it too. I still love the original version; however, this new version seems to work well here, as you will see if you watch and listen to the video. Please enjoy!
I Don't Need a Whole Lot of Money ...
I Am Mindful of the Following Scripture
“Do not store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Emphasis added.)
Keeping Priorities in Check
It is easy to fall into the trap of storing up your treasure here on earth, especially with the pressures of today’s world. Again, keeping our priorities in check is a must.
The next time you are trying to decide between buying something you do not really need, like new clothes or a fancy new car, or better yet, giving your money back to God or to someone in desperate need, think of this verse.
Store up your treasures in heaven, not here on earth. Moths eat clothes. Rust destroys cars.
Treasure in Heaven is everlasting.
© Copyright Faith Reaper, October 14, 2013