This is the eighteenth in a series of what traits to look for in a life mate. While the following sets a high standard, one that perhaps few will initially reach, each area identified is an important character trait to look for and inquire about as you consider a lifelong marriage partner.
18. How does this person view finances and is he/she a good steward of personal wealth? What are this person’s financial values? Does he/she pay bills on time? Has this person incurred debt, and if so, what kind of debt is it (e.g., college loans, mortgage or car payments, credit card or consumer debt)? Does this person value saving and giving? What is his/her view of credit card usage? ((Deuteronomy 8:17, 18; Proverbs 11:24, 25, 28; 13:22; 22:1,4,7)
When my wife and I take a couple through premarital and postmarital they must complete a budget sheet that looks at twelve months worth of income and expenses. Over the course of a year, we get a much more complete picture of our finances and our financial values. Can you guess what the outcome is? Most couples are spending more than they take in before they say “I do.” While our government can seem to do that, we cannot. What we’re really talking about is financial values…do we share the same values when it comes to saving, spending and earning? If I look at your credit card statement or bank account, I would be able to tell what you value financially. Have you discussed this with the person you are in a relationship with? So many of life’s marital disagreements end up being about money.
In the beginning of our marriage, we had financial struggles. As I saw it, Mary was a “spender” and I was a “saver.” Of course in my mind, a saver was the better of the two, but I was wrong. Mary was a giver and I needed to receive and embrace her value of giving. I was concerned for our future and desired more financial security. Mary also needed to take steps to adapt to my value so that the differences actually formed a stronger family financial value. Consequently today, one of our strengths is our financial agreement.
We’ll continue the discussion on finances in the next blog entry…