Sharing the Wealth

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also                                                                       Matthew 6:21

Recently I counseled with a couple who had separate banking accounts and separate finances. It was a problem for them. Now this is not a terribly uncommon situation, and there are some reasons people may have separate financial accounts. Couples who are not married and do not have joint legal obligations often prefer separate financial operations.

In marriage, I suggest that the couple have a common financial system- common accounts, savings, investments, etc. A “common pot” if you will. I think that such an arrangement speaks of high trust and transparency, and it stimulates common goals for spending and saving. After all, budgets are value statements. The ways that we direct our finances reflects our values and priorities. There is an old saying- “show me your checkbook and your schedule, and I will tell you your priorities”

So, I typically recommend that married couples share a “common pot” in the finances. Both contribute, both share in decisions about saving, spending, and both are aware of the financial snapshot of the family at any time.

Finally, I recognize that I am pretty “old school” in this thinking, and that there are reasons why couples may decide to separate finances. However, as I told a colleague the other day, if you are going to be transparent with one another, (even naked) in other aspects of your life, why not be transparent and sharing in your financial life?

Prayer: Lord give us wisdom in all areas of life, including how we use our resources, Amen

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