My focus for Season one of the Make Your Money One Podcast was/is all about equipping engaged couples and being vigilant with observing financial red flags, or financial warnings, is an important skill as you prepare to become one. Listen, we have all made dumb mistakes with money. Raise your hand if you have not. I see no hands raised. These behaviors are dangerous and without humility and a change will only cause chaos, destruction and divorce. everything is work it out-able, for the most part. My goal with this episode is that you and your spouse will identify AND understand one another’s perspectives, so that The Lord can meet and change you and make you’re marriage all the more stronger. Let's dive into a few financial red flags to recognize.
Financial red flag:
Our first financial red flag to be aware of is a spouse is signs of irresponsibility or reckless with money. You only live once is their motto for sure, for sure. They are out here not paying bills on time. Paid on Friday and broke by Monday. Just living their best lives, swipe, swipe, swiping away. As we learned in episode 6, where we talked about money personalities, YES it is important to enjoy money by spending it, however if your excessive spending makes you hold your breath before you make a purchase, because you’re unsure if that purchase will go through, then there is a problem. They maybe behind on bills, neglecting and acting as if your bills and future are not depending on your present actions and behaviors. If you're the spouse with irresponsible financial behaviors, it is time to change. You see, you lost the right to do as you please once you say "I do". it is time you are made aware of how destructive this behavior is to your spouse and your marital future together. Financial irresponsibility is a trust killer for your spouse. No adult wants to feel like they have to babysit another adult becuase they constantly make poor decisions. It's exhausting and now what they deserve. But there’s hope. It starts with ownership and a commitment to change through consistency. Get on the same money page. Plan, create and stick to a budget that you BOTH agree to. Put forth the effort to change and show your spouse that you will commit to create a financial secure future.
Financial red flag:
Another financial red flag to be aware of in your spouse of future spouse is if they are controlling & unwilling. Controlling behaviors can be synonymous with being restrictive, dismissive and unwilling and these have no place in a marriage! Let's be clear: a controlling trait is not gender specific, I’ve witness BOTH genders attempt to financially control the decisions of their household. But shout out to Ephesians 5:21 that reminds us to we are to "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Financial control tends to show its ugly face when a spouse makes more money and uses that as an excuse to make all or most of the money decisions. You may also attempt to control a spouse if you will the other spouse is "bad with money". Present opportunities for your spouse to learn and improve their financial management skills, don’t take them away. What's important is if you see symptoms of control, have the courage and boldness to call it out. You see, the danger of controlling behavior, is that it says to your spouse that they are not your equal but God says that WE are made in His image of God. So if you’re the controlling spouse, control is just a manifestation of pride and you must repent first to God and secondly apologize to your spouse. Whatever “valid reason” you are telling yourselves, absolving yourself of ownership has to go. Humble yourself, involve your spouse in the financial matters of your marriage.
Financial red flag:
A third financial red flag to be aware of in a spouse is their laziness or oblivion. They are unaware of the details of their financial picture. They may say things like oh honey, you handle it. Or I’m good. I don’t need help. Or we’ll deal with that later. If you’re the lazy spouse, understand that your behavior communicates to your spouse that your successful financial future is not a priority. Inactivity is not an option because Plans do not become reality unless you work them, and do so TOGETHER. So if you’re the spouse who may have your head in the clouds, make the conscious effort to SHOW YOU care and commit to being engaged. Show up to your budget meetings. Share your money dreams and goals. Check in with your spouse to see the progress of your financial goals.
Financial red flag:
A final financial red flag to be aware of in your spouse is if they are Secretive. If folks are out here hiding financial information, or selectively disclosing details, your marital foundation is at risk for collision and implosion. Secrecy usually travels with defensiveness and such behavior is not of The Lord. If you've every said or thought, "I'm grown" or I'm married and I don't have to answer to anyone, then sis/ bruh, you are operating in a spirit of pride and pride does not belong in a Christian marriage. Secrecy says to your spouse that you are not trustworthy. Secrecy is an intimacy killer and does not belong in a marriage of two servants of God. Not to excuse secrecy, however maybe you selectively disclose financial details because you are embarrassed. We must remain vigilant to preserve our integrity at all costs. I love the way Proverbs 22:1 illustrates this point: A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold. So if YOU KNOW THAT you’re the spouse that is secretive or hiding financial details, apologize and ask for forgiveness. Give no excuses and commit to being an open book. If you need some practical tips to comfortably talking about money, then please listen to episode 3 of the podcast. Your spouse deserves to have the full financial picture!
Know that none of us walk into our marriage perfect. The world wants you to expect perfection from your spouse of future spouse, but that idea is simply unbiblical. Red flags are to be taking seriously. If you are engaged, These warnings should get your attention to call out behaviors that are not conducive to winning in marriage, let alone winning financially. And if you're newlywed, hopefully my tips will give you the courage to work through these behaviors. You see, We are usually blind to our short comings, but God, in His perfect love, uses our spouses to, sharpen and refine areas that need help. Hopefully I have encouraged you to know that there is hope if you are willing to humble yourself and do the work.
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