Howard and Danielle Taylor have committed themselves to helping couples preserve their marriages in overcoming marital challenges and exemplifying how to thrive as a unit. With the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty and financial woes still overwhelm many couples and households despite the tide gradually turning with the pandemic. With finances already being a top issue consuming most marrieds, finding ways to manage this area is important for successful unions.
The Taylors are certified marriage coaches with the American Association of Christian Counselors, world-traveling serial entrepreneurs, executive producers on the Christian Television Network, and the founders of Marriage on Deck. Their marriage media ministry has served thousands of couples through teaching the fundamentals of marriage including managing money as a marital unit.
With all of their multiple ventures, over two decades of relationship history and experience plus several awards under their belt, Marriage on Deck addresses the growing problem in marriages and shares some fundamentals that need to be in place for effective money management as a couple:
Seek alignment. It is important for couples to be on the same page with how they would like to manage their money. Making sure you designate a chief financial officer (CFO) within the home can go a long way in setting the tone for your money and communicating what your goals and expectations are for how the finances are to be handled.
Have a vision and purpose for your money. Couples often disagree as to where and how their money should be spent because they lack a mutually agreed-upon purpose or vision for money in their relationship. Determining areas of passion, interest, or hobbies (i.e. real estate, charity, travel) can act as preventative medicine for unnecessary spending. Envisioning your finances being used for a passion project or vacation can aid in couples naturally becoming more disciplined in their spending habits.
Create a budget. Knowing your account balance isn't enough to keep your account in the black. You also need to know what bills are slated to be withdrawn, which bills have already cleared, how much spending money you have, and how much you would like to put toward a savings plan for every paycheck. Setting a realistic budget based on actual income helps couples identify what money is available to them and ensures they have what they need when they need it.
Make room for what matters. Long-term versus short-term financial planning as well as essential versus compulsive spending can set the template for no longer living paycheck to paycheck. By planning for long-term investments such as life insurance and college funds, you can now allot space in your monthly budget for these expenditures to eliminate frivolous spending. The wicked web of splurge spending, unnecessary credit card debt, and non-essential installment payments are a result of sacrificing the sanctity of your future for the pleasures and mistakes of the present. It is highly recommended that couples consult a financial planner for assistance in mapping out their desired fiscal future.
Refrain from unnecessary purchases. If there's one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it is the importance of saving your money for a rainy day. However, to do this you will need to cut back on purchases that are non-essential. By monitoring your spending and limiting purchases to what's necessary, couples can slowly build up an emergency fund that won't derail their plans, should something go awry.
Add supplemental income by monetizing your gifts. Multiple streams of income aid in diversifying and strengthening the financial foundation in relationships because it helps reduce the risk of monetary hardship if one stream were to be taken away. A fun way to make money with your honey is to write down your gifts and talents, then consult a business coach on how you can utilize them to make money. Though you may have a day job that covers your expenses, it may not be your passion. By applying a financial outcome to what you love to do, you may be more fulfilled in life as an individual and a couple while being less stressed in your relationship.
Howard and Danielle Taylor are the authors of The Fundamentals of Marriage: 8 Essential Practices of Successful Couples with an eight-part Bible study series on Right Now Media, a global streaming library with 22k church subscribers and 3.5 million users. They currently host a marriage talk show, Marriage on Deck, which airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m. PST/6 p.m. EST on the Christian Television Network.