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Growing Together as a Young Couple: Money

on June 18, 2012 by Jami Balmet 0 comments

I wrote last week in response to an article that appeared in the Huffington Post, Should Marriage Before 25 Be Illegal? Through writing that post, I have found many likeminded young married’s, and I am delighted to meet so many new friends.

Many people I meet, though, feel that getting married at 19 and becoming pregnant with our first baby at 22 is ridiculous. Even within the church, many don’t understand why we would get married so young and choose to start a family at young ages. They think we need to experience the world more, travel, or start a solid career first.

What does it look like to be married young and have no money. Can you make it work? Here's one young couples story of how they grew together when they had nothing!
Our rehearsal dinner {5.16.09}
Let me just stop right here and say that I firmly believe that God appoints the time you meet and marry your spouse. Some meet him at 16 and some are 30. I fully believe that it’s God’s timing and it will be different for everyone. Getting married young is not for everyone, but I do believe it is for some. Moving on.

For those that God does call to marriage at a young age, there are a number of benefits that help establish marriage on a firm foundation. I know it has for my marriage.

We have been able to grow up together with regard to money. We formed habits together as a couple rather than separately, we developed our free time together, and we have learned what it means to grow in the Lord together. I will touch on each of these in the coming weeks, but today I want to talk about money.

Handling Money as a Young Married Couple

My husband and I had nothing when we got married. We had both completed one year at a Christian university and had paid for everything ourselves. We both worked around our school schedule and full time during the summer. We rented a great little one bed room apartment. We didn’t have a lot, but we didn’t need a whole lot.

Eating out at fast food restaurants was a luxury for us. Mostly we ate rice and beans and loved every minute of it! Of course there were stressful times when we weren’t sure if we would make rent, but ultimately God provided every time.

A year later my husband graduated college and got a fantastic job that has turned into his career. A year after that I graduated college and got a full time job at a Christian university. We finally were building a savings, dreaming of buying a home, and paying off some student loans. Fast forward 2 more years and my husband was offered a promotion and a job he can be in for the next 10 years with plenty of room to grow. I am now a stay at home wife eagerly anticipating the arrival of our first bundle of joy later this year when I will happily become a stay at home mom.

Why do I tell you this? Because we have grown into our money together.

We were together when we both made minimum wage and had to scrape together money for a grocery budget. But then we had the excitement of saving up to buy our first flat screen TV. We had some financially tight spots where a dollar couldn’t go uncounted. But we have grown and we have had the freedom to walk into the grocery store and be able to throw some extra things into the cart without worry.

We have learned how to deal with money together. We learned what it means to make a budget and stick to it! We learned what it means to finally have some extra money and blow it all on eating out and to get to the end of the month with nothing to show for it.


Managing money together

And most importantly, we always knew that money was both of ours. I have never felt that money was mine or his. We have always been very transparent with money with each other. We don’t have fights about money {usually}. We share it very easily {usually, there are of course occasional off days ;)}.

I think the difference is that, since we both made minimum wage at our first job {where we met}, we have looked at money as both of ours. We never had money of our own to spend. We didn’t live for 5 years by ourselves making all of the decisions on our own about money. I wasn’t used to taking my own money and going clothing shopping whenever I wanted to with no one to answer to.

We make money decisions together and we always have.

Even three years later, with more money coming in, it is rare to make a purchase larger than $20 without the other knowing about it before. We would never dream of spending $50 before checking with the other first.

This has created a beautiful environment of accountability and trust. Because we are always honest with each other, it is easier to allow each other the occasional treat without getting jealous or uptight over the money.

They say that money is the biggest cause of strife in a marriage, and I can certainly see why this would be the case. When we have been tight with money, tensions can run high and we get stresssed. But the beatuiful thing is that we can always rely on each other to get through the tough times and we do not have fights over who spent what money, because in reality all money decisions are always made by the both of us. Do we have slight disagreements sometimes about how to spend the money? Naturally. But we also know that we have to work through it, so we always move forward and find a resolution.

I am not saying that those who lived on their own for 10 years and had a great career with money to spend how they want won’t have a good marriage when it comes to money. I just know that, for us, it has made life easier. It makes me sad to hear of married couples who have separate bank accounts and don’t discuss money together. If we are to be one within marriage, why doesn’t that extend to money?

I’m curious, how is money handled in your family? If you were married young did you have a similar experience as us or different? And if you waited a while before marriage how did that affect your marriage when it came to money? I know that each experience is unique and I want to hear YOUR stories, experiences, and advice!

And come back on Wednesday as I discuss the benefits of developing habits together as a young couple!

 Read More on Young Marriage:

Are all young marriages doomed? Here are my top 10 myths about getting married young!


Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers

Get my homemaking videos