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Marriage and Money: Taking Leadership Of Your Money

By Erik Folgate

If you’ve read any of my other articles about marriage and money, then you know I am a huge proponent for spouses working as a team when managing money. However, I also recognize that spouses tend to have different personalities, different passions, and different things that motivate them.

One of the big questions when it comes to personal finance and relationships is: “How do I get my spouse on board to becoming debt free or saving more of our income?”

If both of you share the same principles and goals for your money from the start of your marriage, then feel blessed by that! Not everyone enters a marriage with the same ideas or goals about money and how to handle it. If you want to get your spouse on the same page as you, you must take the role of the leader when it comes to money management. But, you can’t treat it like a dictatorship. If you treat it like a dictator, your spouse will either shut down or lash back at you. No one wants to be told what to do with no rationalization behind the argument. If you take the role of a servant leader, your spouse will appreciate you more for your efforts, and the results will be more favorable.

Servant Leadership. Servant leadership is the idea of leading by example through servanthood. Serve your partner by explaining to them why you want to be debt free and invest more money for your future. Explain to them why you don’t want to buy a car on credit or use credit cards. Be patient with them. People don’t change their way of thinking overnight. They may have grown up in a household that was perpetually using debt as a tool and never saving money for the future. The key is putting your spouse ahead of yourself when it comes to leading them into better money management habits and practices.

Is there a defined leader in your household? What does that leadership look like? If no one is taking the lead for managing your money, step up and take on the challenge. If you lead with the heart of a servant, you’ll find that you and your spouse will start to share the same financial goals.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://expat.savagenet.com Robert

    “Servant leadership is the idea of leading by example through servanthood.”

    That’s an interesting concept. :)

  • Eric

    It’s about humility. Like when Jesus washed the feet of his followers. I’ve found that I’ve been a lot happier in my marriage, when I server my family, I find the chores that I can do, and the tasks that I can do to help the family out and I do them. By doing so, I create an example for those in my family, and I feel rewarded for making life better on those inside of my family.

  • author

    yes, it’s definitely about humility. And I think we lose sight of the fact that leaders are not tyrants. They know when to lead, when to delegate, and when to step back and let someone else take the lead. That’s what makes a spouse a great leader.

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