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If “no success in life can compensate for failure in the home” (David O. McKay, General Conference, April 1964) then the family should be our most important priority. There are ten key principles of marriage and money.  They are:

  1. The family is ordained of God.  There is no higher earthly institution or organization.  It must be first on your priority list.
  2. Nothing and no one  is more important than your spouse.  Your spouse has priority over all things, including job, hobbies, friends, money, and all other things.  They should know and feel it.
  3. Partners are equal.  Your spouse is equal in all areas, including the responsibility with you in fulfilling your financial parental responsibilities.  Neither of you should have power over the other.
  4. Partners should seek the “best interests” of the family.  All actions of the spouses should be in the best interests of the family.
  5. Financial problems are usually behavioral problems, not money problems. Determine the reason for the poor behavior, and work on that.
  6. Change is necessary.  None of us are perfect.  We should first work on improving ourselves.  Then, we can encourage—by example—positive changes in our spouse. 
  7. Money spent on things you value leads to satisfaction and accomplishment.  Know what you want to accomplish in life, and then work on those things. Those should be the most important things to you.
  8. Financial freedom is more the result of decreased spending than increased income.  Happiness is not dependent on money, but our attitude toward our spouses and what we have been blessed with.  We should be willing to curb our spending on things that are not important.
  9. Spouses are to leave their parents and become one.  Spouses need to stop the “traditions” of the fathers and do things the way they, as a couple, decide is best.
  10. The best things in life require no money.  The things that are most important, the things that bring eternal life, do not have a monetary cost.  “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God”  (D&C 14:7).

Five common problems regarding finance in marriage are:

  1. Lack of financial knowledge.  Knowledge is important to make good decisions.  But knowledge by itself is insufficient.   You must be willing to act on that knowledge.
  2. Lack of communication.  Relationships require communication to stay healthy.  Develop processes to ensure that there is time to communicate effectively in all areas of your lives.
  3. Differences in financial personality types and family baggage.  We were all brought up differently.  While you cannot change how you were brought up, you can change how you will work together as partners and how you will bring up your children.
  4. Lack of shared financial goals.  It is critical that partners be working toward the same general goals as a couple.  Set those goals together and then work on them together.
  5. Lack of gospel maturity.  Gospel maturity is not just knowing what you should do, but doing it as well.  The more willing we are to do what needs to be done as a partner, the better the marriage will be and the more likely we will be able to return with our families to Heavenly Father’s presence.

Suggestions to improve your marriage include:

  1. Delegate action but share responsibility.  While one spouse may be better at one area of finance than another, both are responsible.  The more knowledgeable spouse should teach the other spouse, so both are on an equal footing. 
  2. Develop individual and family goals.  Work together to determine what is important for each of you to accomplish during your lifetime.  Then work on what you would like to achieve individually and as a couple and family.  Know what you are working toward and write it down.
  3. Separate real from imagined problems. Learn to distinguish between real from imagined problems.  So often spending money is the result of a different problem, but one that manifests itself in the spending process.  Learn to recognize when problems are occurring, then work on resolving them.
  4. Keep the romance alive.  If you really want to spend eternity with your spouse, you must keep the romance alive.  Spend the time to maintain the relationship and to keep it vibrant and healthy.


Now that you have completed this section, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you understand the key principles of money and marriage?
  2. Do you understand why money may be an issue in marriage?
  3. Do you understand a few recommendations on money and marriage?


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