Recently I have had the privileged of doing some sessions on marriage enrichment/relationship coaching at one of the companies for which I serve as a chaplain. These sessions are really just meant to be a taste with the goal of encouraging everyone to focus on doing intentional work on their relationships. One of my absolute favorite things to do as a minister is pre-marital counseling and one of the big topics I focus on with couples is how they view and deal with their finances as individuals and as a couple.
The pre-marital counseling that Pam and I went through really helped us to start out on a good foot in our marriage. One of the things that it helped us to consider was how money was viewed and used in both of our families of origin. The counseling helped us to get on the same page concerning how money would be viewed and used in our marriage. Pam and I have gone through easier and more difficult times financially, but never really disagreed on the “meaning” of money which has made how we handle money much easier.
Money can have different emotional values for different people. How much must you have in savings to feel secure? Is using a credit card ever an option? New or used? Eating out or eating at home? So many of the things we do with money have emotional value that we might not recognize and when two people have different associated emotional reactions to the same thing that can be a VERY big deal. Thankfully Pam and I were helped to start our marriage by discussing these issues. Therefore, I like to help others do the same thing.
Tomorrow during the coaching I am leading I will use a couple of modified inventories from Prepare-Enrich (a relationship inventory I use for pre-marital counseling) to help the people in each session consider how they and their significant other view and treat money. I thought I would post the two modified inventories here in case anyone wanted to look at them for themselves.