You may or may not be a Dave Ramsey fan; however, we named our dog Ramsey (meant as an honor, not an insult – we love our dog!), so it’s pretty clear that we appreciate his lessons on finances. In truth, they have given us great financial direction!
Throughout his years of experience helping people with their money, and as well as his and his team’s research, he has discovered money problems to be the number one reason people get divorced. Divorce, at its core, is usually the result of selfishness on the part of one or both marriage partners. How you handle money does shine a light on your heart and character.
My parents were good with money, so I thought I had a good understanding of how to manage it when I got married; but, after marriage, I realized there was still a lot I needed to know. The list below is not exhaustive, but I believe these are some gold nuggets if you’ll apply these money tips/principles to your future marriage!
- Tithing – The word tithe literally means tenth– and in usage, means giving a tenth of your increase/income back to God. If tithing to your local church is not at the top of your budget, I assure you it will not happen. Your money will find other places to go if you don’t direct it as soon as you get it.Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” (ESV)There are countless stories of how people were richly blessed after they started giving ten percent of their earnings to the Lord. God does say He will bless us for tithing, but the primary reasons for tithing are to be obedient, to show dependence upon Him, and to have an opportunity to cheerfully give – for God loves a cheerful giver! (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)(Note: This is not the same as offerings. Offerings are what are given above the tithe – e.g., whatever is given willingly after the tithe has been given).
- Combine your Finances AFTER you get married – Keeping separate accounts is a way of keeping your lives separated. It may not seem like a big deal, but it keeps you from having to communicate about money, and it makes divorce much more convenient.Make plans to merge your finances afteryou get married. If you hesitate to merge your finances because your future spouse is irresponsible with money, you should seriously consider breaking off the engagement or postponing your marriage plans until he or she matures in this area.Having separate accounts won’t save you from the consequences that will come from having a spouse that cannot handle money well.
- Prepare a Monthly Budget– In the months and weeks prior to getting married, it is important to sit down together and create a working budget for after you are married. Though you should not combine your money until after you are married, it is important to know how much you will be making and spending, saving, and investing after marriage.This budget is not just a nice idea; it should be something you both agree to follow. If one of you makes a change, the other needs to be aware and in agreement before that change is made.Hiding purchases from each other is a type of betrayal once you both have agreed to follow your budget. Remember that both people should be involved in the budgeting process and both should know how much money your family has and where it’s going. And make sure to talk about money often.
- Force Yourself to Care – Some people are naturally interested in money and how it works and others are not. You may not be the one in your marriage that enjoys the numbers, checks, and balances of the household budget, but it is important that you care.Give feedback. Be involved. Don’t put the task of the entire budget for your family on your future spouse’s shoulders. Even for an emotionally strong person, it is too much weight to carry alone.You don’t ever want to get into a situation where one spouse is controlling the other through the purse strings or where one spouse is spending money and not knowing there is enough because he or she is willfully ignorant of what is happening within the family.
- Only Pay Cash for Cars – This may be a hard one to swallow if you have always made monthly payments on cars. So much income is lost to interest and payments when you finance a car and cars go down in value rapidly.Instead of making payments after getting a vehicle, pay yourself a monthly payment. Put the money in an account and when you have enough, go pay cash for a vehicle. It requires patience, but it saves you a lot of money and it lights a fire under you to earn the money more quickly!Dave Ramsey has a great video on this topic called: Drive Free, Retire Rich. Check it out!
The remaining five tips can now be found in our next post: Gold Nuggets: 10 Tips for Managing Money in your Future Marriage, Part II!
Have you and your boyfriend/girlfriend or fiancé/fiancée discussed finances yet?
Gary Arnold says
Malachi 3:7 (KJV) “Even from the days of your fathers yes are gone away from mine ORDINANCES, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But yes said, Wherein shall we return?”.
ORDINANCES NAILED TO THE CROSS:
Colossians 2:14 (KJV) “Blotting out the handwriting of ORDINANCES that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”.
If you are using Malachi 3 to base what you do today, you must be an Old Testament Jew, not a New Testament Believer. When Jesus died on the cross He paid the ENTIRE price, not just a part of it.
Tithing ended at the cross per Hebrews 7:5,12,18.
NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE pays the Biblical tithe today.
THE FIRST TITHE.
Leviticus 27:30-33 defines this tithe as a tenth of crops and animals in herds and flocks.
Numbers 18 gives the ordinances, or instructions, for this tithe, and commands this tithe be taken to the Levites.
Purpose of this tithe: to support the Levitical Priesthood.
Deuteronomy 14:22-27: aka The Festival Tithe – a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.
Purpose of this tithe: “that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always”.
Deuteronomy 14:28-29: aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe – a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.
Purpose of this tithe: to feed the poor.
Now, tell me. Which of the above three tithes commanded by God does anyone follow today?
Eric Viets says
Gary, you make some astute observations. The full tithes summed for the Israelites (on average) was 23.33% per year. They were also under a theocracy and that amount also included their taxes, not just giving.
I think many Christians equate (rightly or wrongly, I am not debating here) giving 10% to the church as following the first of your three documented tithes. They are supporting those who support and run the house of God – the modern-day functional equivalent of the Levites.
I have heard of several businessmen throughout my years who give more than 30% (some as much as 95%) of their total income. For a specific example of a person, I believe Rick Warren has been said to give 90% of his annual income.
Let us also consider the words of Jesus in Matt 5:17-19 — "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (ESV)
Does following the Law save us? Absolutely not. Only Christ and his propitiation for our sins saves us. However, we cannot neglect the above passage spoken by our Lord either.
Ultimately, I believe that God wants us to have a spirit of generosity and giving – not for His benefit (as if He needed our money… that's a laughable thought), but rather for our benefit (e.g., to be a blessing by blessing others, to show our dependence upon Him, etc.). Grace be with you.
Gary Arnold says
Eric Viets said, "The full tithes summed for the Israelites (on average) was 23.33% per year. They were also under a theocracy and that amount also included their taxes, not just giving."
Actually, on average the tithe was 20% per year since there was no tithe in the seventh year. Taxes were in addition to the three tithes; i.e. the Temple Tax (tribute in the KJV).
Matthew 5:17-18 states Christ came to fulfill the law and not abolish it.
This is where some education in law is useful. What does fulfill mean? What does abolish mean?
Let me give an example. A legal contract is enforceable under the law. Let’s say you hire a contractor to build a swimming pool in your back yard. Once the contractor has completed the job, and everything in that contract has been completed, the contract has been fulfilled. The contractor’s job is to fulfill the contract, not abolish it. He fulfills it by completing the terms, bringing it to an end.
Hebrews 8:13 (KJV) – In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Colossians 2:14 (KJV) – Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Galatians 5:18 (KJV) – But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Galatians 3:19 (KJV) – Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. In other words, until Jesus came and fulfilled the law.
Galatians 3:23-25 (KJV)
23But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Galatians 3:10-14 (KJV)
10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
According to Hebrews 7:5,12,18, the tithe was annulled.
Gary Arnold says
@Eric Viets said, "They are supporting those who support and run the house of God – the modern-day functional equivalent of the Levites."
The Levites were servants to the priests. They would be equivalent to todays ushers, singers, musicians, janitors, etc. The NON-PRIEST Levites received the whole first tithe. The NON-PRIEST Levites then were commanded to give a tenth of the tithe they received to the priests. Is that the way the church does it today? See Numbers 18.