Three Things You Can Do Today To Create Financial Unity In Your Marriage
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I have the wonderful Lauren Guest with me, and she is a financial unity coach, and today we’re gonna be talking about three things that you can do today to create financial unity in your marriage.
I’m very glad to have you here. I was excited in our pre-call about, What we were talking about women and how women primarily, you know, is in charge of the finances. And that creates a whole nother layer of stress. And in this audience, we have moms who are wives, who are business owners, who are like household people.
So we like to do all of the things in this audience. So definitely excited to have you here to talk about this. My husband is supportive about, you know, listening and learning and, you know, helping in any way that he can.
But I still feel that like responsibility, you know, like, and I’m not sure if you do too.
It’s hard to let go of those things. Most of the time when I talk to women who are stressed out about their finances, it’s because of the exact reason they’re trying to. You’re, you at least have him where he’s supportive and will listen. And then some are a step behind you that is like, come on, dude.
And they’re trying to pull him in, and you’re exhausted trying to just get them to get to the right page. Not even, not even actually getting anywhere. You’re just exhausted trying to pull them in. So you’re one step ahead of some people, which is Oh, that’s good.
Which is interesting and good, and everybody’s on. In different tracks, basically in this process. I know it can be so hard in my story, but I won’t go into the whole thing just because, if you wanna know more, you can always get with me and we can talk more about it. But I was in a season where financial unity was the last thing that was there.
The funny thing is, you know, a lot of times people think more, is going to, is going to decrease that stress, but that is not true. The most stressful time that I’ve been at in my marital finances was when we were making the best money. We just didn’t know how to handle it. We didn’t know how to get together.
We didn’t know how to talk about it. And then, now we’re in a different phase of our lives where we’re both self-employed now. And so, um, that adds a different layer, but we’re not bringing in as much money.
And we have, I’m, I’m gonna say no financial stress. Because, because of getting on the same page, quote-unquote, you know, everybody, I feel like that’s an overused statement, but we’re gonna use it, for this, for the sake of simplicity here.
When you’re married, you have a built-in partner if you know how to properly take advantage of the blessing. Right? And it sounds like y’all, you and your husband, like, okay, we, we realize this is a blessing here. Now, what do we do with it? Right? So yeah, are you ready to go with those three steps?
The first thing that people can do today, that’s the thing. Like all of these things are things you can do today. So that’s what makes these nice. You can get that quick win. The first thing is, and it’s none of these well, you’ll see what I’m saying. So the first thing is to take care of your mental, emotional, and spiritual.
I know that seems a little crazy to be adding in here, but. The way I like to explain it is if you think, if all of you are moms or most of your moms listening to this, surely you’ve watched Frozen at some point in time. I’m a boy mom, and I’ve seen Frozen, so I may just be because I’m a Disney geek.
But, what I like to use as an explanation, is when you think about Elsa, whenever she is, feels like she’s under attack, she feels like things are coming at her and she starts throwing ice, right? Well then nobody wants to be. Nobody wants you, you can’t talk to her. She goes to the top of the mountain and the only one that chases her is her sister. And, and it’s, she’s like not scared to die.
Do you know? It’s the only reason she’s going there. But in your marriage, whenever your physical or, or your mental, emotional or spiritual health is outta whack, you’re coming into these conversations in a way that is not inviting
Right? It’s your husband. If, if he sees that you’re in a. He’s like, that’s the last place I’m gonna go, is that conversation. That’s what I use as an example. You, don’t want your heart to get struck by ice. Right. So you’re not going there. So far, for us, that was the first step.
I couldn’t be, you know, a lot of times we like to point fingers like it’s his fault or her fault, you know, somebody else’s fault, my parent’s fault, or somebody else’s fault.
If we are in a situation where we can, where we can be good breeding grounds, I’m gonna say for that, for that healthy conversation, then you can’t expect him to wanna come into the conversation. That’s the first thing. And This is something you can do today.
I’m a very practical person. Very logical, black and white. Like, okay, so what can you do for me? And, I don’t know how everybody listens to your podcast, but for me, I have to start the day with prayer and scripture.
Not everybody works for but for me, that is like my husband will come in. He’s like, you either need vitamin D or Jesus, I don’t know which. Go get something.
Those are the problems, but also that going outside and that’s where the vitamin D in Jesus goes outside. Go for a walk. Get a reset. I was talking to a friend today that’s in a bind with her, stuff, and she said, I just want to cry.
I said shower cries are the best things in the world for a reset. If you need to go have a shower, cry, go have a shower, cry. Reset and get to a place where you are actually. Pleasing to talk to, like sometimes us his wives carrying all the things, spinning all the plates, doing all the things.
Spiritual emotional health. The second thing is to build that genuine connection. So if the only thing you know, a lot of times is finances, those are things that have to be talked about. So we’re trying to handle the nitty gritty, the very logistical side of finances.
If you don’t have a genuine connection with that person, it’s more like just a business conversation and they’re not gonna go into that deep level that you need them to be able to have that unity.
Right? And so building that, building that genuine connection for guys, it’s shoulder-to-shoulder activity. You know, us women, we wanna get face to face and talk. We wanna, we wanna battle it out with words. We wanna, we wanna play everything out. We wanna look at all the different things. And men are shoulder to shoulder.
That’s the way that they are made. And, and so this, and we can go into some tactics of that, but knowing, building that genuine connection, that’s what builds that respect. They’re gonna be able to accept whenever you say something that needs to be done or doesn’t need to be done when they know that they feel respected, they know that there’s a genuine connection there.
They don’t feel like you’re just attacking them. That makes sense. So that’s, you don’t have the faulty assumptions that way whenever you have that genuine connection and there’s something in us, and I don’t know, I need to do a little more studying this. I don’t know if it’s women or just humans in general, but we kind of resist being one.
It seems to be like I can handle it on my own. I don’t want somebody telling me what I’m supposed to do and not supposed to do, it’s easier to just do it myself. And those things are resisting being one, which you can’t have a connection in. If you’re resisting being one that’s quite opposite of connection.
I kind of feel like that’s a human being thing. I’m not sure. I feel like it is too. I haven’t, I need to talk to my guys about this and see if that, feels like it’s across the board. And so how you can combat that. As I said, I’m, here are some tactical action steps. You can do shoulder-to-shoulder activities with your husband without talking about money right now.
Like if you don’t have that genuine connection, those things just build that relationship again. So oftentimes whenever we’re in business, and have kids and doing all the things, we forget to genuinely connect. And so without that, you can’t go in there and have good conversations about finances. It’s gonna be very difficult.
That’s, that’s, that’s where the shoulder, shoulder activity. So go golfing with him. Go, you know, go grab a beer for crying out loud. Go like, do something fun. Play some cards, or you. Get the kids and go play some flag football or something. I mean, anything to build that connection.
I don’t suggest going to a movie necessarily, because then you don’t talk, you don’t, I mean, not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s not a great way to build that connection. Doing something together, building something. Even though I’ve had the most fun doing, like, you can get on YouTube and try to learn.
Just get on YouTube and try to learn your skill and then do it together. Whether it’s booking or underwater basket weaving. I don’t know. Oh my God, that’s so cool. Those are the fun things to build that connection because when you have that foundation, Then you can have that financial unity.
But without that, you can’t, it’s very, I’m not gonna say you can’t but it’d be very, very, very hard to have that financial unity without that connection.
I have a question about it. And you haven’t talked about this yet, but planning, like, not planning for the future, but talking about your dreams and your aspirations and things like that. I don’t know if this is on the list, but it seems like that would be good. Things to talk about during those shoulder-to-shoulder activities, I think.
Exactly, and that’s, that’s where it’s at, is talking about in that genuine, with that genuine connection. Those are those conversations about money that aren’t directly about money. It’s not about paying the bills.
So there’s not that defense that you have whenever it’s like, no, you can’t buy these things. No, you can’t do what you’re asking. No. You know, we’ve got to pay the bills. Oh my God, can you believe that there’s no money in the bank?
You know, that’s not directly talking about money. You’re talking about, okay, what do we value in life? What are our goals? How do we set things up to be able to reach those goals? Right? And it’s fun to dream that way. For whatever reason.
In adulthood when we graduate to adulthood, we stop dreaming. It’s, you start falling into the ruts of daily things, and especially when you’re married and have kids, and in a busy season of life, you forget to do those dreams together to talk.
That’s so true. So true. I don’t know how long you’ve been married, but I’m going on 13. Well, no, we’re going on 14 years now and it’s, you know, I think our marriage is better now than it’s ever been. But there was that like, you know, seven-year slump in there, somewhere in the middle and like, you know, all of that stuff. So I know that it can get better as it goes on, which is awesome.
That is encouragement. We are approaching seven years and everybody talks about the seven-year slump. I’m like, no, it’s not coming. It’s not happening.
I didn’t even realize it, I didn’t think it was a slump at the time because I wasn’t sure that it would get any better. Do you know what I mean? Like you don’t think it’s a slump, but then when it gets even better you’re like, oh yeah, that probably was, yeah. So it’s interesting. It is interesting how that works.
And that’s, Even at 14 years, even at, you know, and that’s what I try to explain to people, even when you’ve been married for 50 years, there’s still dreams to be had. I mean, I know marriages that have been together for 50 years have become stagnant because they don’t dream, they think it’s done.
They think if it’s over, and I’m like, no. Like you can still have dreams. It doesn’t have to be quite as extravagant as it can be, it doesn’t matter. It’s gonna look different for everyone.
We have more dreams and hopes and aspirations as a couple now than. I think we ever did as individuals and I think we ever did, um, just knowing who we are now as people because we’re older like we’re both in our forties.
I’m in my early forties and he’s in his late forties. So it’s like you know who you are as a person and your abilities and you’re, you know, things that you’re not good at, things that you are good at, and you just play to those in, in your dreams too. I think that’s it.
I like to hear that, and do you think that that was a natural progression, or have all worked on trying to be better as individuals to be that way?
We have done a lot of work, both of us for sure. We’ve got a lot of the family issues to work through and all that fun baggage that comes with being, I don’t know, alive. You know, no one’s immune.
So being born, when you’re born, then you have all these family members and you know, all that stuff. So we both have all that stuff that we’ve had to work through and also personal stuff. So yeah, it works. So what about the third? So the third thing is to put money in its place.
Money and the things that it can do are so much less important than your marriage. You have to deal with the finances, and that’s where I believe that the enemy sneaks in because he is like, oh, I know you have to deal with this, so this, this is gonna be, I’m gonna make it tough on you.
So like I use the example of my dad and I have talked about it. He said it was easy for me to quit drinking because I don’t have to have alcohol. It’s not easy for me to quit eating incorrectly because I have to eat. That’s insane. And so finances are the same way, right? You have to deal with finances and so it’s hard. You can’t just give it up.
There are other addictions and things that are hard to give up, but the money you have to deal with regardless of who you are in some way, shape, or form. Even if maybe you’re not bringing in the finances, but maybe you’re working through the budgets or you’re the one doing the, doing the logistical things or, or you don’t have anything to do with it and you’re just having to buy groceries, you still have to do the money.
You still have to deal with it. And so you have to put it in its place. So many times I think I know money. Is looked at to be good or bad, like, but it’s just a magnifying glass is all it is. It’s if you are if your roots are good and you are doing good things, it’s just a magnifying glass for that.
And if you, on the other end, you’re not a good person and you’re not going to do good things, it’s just a magnifying glass for that. But putting that, putting the money in its place and that brings unity because you’re, You’re not battling about it anymore. My marriage is more important and I’ll, I’ll go back and this can go two different ways kind of.
Whenever we were starting our financial journey and we were trying to pay off all of our debt, a situation came up where we had the opportunity to buy a boat at an extremely good price. It was one of those situations and timing was everything and, uh, we were getting our tax return and so had we not been getting our tax return, I don’t know how this conversation would have gone, but my husband was like, I think we need this.
I was like, man, this is tough. This is tough for me because I do enjoy the lake. And so on one hand I’m like, yes, but I’m also like, we’re almost, we’re almost out of our debt that, that tax return, we were gonna be even closer, you know? And, we got to talking about it and finally, I decided, you know what?
All different people go over different things. We did, at the time, we were doing Financial Peace University. There are good and bad things about it. I won’t go into all that today, but yeah. I had to ask myself and finally, it came to, okay, I’m married to Hayden Guest, not Dave Ramsey.
I have to wake up next. And that’s so putting that, putting everything in its place. Idolize money or what it’s gonna do for you, whether it’s good things or not. And that’s why I’m saying it was a good thing that we were paying off our debt. But it wasn’t gonna be a good thing as a whole.
It would’ve worked out just fine had we not bought the boat. But in that unity, in that conversation, talking to my husband, talking about, okay, our kids are at an age where we can enjoy this. When we can afford it. And you know, as I said, we didn’t go into any debt over it or anything, so that might be a different story had that been the case. But those are just decisions on a case-by-case basis that you have to make in unity with your spouse.
Right. Oh, that’s so true. And I love what you said about not being married to Dave Ramsey. You’re married to your husband. That is so true. Because I’ve read, you know, the financial peace or the, what is it? I can’t remember what, what is it called? Oh yeah, the total Money. Then I read another one, but I can’t remember what that one is either. It’s like that, it’s another one after that.
Anyway, I’ve read both of those and I drank the Kool-Aid and you know, I did all that. I got outta debt. All the things. I did all the things. But at the same time, like. I ended up with like no credit cuz we didn’t have any, you know, like I, when it went time to buy a car, like, we paid off for debt, but we still needed a car, you know, like, so it was like, it’s like, okay, it’s good Dave, but it’s only good.
Like, it’s not good in every situation, you know? because you might have paid off all your debt and you don’t have any, you know, credit cards or anything like that. But then you still need credit. Like I had. You know, go through a whole building process with our credit for that as well.
Well, those are things everybody just has to make the decisions on their own. That’s why I tell people, don’t just listen to one person. Why is it, as many counselors like to pull in, there are good things about Dave Ramsey? I mean, there’s, there are very good things and, and different families, different parts work for. And so that’s e for. Because our credit is tanking at the moment because the only thing we have left is our mortgage.
And so, but for our particular situation, That’s not a concern of ours. And so there are just different ways to do things and so pull in advice and different things, like even just listening to this podcast, like you’re adding to your bank of knowledge to be able to create a plan individualized for you.
Following one specific person. One for a specific influencer, one specific plan. Well, for some people that will work. It doesn’t work for everybody. And I think what happens is so many people are like, oh, that plan didn’t work for me, so I’m not doing anything right. Like, I’m not gonna have any focus at all just because that particular one didn’t work.
I wanna speak to that and say, don’t, don’t just throw up your hands when one particular thing doesn’t work. And pulling those different things. So obviously, And all these things we’re talking about, you can’t force another human being to be in unity with you. Like you can’t force, you can’t just, you can’t strong-arm them into.
A place where they don’t wanna be, but we can be. As wives, we are the tone-setters of the home. And for some people it’s like, oh seriously, you’re gonna add another plate to all these? I’m spinning. I have to be the tone-setter. I’m already the maid and the bookkeeper and the, you know, all these things.
And now I have to be the tone setter too, but. The thing is, when you go through these steps, it’s not hard to be the tone-setter. And, and if we can get to a place where we are inviting them in, not only our spouses but our kids too. Inviting them into those conversations. Be a person that they can come talk to.
That’s, I don’t know if, if you’ve ever read Cultivating by, I think it’s John and Stacy Eldridge. It’s really good. It’s just talking about how to be inviting, like how to be a captivating woman, who is bringing in the people rather than, trying to handle things on your own or strong-arm things. Those are, that’s a really good book, but I have one more bonus thing.
There’s, just a bonus, just throw this one in there. Cultivate your surroundings so you become who you surround yourself with. and if you’re surrounded by women who are bad-mouthing their husbands if you’re surrounded by women who are just complaining or gossiping, change your surroundings.
That is the biggest unity breaker I’ve ever seen in a marriage. Being surrounded by people who aren’t for you, for your marriage, or your success. They think it’s a competition. Those kinds of people are toxic. Get them out. You don’t have to let them into your life. So if you don’t have that or if you’d like added support to that, I have a group of women, it’s called Wive Support.
I would be happy to give you if you just wanna text me, that’s the easiest way to do it. I’ve found 1 8 0 6 6 8 3 2 8 6 3 and I can get you the link for that. But regardless, I don’t care if it’s there or somewhere else if surrounding yourself with women who are wanting to link arms and pursue unity, that’s, that’s the best thing that I’ve ever seen for Unity in yours.
I agree 100% and it’s funny that you say that because I think has contributed significantly to the unity between my husband and me by removing certain people from our lives that have that attitude and that have that perspective and limiting their access to us. If, if they’re family members, you can’t sometimes just cut them off, but just limit the access that they have to us and our children. It has been helpful.
Those boundaries are priceless. So yeah. I mean, yeah, and like you said, family, you can’t completely omit, but you can put those boundaries in that are good for everyone and, and friends. I mean, and it’s hard to say bye to bad friends, but, hey, they’re not, they’re not serving you or your family and you’re not doing them any justice.
That’s so true. I love that. I love the bonus one. The bonus one was the best one of all of them. Not that they weren’t all good, but I love the bonus one. So great. I’m glad. Awesome. So Lauren, what is, where is the best place for people to find you or get in contact with you?
Just Lauren Guest. I’m on Facebook and Instagram. Those. That’s the best place to find me right now.
Okay, awesome. That’s awesome. So I thank you so much for being here and I look forward to, um, working with you in the future on different things because I feel like we have some things that we could talk about and do some things with. So I’m excited about that. I am too. We’ll talk again soon. All right. Thank you.