What About Our Money?

A little compromise can go a long way in a marriage.

A couple months before Rich and I were married, I received a startling phone call from our pastor.

"I got the results of your FOCCUS inventory," he said. "You guys have a lot of issues that need to be worked out. We're going to have to set aside some time to talk these over before your wedding."

I was dumbfounded. Had Rich not been honest with me about his feelings? Or did I not believe the way I thought? Was one of us an impostor?

Pastor Tom interrupted my racing thoughts. "Uh, oh, wait a minute," he muttered. I could hear papers shuffling. "Ah, there it is. I had the wrong couple's results."

I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Good news!" he said brightly. "You only have one issue that you really differ on: finances."

Those results were no surprise, but hearing that the test had validated our opposite attitudes toward money did gnaw at my already stressed-out bride's tummy. From day one it had been evident that Rich and I were in different camps when it came to spending and saving—he was barbecuing filet and drinking cabernet in Spender Forest while I was roasting marshmallows (from an economy-size bag purchased with a coupon) at Saver Canyon.

Yet even though we recognized our individual approaches, it wasn't much of an issue while we were single and handling our own money. In fact, I'd rather enjoyed how Rich treated me to the finer side of life during our dating years.

But now we were headed to the altar—and I feared that might be a short stop on the way to the poor house.

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