Let's say for example that a husband has just purchased a new $800 outdoor grill,...and he didn't discuss it with his wife first. Was that a wise thing to do? Or what if the wife goes out with her best girlfriend to the mall and spends $200 on new clothes and accessories. Was that any wiser?
Couples, husbands and wives, need to communicate and work together to decide their financial goals, what their budget will be, and how much "fun" money they each get. This also requires a great deal of willpower to ask themselves, "Do I really need this? Do I need this right now, or can I save up and get it later?" It can be difficult, but according to Elder Robert D. Hales, we must "joyfully live within [our] means". He also told a story about shopping with his wife. They walked past a dress in the window of a shop and Elder Hales thought the dress was beautiful. They went inside and his wife tried it on. She loved it, and she looked great. After a couple of minutes the clerk came out of the dressing room and hung the dress back up. His wife came out and he asked what went wrong. His wife then said the four most caring words, "We can't afford it".
Those four words say a lot more than people realize. By saying that Elder Hales' wife was showing her love and selflessness. She thought of him, their current situation, and what their financial goals were before herself. Does this mean, we should never splurge or have fun? No, there are ways to have fun and treat ourselves, while staying within our means and what we can afford.
Taking care of one's finances is a unique process to every family, or couple. Marvin J. Ashton's article, "One For the Money" gives some great advice on how to manage your finances and to be able to live within your means.