This is the conclusion to my series on finances. I hope this has been helpful to you in thinking about how you handle money as a family. Money and finances are generally not the most fun subjects to discuss as a couple, but those discussions can dramatically alter the direction of your marriage in good or bad ways. We’ve discussed planning, income, and debt thus far. Now, let’s discuss how these things can be applied to your situation.
First of all, we are all in different situations financially. Some are more favorable than others, and all of these are dependent on your goals. If your goals are attainable and measurable, and you both agree on them, they are good goals. This will probably take some compromise from both of you. It’s better to deal with that up front though, than six months down the road when one of you is miserable because you are sacrificing for something you don’t even desire. That is a recipe for disaster. Take the time to seek common ground and agree on goals that both of you really desire.
One thing that can absolutely discourage you is comparison. I’ve done this, so I’m speaking from painful experience here. If you look at your neighbor and think... “Wow, look at that Escalade and the new pool they are putting in. Why can’t we have those things?” You are setting yourself up for failure. I can’t afford a new Escalade and a pool right now. Maybe you can and that’s great. If so, send money. Haha! Just kidding…maybe. Anyway, there will always be someone with more means than you. That is okay. There is more to life than money and what you can and can’t afford. Besides, maybe they took out a loan for all those things and have to eat beans and rice to pay for them. Different people have different goals.
Lastly, stick to the plan. This is HARD! I can attest. Without Laura, I don’t think we could’ve done this at times in our marriage. It’s really easy to get off track quickly. Reaching financial goals like being debt free, affording a house, or retiring take time and discipline. It may mean eating out less or not at all, or not taking a vacation. It may even mean selling your car and buying a cheaper one. The bottom line is that it takes sacrifice. Thankfully, though, you have been divinely paired with a partner to endure it with you and keep you accountable. I encourage you to lean on each other. You are a team!! Now go win like one!
Laura and I believe that every marriage is ordained by God, and He has a plan for each one. Things may not look great for you financially, but know that God’s plan is food on your table and a roof over your head. He loves you. We love you, too, and we are praying for you. You can do this through Christ!