Category Archives: Marriage
One of the first lessons in the Financial Peace University focuses on the family budget committee meeting. (Dave has tips for singles on this too!) Basically, we should spend some time each week as a family discussing the budget. It can be 15 minutes or an hour, however you long you need to feel comfortable with everything. “When you agree on your value system, you will reach a unity in your marriage that you can experience no other way.” So, we meet at 8:00 p.m. on Sundays for the Bynum Budget Commitee Meeting. 🙂
Sounds right up our alley, huh? WRONG. It’s been tough. We did really well the first week because it was new and we had a ton to discuss. Then, we had a new month coming up and had to prepare the monthly budget for that. Then, I think we traveled or something and it kinda dropped off. But, all in all, we are meeting weekly for at least 15 minutes at some point. It’s been hard but totally worth it.
Dave begins this lesson identifying the different types in the relationship when dealing with finances: the free spirit and the nerd. You may can guess who is who. And yes, sometimes we’re both, but we’ve noticed that if in a situation Tim is the free spirit, then I can be the nerd. We balance each other. I am definitely the free spirit when it comes to the budget committee meeting, however. I cannot sit still. I make inappropriate jokes and I like to budget half to clothing to and entertainment. I’m not trying to be difficult I just can’t sit and talk about our money for that long. But really, after the first excruciating meeting, it got a lot better.
One thing that Ramsey points out is that money is the reason for around 90% of divorces that happen within the first 7 years of marriage. That’s insane! Really…it made me look at my husband and think “I will not let money do that to us.” And while that’s nice and sweet, and I know Tim feels the same way, the honest way to look at is, if you don’t BOTH take the time and care to be responsible for your money, then, those fights are easy to get in to. And that’s exactly how we’ve been about money. Identifying that, yes, I am the free spirit and Tim is the nerd made it easier to do the budget committee meeting the second time. He lets me be goofy and I let him do all the fancy calculations but I am totally present in the conversation.
It’s not magic, we don’t always click when it comes to money, but I feel that we have a way to honestly discuss things and come to an answer we both agree on. Being the free spirit, I didn’t know where every dollar went or even when our auto-draft bills happened. No clue. I just knew Tim would take care of that and I didn’t need to worry about it. Tim had to change and realize that I need to know these things and I needed to change and actually want to know these things. Once we sat down and filled out the forms and saw where every dollar went every single month, I felt so much better about our finances. I think Tim did too, because now that I get it, we can actually work together. How many marriages would be better if the husband and wife actually understood that they’re on the same side?
So, the only way you will learn to agree is by actually discussing the issues. Identify who is the free spirit and who is the nerd and find the good in both. Make time, even just a little, to do decision-making together and you’ll notice a difference, I promise!
“Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.” (Native American Saying)
(Decided not to ruin my record of only posting once per full-moon…)
Tim and I are “financial” people, some might say. Tim is the CFO (how hot is that?) of United Cotton Growers, Co-Op and I run our tax and bookkeeping business, Bynum Financial Management, out of our home. I also take care of our church’s offering, paying bills and making deposits every week. So, we deal with money all the time. Tim mostly takes care of our personal finances himself, and I pop in and out and ask things like “well, WHY can’t we go to Hawaii this year, again?” Helpful, I know…
So, in January, our church offered a half-day family finances workshop and we thought we would be “good leaders” and make an example for our newly weds class and attend. We were the only ones from our class to show…and patted ourselves on the back for attending. Then…we actually learned some things. We were thinking we might get some good investing tips or a new way to budget out of this. Wow, let’s just say it sort of showed us that we know nothing about personal finances and needed to make a change.
We started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in February. It is 13 weeks long and we are learning so much! I am so thankful for a church that offers classes like this so its members and the community can learn to live a much better life. One that helps us increase the margin for giving our time and our money to much better causes than vacations and filling our closets with more junk. Don’t get me wrong, I love clothes and Tim and I have big dreams for traveling and enjoying this world God gave us, BUT we’re just learning how to prioritize those things. They are not bad things, we just had them on the list in the wrong order.
I’d like to write some updates on this process as we go through it, much like my fab sister-in-law has done for their family. They are really living it out by tackling debt and teaching their sweet kids to save and give before buying for themselves. Tim and I are already noticing big changes in how we handle our money and even how we communicate about it. I feel really blessed that we can do this class together. If you can attend this course, a one-day workshop, or just read Dave’s book, I highly encourage you to!
Last fall, our life group leaders, George & Cathy, told us that for several years now, they have taken at least one night, sometimes a weekend, and just get away from it all. They have two college-age children and so for a night or two every year, they would leave them with family/friends, step away from the cell phones and computers, dis the laundry and dishes for another day and focus on each other. Tim and I were really encouraged by this idea. The point is to remind each other “this is why I love you” and to asses the previous year and set goals for the coming year. Awesome!
So, we decided to take a weekend and get away to Ruidoso last month. I cannot describe how wonderful and uplifting this little retreat was. We know that this could be a relatively calm time in our lives, no kids, I work at home, etc…and we need to cherish it now so that we can still cherish is later. So, we headed to the White Mountain Cabins in the Upper Canyon of Ruidoso, NM. This cabin is just for couples, teeny, tiny and perfect! This was one of the nicest places we’ve ever stayed and it was basically just one room, no doors except for a tiny, ummm, water closet. HA! Look that one up!
We knew we had three nights and two full days and decided not to plan a dang thing. This would normally be excruciating for me, the planner extraordinaire, but something about the whole meaning of this trip and God’s peace just helped me relax and not care about plans for once. We spent a lot of time eating good food (Log Cabin twice? Thank you very much!) and more time just talking, praying and enjoying each other. Talking might sound horrible to many guys out there, but really, speaking to your wife about what you think of your relationship and your future is sexy! Trust me…
We devoted time to our past, mistakes and even some shameful things that we knew we needed to confide in each other and to our Almighty God. I’ve had trouble in the past feeling “really” forgiven. Like, really really? It’s gone…really? But actually putting mistakes into words through a journal or through telling your spouse and then praying about it out loud is powerful! We were able to move past these things and focus on what’s next. Which, by the way, we kind of have no idea what’s next! But we talked about many possibilities with our church, our family and our jobs. We ended up making a goals list. Some of them are things we could change right now such as a dedicated time for quiet time with the Lord. Other things were things that we know we want to do but aren’t sure yet how to accomplish it. Such as, praying about where to serve in our church and finding that place as soon as possible.
Many of these goals were a starting point and really helped rev us up to do this year right. I’m so thankful for the man God has blessed me with. He knows exactly how and when to make me laugh, when to be serious for me and when to tell me to get over it and move on. 🙂 So, I want to encourage you! Take a night, even if you just go to a hotel in town, and put everything aside to focus totally on your sweetie. You’ll be absolutely amazed at what can happen. Maybe you need some quiet space to hash something important out. Maybe you just need to remember you not only love your spouse, but you actually like your spouse. Do this for each other. I hope God blesses you greatly for it.