Adam and Connie‘s combined income puts them in the upper middle class, so we assume they’ll have no money issues. Not true! Though they make good money, they’ve never learned to manage it effectively.
Like many, they don’t keep track of where their money goes. In fact, they have individual accounts and enjoy not answering to each other for money spent. Unfortunately, they’re not answering to themselves either.
Bills are usually paid on time; and when checking account balances disappear, they draw on their good credit. The amount of compounding interest on their credit card statements worries them; but they’ve never had a problem making the minimum payments. After all, two more checks are coming in next week.
At least, they hope so.
While Edward and Jean make a fraction of what Adam and Connie do, they’re in better financial shape. They regularly “do the math” to see exactly where their money goes; and have learned how to use a “loose” budget to guide their spending.
Early in their marriage they promised to discuss all money issues and set mutual goals for saving and giving. They use credit sparingly, and postpone major purchases until they can pay cash or make a significant down payment. They enjoy an occasional financial fling without dreading the high credit card interest. Theses financial practices have empowered them to make family, not finance, focused choices.
Financial stress impacts a couple’s emotional bottom line. So what do you do?
* Regularly review your finances together
* Agree on spending priorities
* Agree on how you want to handle debt
* Identify mutual savings and giving goals
* Establish a flexible and realistic budget
* Regularly tweak your budget to reflect your current situation
* Stay in tune financially with your partner
Remember … it’s God’s money … not ours … and our goal is to be faithful stewards of what He has entrusted to us … to be liberal in our giving (Luke 6:33), focusing on eternal treasures (Matt. 6:19-20) … and keeping money in its proper perspective (I Tim. 6:10).
Prov. 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
Knee to knee … Nose to nose Questions:
Which couple are you more like? Why or why not? Talk about how you are doing in managing your money together.
Which of the action steps do you need to start working on … or tweaking?
How do you feel about your saving and giving plans? How well are you doing in being a good and faithful steward of what God has entrusted to you?