I’ve been talking all week about finances in marriage–and I want to end today by actually looking at why you need a budget.
I haven’t really talked about budgeting, because so many other websites do that so well.
I looked at why couples should share finances and why no spouse should ever have no access to money. We looked at how to ask some big picture questions about why we’re doing what we’re doing–do we really need this hectic lifestyle, or could we downsize? Do we really need to spend all that money on college, or are there other opportunities?
Today I want to ask another big picture question:
Sheila’s Marriage Musings: Do You Know WHY You’re Budgeting?
I’ve been watching Dave Ramsey videos non-stop as we’ve been touring the southwest in our RV (I’m down in California and Texas giving my Girl Talk!).
And one video in particular stood out to me. A caller to his radio show was at his wit’s end because his wife just wouldn’t get on board with budgeting and curbing her spending.
Instead of sympathizing with him, Dave Ramsey gave him a little bit of a talking to.
I think the mistake you’ve made is that you’ve talked about what to do and how to do it before you talked about why you’re doing it.
This is so true, and not just about finances, but in every area of life!
Let’s look at money for a moment. Why do we need to pay off debt? If you were to ask someone that question, chances are they’d say something like “because debt is bad”, or because “we’re tired of always being broke” or because “we don’t want the stress.” And all of that may be true.
But it’s not really motivating enough to make us change.
Let’s face it–you’ve known debt is bad your whole life, right? And people can learn to live with an incredible amount of stress, and start to feel like this is normal.
Instead, let’s ask this question:
What would we be able to do if we were millionaires? What would be able to do if we didn’t have to make any payments?
Becoming a millionaire is honestly not that difficult. It just takes discipline and starting as early as possible.
Business Insider has calculated that if you save $2 a day, or $60 a month, starting when you’re 20, you’ll be a millionaire by age 65. Start at 30, and it will be $6 a day or $200 a month. At 40, it’s $20 a day or $625 a month. Now, that’s assuming a 12% rate of return, which is the average for the stock market over the last 50 years, but it’s not like saving a large amount of money is impossible.
It is really hard, though, if you don’t know your why.
I know so many couples in financial trouble who are having the hardest time budgeting because budgeting is hard, it’s boring, and it feels like a punishment. We’ve been bad boys and girls so we’ve been sent to the corner until we can get this right.
But what if we could take a step back and ask, “why are we really doing this?”
It’s not just because you’ve been bad. You’re doing this so that one day you won’t have payments, and you’ll be able to go on vacations without feeling guilty. You’ll be able to help your kids out through school. You’ll be able to start that business you’ve always wanted to start.
Or, even better, you’ll be able to bless other people and really start supporting the causes and the people you love.
It’s not a punishment; it’s an opportunity!
One of the best things a couple can do is to figure out where they want to be in life–and then make a plan to get there.
- Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover
- The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year
What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?
There are lots of duplicates in the Tops this week (especially with this week’s posts!) so let’s look at some others. It’s all about marriage: finances, quality time, communication, and intimacy! This week has it all!
#1 Post on the Blog: My Husband Doesn’t Let Me Have Any Money
#2 on the Blog Overall: 20 Two Person Games To Play With Your Husband
#4 from Facebook: Life Is Too Short For Unresolved Arguments
#3 from Pinterest: 10 Simple Way To Put Sexy Back Into Your Marriage
So glad that my post on Monday was shared so much and went so far! That reader question from the woman with no access to money really saddened me, and far too many women are in that position. Let’s get the word out that it doesn’t have to be that way!
Keith and I are in the RV driving from California into Arizona today, on our way through to Texas eventually. I’m speaking in Arlington on Thursday night, and if you’re in the area, I’d love to see you!
Have a great weekend, everyone!