There are words – lots of words but then there’s the “F” word.
One of the MOST controversial f words… No one likes to talk about the “F” word. No, no, no, I’m not talking about a curse word I’m talking about FINANCES. In our home growing up when dad was doing the bills we were all outside playing. If I think about it long enough I can actually picture my dad sitting at the computer doing bills. I can almost feel both the tension in the room and stress. If ever there were a time to avoid being in the house it was without question when dad was paying the bills. Needless to say finances have become one of the most controversial “F” words in our home even to this day.
Finances DO NOT have to be a stressful topic.
Honestly, I am certainly not one to sit there and throw down things like how much cumulative debt my husband and I have, how much money we have in savings, or even how much money my husband makes… You will probably never catch me sharing that information. Finances have always been a source of hushed concern or maybe even stress. I will say student loans are the absolute worst.
The reason for mentioning the “F” word is when I started this blog last August I had a few things in mind. I wanted to have a place where I could just be me. Where I could encourage other people and share information that I’ve found whether that be a good book, new favorite song, a new app, revelations on the topic of grace, perhaps a recipe, DIY, etc. The idea of inspiring or encouraging others is something that really makes me happy.
Believe me, I know finances can be stressful from time to time. I think many of us can relate. I read a quote one time by Dave Ramsey, “Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to win with money. They are a temporary inconvenience for a permanent goal.” The best thing you can do is become laser focused on your end goals and put a plan in to action.
Our BEST Advice on How to Manage Financial Responsibilities
It is important to understand your financial personality as well as your spouses. According to Dr J. Galen Buckwalter, “personality is roughly defined as, the sum of behaviors and attitudes, values and beliefs that make up our individuality as people…” Some people are savers naturally and some people are spenders. It’s important to understand that neither the spender or the saver is wrong. Oftentimes actually opposite personalities balance each other out. Understanding your financial personality could very well be the key to fixing your money issues. It definitely has helped my husband and I to understand our spending behaviors.
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Establishing a budget, is key to financial preparedness. Knowing exactly where your money goes and giving every dollar a job (Dave Ramsey anybody…) is important. My husband and I try so hard to stick to a budget. We fail more times than I’d like to admit here but, by creating a budget each month we’ve become increasingly aware of where our money is going: bills, food, gas, amazon and random misc expenses. It’s eye opening to see how we are spending and exactly where our money is going.
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I tend to utilize pen and paper wherein Brian likes to see thing on a computer. In the past we have purchased YNAB. We currently use YNAB 4 because I don’t want to pay for a subscription. Recently I’ve been made aware of Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar Budget App and plan to investigate it further in the coming months. We have also used Mint.com.
*A lot of times Brian and I will have questions about budgeting or finances, etc. we head on over to DaveRamsey.com he’s our go to source. Also pinterest has a wide array of different articles about budgeting, paying down debt, etc.
We have found that simply “winging it” when it comes to bills just doesn’t cut it. I can’t even tell you how many times over the years an unexpected expense came in and wrecked our budget. Being prepared for what happens when an unexpected expense occurs is so important. I feel like this is something we can always work at. Preparing for the unexpected by establishing an emergency fund will definitely alleviate the burden of an unexpected bill, car problem, etc.
Work Together to Attack Debt and Obtain Financial Goals
It is important to both understand and communicate financial decisions and goals. By establishing an environment where discussing finances is welcomed and actually encouraged you open grounds to not just simply dream about tackling financial goals but set the stage to accomplish them. The best thing we have done as a married couple is extend each other grace when it comes to our budget. We made the decision to work together on our finances and it’s been the best decision. It isn’t always easy and it’s definitely not fun to talk through some of our finances but I can tell you this, it has motivated us to zoom in our focus on the bigger picture – debt reduction and financial peace. Finances does not have to be One of the MOST controversial f words…