Confronted with the opportunity to purchase a truck, I sat down to see if we could afford it. I wanted it, and I wanted it badly. Cindy did not agree. She is our bookkeeper and has her finger on the pulse of our family finances. Our current vehicles were fine, but I wanted a truck.
“Why do you want a truck,” she asked.
“So I can haul stuff,” I declared.
After reviewing our income and current obligations numerous times, it was wretchedly apparent that I would be risking our financial strength to buy the truck.
Jesus warns us, “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills?” (Luke 14:28, NLT).
Had I not taken the time to review our current situation, my wanting a truck would have brought undue stress upon our marriage.
The Bible reminds us, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity” (Proverbs 21:5). The opposite of good planning is impulse buying, which is when we buy too quickly. The natural-born shoppers among us should resist it. I heard of a woman who kept her credit cards in a solid block of ice in her freezer. In order to buy something for which she had no cash, she had to thaw out the cards. By the time that happened, she no longer wanted or needed what she was about to buy. It may seem like a ridiculous plan, but it’s worth doing it if it will rescue your family’s financial security.
Good planning also includes an agreement on the amount of money that can be spent without first checking with each other. The specific amount will depend on the budget category and your particular circumstances.
Budgeting can be difficult, but I want to encourage you to devise a plan for success. It’s a great feeling telling your money where you want it to go, rather than wondering where it went..
Let’s talk: How has your marriage been strengthened or challenged by dealing with money issues? Please leave a comment below.
*The above marriage tip is an excerpt from Tools for a Great Marriage by Willie Batson.