I think my husband should probably write this post, because I’m the one that wasn’t on board. Even to this day I still think some of the philosophy’s aren’t perfect, but that’s probably because I’m the spender in this relationship. Guess what? Now that we are debt free I can spend. We have more flexibility in our budget than we have had before. There are a lot less arguments about my spending habits these days than there has ever been before. Hooray for a happy marriage! Which is our number one priority in the King household.
What I CAN tell you is what NOT to do. DO NOT tell your spouse that this is the ways it’s going to be or you’ll take away her debit card. Not the best approach. Just sayin’. Not from experience or anything.
My husband and I have sat down with many couples who have found themselves at a crossroads financially who are seeking wisdom on the subject. Maybe not necessarily looking to be debt free because that seems like a pipe dream to some couples, but just to gain some perspective. There are many financial avenues you can take to gain financial freedom and Dave Ramsey is our chosen way. Our question is always the same: “what is your why?” If you and your spouse don’t have an answer to this question it will be difficult to stay motivated.
When we got married I knew that I wanted to stay home with our children. I knew I would not be able to take my babies to daycare. Having me go back to work after our children were born was not a good decision for our family and my husband agreed. Something we could finally agree on! On top of transitioning to a single income we wanted to live in the same city my husband worked because two farm kids just don’t understand the concept of rush hour traffic. The price tag to live in our desired location was not a small one. It became very clear that debt free was really the only way we could afford to live in our desired location and live the lifestyle we thought God was leading us to live. It was this vision of a lifestyle we had in common. And so, we started planning.
My husband was and is Dave Ramsey’s number one fan. He was very passionate that the Dave Ramsey plan was the ONLY way to go. So, I gave in, and decided to do it my husband’s way because managing finances is not something I was good at or enjoyed. He had a plan and I didn’t have a plan. My husband is the head of my family and it came down to him making the decision. But as we went on the journey of the baby steps and found a good budget that we both agreed on, it wasn’t hard for me to see that this was the best path for us. It did take time and it was a battle. We probably should have had a mediator at our first “budget meeting”. I remember with a smile on my face as we discussed how I spent too much money, but my husband thought a good grocery list was ribs and beer. True, I was the one that initially gave in and let my husband take the lead, but he also had to make some compromises. This was NOT a quiet conversation but one that needed to happen.
Above all else, we wanted to be good stewards of what the Lord had blessed us with. Tithing was always going to happen, regular bills will always come in that need to be paid, and we wanted to be able to be generous. We didn’t want our marriage to constantly be stressed by money or lack there of. I don’t want the only conversation my children overhear between my husband and I to be arguments over finances. And so far, that hasn’t happened. They hear conversations about budgets and financial goals, but no arguments and tension between their parents because of finances.
As with all things in marriage getting your spouse on board is probably not going to be the easiest thing you have ever done. To sum up, find common goals. What is your why? That could be a lifestyle choice, the ability to be generous stewards, or simply wanting to take away conflict in your marriage, whatever it may be, find that common goal so you can work together to achieve it. It may just make your marriage stronger than it’s ever been before.
That’s what it did for me.