Tag Archives: Marriage

Our Secret to Intentional Growth in our Marriage

I’ve heard it said that “if you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

There’s such a temptation with marriage to just check out and go through the motions. If we’re not proactively investing in our marriages they die.

Predictability replaces passion. Boredom takes the place of beauty.

In this post I want to share an easy way that Beth & I intentionally pursue growth in our marriage. It takes less than 30 minutes a week, always gives us something to talk about, and guarantees that we’re focusing on growing our marriage. It’s so simple I’m almost embarrassed to say what it is. […]

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The Five Rules of Date Night

 “I have a date!”

Remember the rush of emotion when you and your spouse began dating? Remember how “in-love” it felt at the beginning? It turns out that was mostly just a release of chemicals in the brain which inevitably fade. Sadly after several years of marriage most couples just feel bored.

Bring Back That Loving Feeling

I have good news for you.

It is possible to be married for years and still be romantically in love with your spouse. There’s nothing more powerful in achieving this than a consistent date night with your spouse. But you have to follow these five rules. […]

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Top 5 Unexpected Benefits Of A Budget

Ever see your bank account dwindle away and wonder where it all went? 

You have to understand this principle about money:

If you don’t tell your money where to go it will get lost.

Welcome back to our Managing Your Money series. This post is on Rule #2: Create A Spending Plan.

Rule #2: Create A Spending Plan

What is a spending plan? Very simply, it’s a budget. It’s telling your money where to go before it wanders off and you can’t find it anymore. And according to Dave Ramsey a budget is the number one tool for getting out of debt.

We’ve done numerous posts on How to Create a Budget. So instead of the “how-to” I want to give you five reasons WHY YOU MUST have a budget every month.

Top 5 Unexpected Blessings Of Having A Budget

1. A Budget Gives You Control.

Drowning in debt feels like you’re out of control doesn’t it? A budget puts you back in the driver’s seat. You start to feel like you can wrap your hand around your finances. It gives you confidence. Even if your budget is a mess, simply having one tells you and your money whos boss.

2. A Budget Brings Unity.

Ever have that “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!” experience when you find out your spouse spends money on something completely ridiculous? Creating a budget with your spouse eliminates that once and for all. It forces you to agree on what you will spend your money on every month.

3. A Budget Eliminates Conflict

Statistically, couples who argue more about money are more likely to separate. Why argue constantly when you can schedule one hour each month to get all of your financial arguments out of the way? (Shhh…Beth & I actually enjoy doing our budget together!)

4. A Budget Reduces Emergencies

For an event to be considered an emergency it has to be unexpected. But what most people call “financial emergencies” are actually normal events for which they failed to plan. The car needs new tires, the A/C went out, we have to buy Christmas presents, etc. A budget forces you to “expect the unexpected” and helps you be prepared for them when they inevitably happen.

5. A Budget Saves You Money.

Last but not least, a budget can save you ridiculous amounts of money. But there’s a reason almost 200 million Americans DON’T have a budget. It’s hard…it takes time…blah, blah, blah.

If I offered you $200 to sit down and create a budget in an hour or less you would take it. But what you must realize is a budget will SAVE you at least $200 a month, and every month you follow your budget that number goes up.

What You Manage Grows

Let me be candid for a moment. You know you need a spending plan. The people who don’t aren’t reading this right now. So why don’t you have one? What are your excuses? Time? Fear? Not enough money to manage?

T. Harv Eker says “You must acquire the habits and skills of managing a small amount of money before you can have a large amount. Managing your money is more important than the amount.”

Your excuses will kill your potential. Don’t let them. Take action now.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

P.S. Do you have a budget? How has it helped you? If you don’t have a budget, what’s stopping you?

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How To Kill Your Debt Without Killing Your Spouse

Debt will take a toll on your marriage long before it ever affects your credit. Finance is a numbers game, but we tend to forget there are lives and emotions attached to those numbers.

When your blood pressure starts to rise over issues of money, you should stop and ask yourself, “what’s more important, my budget or my bride? My security or my spouse?”

Money can be an incredibly deep issue, because it is married to your emotions, often showing up in issues of control, security, identity, and desire. So when life is difficult financially, it can really start to weigh on your relationship.

We wrongly place our hope in money, trusting that it will bring us security, and provide for our needs. I personally believe that your level of financial freedom is proportionate to the level of disconnect between your emotions and your money (that’s a powerful thought…don’t miss it!). True financial freedom comes when you can separate your finances from your feelings.

Imagine how free your life would be if the lack of money did not produce fear, and wealth was not connected with feelings of peace and security. What if your level of joy did not rise and fall with your income? What if we could simply trust him to be who he said he is, our Provider? Paul said “My God shall supply all your needs…” Do we believe that?

If you argue about money with your spouse, then it’s time for a divorce. But not with your spouse…rather, with your trust in money instead of in God.

James (don’t forget…this was Jesus’ brother) said “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

It’s time for some soul-searching. Do your arguments with your spouse stem from your own desires, whether that be for control, security, or simply more stuff (because your identity is tied to your possessions)? If so, you need to confess this to your spouse and ask your spouse for forgiveness.

To achieve financial wholeness in a marriage requires teamwork. But sometimes you need a reminder that you and your spouse are on the same team, fighting for each other instead of against each other. Finances are never “his” problem or “her” issue….it’s OUR problem and regardless of who caused it we’re going to work together to overcome it.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley & Beth

P.S. It’s Friday, which means we’re sending out our newsletter today. We always include a short “Date Night” section in the newsletter including tips and questions for you and your spouse to help keep the passion alive in your marriage. Not a member of the DTL community? Sign-up now!

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3 Ways a Budget Eliminates Stress & Creates Freedom in your Marriage (Part Three)

Eighty-Four.

That’s about how many budget meetings Beth & I have had since being married…twice a month for 3½ years. For us, we brought most of our debt to the wedding, and then topped it off with a few dumb mistakes in our first few months of marriage (new furniture? sure!). Most of our marriage has been characterized by responsible financial decisions. And above every other financial arena, the one thing we’ve done very well since day one was create and maintain a monthly budget.

It’s sad to me that “budget” is such a four-letter word to so many people. They avoid budgeting as a way of avoiding problems, conflict, and stress. Yet the irony is this: the very issues they try to avoid are in fact created by not having a budget!

The first two posts in this series primarily discuss the emotional benefits of having a budget: Eliminating Judgment, and Eliminating the Fear of the Unknown.  In this post, we want to share possibly the biggest benefit of a budget: Eliminating the #1 cause of divorce – Disagreements about Money.

Financial Disagreements & Divorce

A study from Utah State University followed 2800 couples for a period of five years, and found that disputes about money were the best predictors for divorce. While this is not new information by any means, one facet of their study proves very interesting.

They found that a couple who has financial disagreements “almost every day” has over a 100% increase in the risk of divorce than the couple who disagrees about money “less than once a month.”

What does this have to do with budgeting?

By having a monthly budget, you deliberately take yourself out of the “almost every day” category and put yourself in the “once a month” category, drastically reducing your risk of relational issues. Here’s how this works.

When you sit down to create a budget with your spouse, the primary goal is for you both to agree on a spending plan…you’re assigning a task to every dollar (this dollar is for food, this dollar is for gas, etc). A budget meeting is the one time a month where you allow yourselves to “disagree” about money. However, you work through those disagreements until you have a spending plan for the month that you both agree on.

If you find something in the middle of the month that you want to buy, instead of arguing with your spouse about it, simply consult your budget. If it’s been agreed upon within the boundaries of your budget, buy it. If it’s a purchase you haven’t agreed about with your spouse, simply wait until the next budget meeting to bring it up. It doesn’t matter if it’s a song on iTunes or an SUV, for you to spend money on it, it needs to fit somewhere inside the budget you have agreed on with your spouse.

Do you see the power in this? If you don’t have a budget, what happens? Every single purchase becomes a potential argument, because you and your spouse haven’t agreed beforehand that it is an acceptable purchase. It creates unbelievable control issues within a marriage, and results in husbands & wives trying to hide their purchases from each other.

Is a Peaceful Marriage worth 12 hours a Year?

Beth & I have a “monthly budget,” however, since we get paid twice a month, we also meet in the middle of the month to update our budget, make sure all of the bills get paid, etc. All in all we spend about an hour a month discussing our budget and paying bills. If you’re just starting out, expect to spend a little longer, but after just a few months it will become pretty routine and you’ll begin to reap the benefits of a significantly greater level of peace in your marriage.

Please leave us a comment, we respond to every one! How would a budget help eliminate arguments in your marriage?

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

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