How We Avoid Money Fights In Our Marriage

 

Over the course of my adult life, there have been times I have had money and there have been times I have not had money, and believe me, it is better to have it. Through my adult years, I have both lived on my own and as a married man and as a dad. At each stage, I have had to alter my view of money to some extent.

At one time finances was a big issue for my wife and I. Finances are typically the biggest fought about issue in a marriage. We have learned some lessons and principles to make those fights less often and less intense.

Here is what we have learned about managing money, making money, and saving money:

Managing Money
We have learned to follow the Dave Ramsey plan. It is simple and it is biblical. Here is a quick summary of his plan…our plan!

  1. money$1,000 to start an “Emergency Fund”

Emergencies will happen. Dave has this as the first step because no matter what financial plan we have if an emergency comes up and we do not have an emergency fund then the whole plan goes bust. We started with a $1,000 “Emergency Fund”.

  1. Pay off debt using the “Debt Snowball”

Begin paying off every debt from smallest to largest (except the mortgage) and make a commitment to never go into debt again no matter how much sense it may make at the time. We have thoroughly bought into the concept that “debt is dumb.” I actually refer to debt as financial cancer because it will kill you…financially. (Possibly even physically. Check out Maxed Out by James D. Scurlock.) My wife and I made a commitment when we got engaged that we would be debt free before we got married and remain debt free. Other than a mortgage we had for 13 years we have held true to that commitment. It is very freeing.

  1. 3-6 months of expenses in an “Emergency Fund”

This is not unique to Dave Ramsey. Almost every financial coach I have ever listened to agrees that a fully funded emergency fund is between 3-6 months of expenses. My wife and I choose to go with six months rather than three.

  1. Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax Retirement

Once we have debt eliminated and a fully funded emergency fund we are ready to prepare for the future. The future is coming, we best be ready. If we fail to plan then we plan to fail.

  1. College funding for children

At this point, we plan for our children’s future. If we save ahead for our children’s education they are less likely to go into debt when they go to college.

  1. Pay off house early

Get that last monstrous debt out of the way. A mortgage is the only debt that Dave Ramsey is sort of lenient on. However, after being freed from a 13 year mortgage I seriously doubt my wife and I will ever have another mortgage. We might, but it is unlikely. It is just too freeing to not have any debt. My hate for debt is stronger than my love for a house.

  1. Build wealth and give

In the words of Dave Ramsey, “If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Zig Ziglar puts it this way, “When you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, the day will come when you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.” In other words, “if you play now you pay later, if you pay now you can play later.”

Making Money
What we have learned about making money can be summed up in Galatians 6:4-5; “Make a carful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (The Message).

Saving Moneybusiness-money-pink-coins
What my wife and I have learned about saving money is that when it becomes very important to us to save money we will find a way to do it. Whether we are saving money for an emergency fund, to make large purchases so we will not go into debt, to build wealth so we can give more money to worthy causes, or maybe to one day purchase our dream house with cash; when it becomes important enough to us we make it happen!

What have you learned about managing money, making money, and saving money?


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

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What Can You Do With a Lot of Money?

 

On Tuesday we discussed saving money for an emergency fund. Yesterday we discussed saving money to make cash purchases to avoid debt. Today let’s look at a third reason to save money, wealth building.

Remember, I am not talking about being eager for money I am simply talking about being wise with money. There is a difference. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10), but to be wise with money…well…that is just wise.

savingProverbs 28:20, says; “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished” (NIV). Please do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating a prosperity theology here. I believe this verse describes just the opposite. God does bless those who are faithful. All those blessings are not necessarily financial, although they can be. God blesses in many ways.

However, if your goal for faithfulness is to become wealthy, that would be “eager to get rich” and as this verse says, those will be punished. Again, do not be eager for money, but be wise with it. Saving money for wealth building does not have to be an “eagerness for”, it can simply be gaining wisdom with our money.

Someone who is faithful about saving a little money every month over a lifetime will build wealth. Being wealthy is not a sin. It is the attitude behind the wealth and the accumulation of it that makes it right or wrong. There are many wealthy people who use their money for godly purposes.

saving moneyDave Ramsey often uses the following equation: If you save $100 per month, every month for 40 years at 12% interest you will build it to $1,176,477. Then he goes on to say, “what if I am half wrong?” Well, the answer would still be $588,238.50. That is still not a bad retirement. Imagine the people you could help with that kind of wealth!

What do you want to do with your wealth in retirement?


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

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Are You Dying From Debt Related Stress?

Yesterday we discussed saving money for an emergency fund. Today we will look at what is becoming a lost discipline: saving money for purchases. We live in an instant gratification society and we feel that just because we want something, we should have it right now – whether we can afford it or not. How do we make it happen? Debt!

IDebt Word And 3d Character Showing Bankruptcy And Poverty believe debt is financial cancer and it is killing people financially. Proverbs 21:20, says; “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has” (NIV). It is unwise to just blow all we have and then when we find something we want, we just go into debt for it.

young couple worried at home in bad financial situation stress asking for helpDebt-related stress destroys marriages, reduces productivity in the workplace, and in some cases, it is literally killing people (Check out “Maxed Out” by James D. Scurlock). It is okay to purchase material wants if you are financially responsible when you do so. A big part of being financially responsible is saving up the money to make big purchases instead of going into debt.

Dave Ramsey says, “One definition of maturity is ‘delaying pleasure.’” Remember, “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has” (Proverbs 21:20, NIV). The wise and mature thing to do is save up for big purchases.

debtDebt is a killer! As I said before, debt is financial cancer that is killing people that would otherwise be financially stable. By the way, the belief that the poor must go into debt to get by is a myth. I realize I may get some backlash from that but it is true. As a matter of fact, the less money one has, the more fatal going into debt will be.

debt stressI have had money and I have not had money and in neither case has debt been an asset.   To be honest, over the last 17 years, other than a mortgage I had for about 13 years, I have not had any debt. The freedom I have had during times of plenty and times of…well… not so plenty – I can greatly attribute to my and my wife’s refusal to go into debt.

So, go ahead and get you some “stuff’, just make sure you can pay for it without going into debt. And if you cannot pay for it, at least have the wisdom and maturity to delay that pleasure long enough to save up and pay cash!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

Check Tommy’s availability:

 

Are You Prepared to Lose Your Job?

 

Image result for tax time imagesTax time means we typically become more aware of our financial situation. We look at our income and what we have spent over the past year. We come to the conclusion that we need to spend less and save more.

Cars break down, people get sick, houses needs immediate repairs, and people lose jobs. Emergencies happen.  It is a fact of life. It is wise to be prepared.  We need an emergency fund.  Some people call it a rainy day fund. Whatever you call it, there is much wisdom in preparing for financial emergencies. We might as well go ahead and plan now so they will be less devastating. emergency-fundIn Genesis chapter 41, Egypt is about to have seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. In verses 35-36 Joseph gives this wise counsel to Pharaoh; “They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine” (NIV).

Image result for car breaking down imagesWe may not always receive a dream of when an emergency is coming like Pharaoh did, but sometimes you can foresee a coming expense.  You know – when the car sounds like the motor is about to explode every time you stop at a traffic signal…. there may be an automobile repair in your near future. Go ahead and save up now… before the explosion!

Suggestions for saving up an emergency fundpiggy

Dave Ramsey suggests you save up a beginning emergency fund of $1,000 while you get out of any debt (other than your house). If you have no debt (other than your house) most financial coaches suggest saving up between 3 to 6 months of expenses in an emergency fund. My personal opinion is to save more towards the 6 months than the 3 months.

Pinterest is a great resource for tips on saving your emergency fund.  Check it out!

What is something you’ve done or plan to do to save up for emergencies?  Leave your suggestions in the comments below (find “comments” just below the red submit button)!


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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

Check Tommy’s availability:

 

Is Money Evil?

 

One of the most important things we can do when it comes to money is to save it. Unfortunately, sometimes we have a negative connotation about saving money.

Saving money does not have to be a selfish act. It really depends on the attitude of the one saving. However, the antidote is not for us to avoid saving money. The antidote is to change our attitude towards money.

money-evilMoney is not evil. Our love of money can be evil, but not money itself. Money is amoral. It is neither good nor bad. It is our attitude toward money that is either good or evil.

1 Timothy 6:10, says; “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (NIV). It becomes a problem when we love money or are eager for it. There is nothing evil about being wise with our money as long as we are not eager, greedy, and in love with it.smiley dollar

Saving money is a wise action as long as it does not come from a place of greed. Saving money for an emergency, to make a specific purchase, or even wealth building is not an evil act. It is actually more biblical than going into debt which our society seems to have little to no problem with doing.

I would like to suggest a paradigm shift…. a change of thinking about money. It’s what I would consider a wise a biblical approach to money.

romans-12-2.jpgRomans 12:2, says; “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV). Our view of money may need a paradigm shift, a change in thinking, a renewing of our mind. The last I checked the average savings in the United States is  -2.2%. That is correct, we have more debt than we do savings in this country.

dollar signsI want to leave you with one more passage out of the Bible. Proverbs 6:6-8, says; Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (NIV).

According to this verse, it is wise to save. If you want to reach your God-given potential it may be time to have a “renewing of your mind” when it comes to your finances. Just a thought.

We will look more at the basic reason to save money in this week’s upcoming blogs.

What are your thoughts on saving money?


Follow to this blog to be sure to get motivation, encouragement, and accountability in your inbox to help you reach your God-given potential!  Don’t miss the rest of this week’s blogs.

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_MG_6842cropTommy Lanham is a dynamic, award-winning speaker who has been training individuals and organizations to reach their God-given potential for 25 years. With a unique blend of Ziglar motivation and ragamuffin faith, Tommy delivers powerful, life changing messages filled with humor, hope, and enthusiasm.

Tommy will empower, entertain and energize audiences to achieve extraordinary results and live a life beyond what they ever dreamed possible.

Tommy is dedicated to helping you make your next event the best you’ll ever experience. Your audience will laugh, learn and be inspired as he mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message.

Check Tommy’s availability: