making the trek

Trekking through life: Faith, family, friends and a whole lot of coffee!

Goals. Part 1: Those pesky finances January 3, 2012

In a recent post of mine, I outlined a set of resolutions goals that I want to focus on for this coming year.  After reading my friend’s post on GOALS, I loved that term and along with the original blog I read HERE on how to successfully manage and keep resolutions goals, I have begun to attack them.

Having had the house purse strings in my total control for 7+ years I am happy to hand them back to my hubby.  And I am reluctant. As we navigated those dark and murky waters of change several years ago and I went from a happy-go-lucky, stay-at-home mama to a night shift, full-time worker balancing family, sleep and work (in that order) I also had to have a quick lesson on family finances.  ICK!  Despising the checkbook and the whole organizing of bills, it was a chore I was thrilled to have nothing to do with for most of our marriage, happily acquiescing to my hubby all financial decisions–it’s his strong point, not mine.  However, once it was necessary, I realized how foolish I was to have kept my head in the sand for so long.  What a burden for one person to carry alone.  It was a conversation we never had with small children running around, one I never found important nor interesting.  Stupid girl.  Until it was important.  It occurred to me how many friends I had/have in this  situation and it was one I vow to not find myself in again.  It’s crucial to running a household and marriage, to be on the same page; balancing the budget sucks, however, to live within one’s means it’s imperative to know what’s coming in and what goes out.  In these past years of economic downturn, I am sure many, many people have learned this lesson the hard way.  Like me.  The left hand MUST know what the right hand is doing.

I did an OK job for the first 5 years of hubby’s incarceration.  We were with my parents and I was able to keep debt to a minimum or nil.  After buying our house a couple of years ago, expenses began to creep up and in and while nothing was ever late or unpaid, the debt grew.  Extravagance wasn’t an issue, just 4 kiddos and LIFE.   It is what it is.   And now it’s time to dig out.

Fast forward to 2012, and after having hubby home for 6 months and working, we are both in a good spiritual and mental place to discuss finances.  Lay it all open.  Full disclosure.  I looked forward to it as much as pulling off a band-aid.  But it is necessary to be united in this area.  Finances are widely known to be a MAJOR factor in marital discord and we’ve had enough of that for a long while, thank you.  Time to address the elephant in the room:

Luke 8:17  For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

So we laid it out, put it on an Excel sheet (TypeA hubby), and have the beginnings of our “plan” to start chipping away.  It won’t be overnight.  It’s going to take some discipline.  I’ll tell you what though, it is an enormous weight off my shoulders to have faced that beast and shared that burden.  I know everyone has their own system and you do what works.  For us though, we share it all: income and expense.  For us, that’s what works.  And we march forward.   How about you?  Head in the sand or fully aware?  It’s a difficult topic and generally finances are off-limits as a discussion.  Unfortunately, I think that’s one of the reasons our economy got to be where it is, no one discusses finances.

Now onto tackling the remainder of the resolutions goals.  Quiet time in prayer and Health. To be continued…..

 

2 Responses to “Goals. Part 1: Those pesky finances”

  1. Tammi Says:

    I am glad to say I no longer have my head in the sand either, however I can’t say I didn’t want to put it back in there after looking at what we have to face so that we may be in a healthy financial situation. As you say we faced it and we will now march on to meet our goals for the new year and the ones to come. Thanks for sharing, love you. T

  2. […] Finances.  Moving along nicely.  Paid bills the other day without all the general anxiety that accompanies that task.  Hubby and I are going to look into Yodlee or Mint to have everything in one place and have a snapshot “real-time” look-at-a-glance rather than update the Excel sheet monthly. […]


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