My husband and I having been working through baby step 3 (save 3-6 months of expenses) of Financial Peace University and let me tell you, it has been tough.
The tough part hasn’t been saving the money, it’s been working together. We’ve had a pretty good system so far working through the Total Money Makeover, but wanted to step it up and decided to go through Financial Peace University.
Well, the class has exposed some things which I think is a good thing. Things we already know like, we both have strong leadership qualities (control freaks), can be a bit stuck in our ways, and tend to work better individually (when it comes to money) toward a common goal.
We had a good system going, but felt like we could make a greater impact if we had a single budget like Dave says in FPU. Well that hasn’t been working. Trying to have a single budget has been the bane of our existence the last 60 days.
Don’t get me wrong, we in a sense have a single budget. The way we’ve managed our finances before now is we mapped out which of us would focus on which areas of our finances. Germaine manages our monthly expenses and I manage debt elimination (our mortgage) and savings.
We’ve always sat down a few times a month and talked about goals and vision for our money and I tackled whatever fell into the debt/savings category and he tackled expenses.
Trying to work it all together on one sheet as suggested in FPU, has not worked well for us. We have different money management styles. I’m the type that wants to deny myself all ‘fun’ until my monthly financial goal are met, while Germaine likes to mix his financial goals with weekly ‘fun’.
A prime example of how our styles are different are with the envelopes. I made these labeled cash envelopes for the categories I am going to use cash for. I showed them to Germaine and he thought there were too many. Had he made them, he would have combined envelopes like clothes/school or groceries/gas. Combining any of these would drive me nuts because I’d spend money from one of the other categories. Germaine, has a great mind for numbers and would remember exactly what he had left to spend even though the money is all in one envelope. Little things like that were causing both of us to get frustrated and that isn’t good.
Both of our individual styles have been working prior to now, so we are going to go back to that starting next month.
We’ve always agreed on how much we should tithe, save and spend so we will continue working toward finishing up baby step 3 with the budget method that works for us.
I’m so excited to be going back to our old budget system, because I felt like we were wasting more time trying to understand why we were becoming frustrated than actually working on the budget.
We agree that we work differently, but effectively. Our system works and that’s not to say Dave’s doesn’t. God made me a certain way and my husband a certain way. I am very meticulous which can seem overcomplicated to my husband at times and perfect for accomplishing goals at others. My husband can seem overly simplistic to me, but he accomplishes all of our family financial goals using his method.
It’s okay utilize character traits unique to you. I don’t have to operate exactly like Germaine and he doesn’t have to operate like me. We do have to have unity and peace or else none of these goals will matter.
I’m super excited to be on this journey with him and ultimately want to bring God glory in all we do.