Did I ever tell you that I met Taylor Swift? No? Oh, that’s cuz I didn’t. I just really, really love listening to her on Pandora so that’s kinda the same thing, right?! Whatevs, don’t crush my dreams!
I’m a nerd. I’ve accepted it, so it’s cool but I feel like I need to let you guys in on just how far my nerdom goes because it’s only fair! So today, I had a great coffee date/play date with one of my good friends. We were catching up over green tea and interrupting kiddos when the topic turned to what we do to make intentional time for our husbands/marriage. She talked about how her and her hubby love going out for wine and great conversation, which I’ll admit sounds super romantic and lovely. What was my answer to how we keep our marriage blessed and blooming? Our monthly budget meetings! No, this is not a test, this is real life my friends. Joe and I love to get our budget on! Ever since starting our Total Money Makeover and becoming debt free (other than the mortgage), our lives have been radically changed by the freedom of being intentional with our money. So every month, we sit down together and tell our money where it’s going to go that month. So much better than wondering where it went at the end of the month! As nerdy as this is, I truly love coming together as a team with my hubby and making decisions for our life and our future. This simple act of budgeting/being a team flows into other areas of our lives and allows us to be more of a team elsewhere. I told you, total nerd, but I’m so okay with it!
As part of our budgeting and our Quest to Simplify, we are learning what it means to live on less. We are intentionally saying “No” to random indulgences so that we can say “Yes” to the things that really matter. We are trying to “live like no on else” as Dave Ramsey would say. It’s not always easy, but I am learning a lot about myself throughout the process. I have had to ask myself “Do I really want this? If so, why? Do I think it will improve my life? Make me happier?” This process is changing my heart from one that was entitled to one that is grateful for all that we have and are given. Slowly, I am recognizing the joy in the simple. Like the sweet gesture my husband made last night when he bought me two adirondack chairs.
Ever since we went to Maine last August, I have wanted adirondack chairs like the ones we saw at the house we stayed at. I have been eyeing them at World Market, Target, Home Depot, you name it! But…they weren’t on the budget so I accepted that it just wasn’t time. Last night, I admired the gorgeous coral adirondack chairs as we entered Lowes. We browsed around to pass some time and on the way out, Joe grabbed two of the chairs. The convo went a little something like this.
Me: “What are you doing?”
Joe: “I’m getting these for you. You’ve been really patient, so I want to get these for you.”
Me: “But they’re not in the budget.”
Joe: “I still have money left in my monthly allowance. You can take it out of there.” (side note: Yes, we are adults with allowances and it’s awesome.)
Commence heart melt.
You see, this whole budgeting thing has taught me about so much more than just money. It has taught me about gratitude, thankfulness, sacrifice and patience. It has taught me that the joy isn’t really in the 2 adirondack chairs, but the selfless act of a husband for his wife. There is power in how we use our money. We can use it to be a blessing and steward it well rather than mindlessly like I did for so much of my life. I encourage you, if you’ve never done it before, sit down with your spouse and make a budget for the month of April. You may be surprised what you find out about yourself and your marriage!
If any of you have any questions about getting started on budgeting, financial freedom, etc, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Happy Monday! xo, Stacy Kokes