Mae grew up in a home where she got whatever she “needed” and then some. I grew up in a home where we needed a lot more than what we had. What do you get when you put Mae and I together in marriage …? Personal finances that don’t work.
In our earlier years of marriage whenever Mae needed something she would come to me and say “I need X” and my natural response was “No.” So not to be defeated, she would go to her Dad and say again “I need X” and he would help her out.
Fast forward 10 years and here we are today. We’ve discovered that our budgeting issues are less about money and more about our own psychology and emotions and feelings. For example, when we have a money meeting together, we have to do it as equals…. I can’t go through the numbers beforehand and figure everything out (like I do naturally) I have to wait and figure out the numbers with her. Otherwise I’m just the authority figure to be begged and pleaded from or to be rebelled against.
Money has emotions, feelings, resentments and the ability to make you high… and while money involves numbers, why is it that people think it can be understood using math? We think that setting up a spreadsheet will make our money work for us, something I have tried many times. Why is it that after 10 years of being married, “money meetings” can still turn into a money fight? It’s not the money’s fault it happens! It’s me, it’s her, and it’s how we feel about what’s happening in our financial world. Not just numbers and the math on paper!
Another thing we’ve realized is that the world of advertising and media is designed to make us feel inadequate and not good enough. “If you don’t have the latest gadget you’re not good enough.” However we have to find our value outside of things. It’s not buying something or having THINGS that makes us who we are. It’s our value from God that really matters.
Some people love spreadsheets and enjoy tracking money down to the penny. Spreadsheet tracking does not work well for me, if I take two hours on a weekend to update my spreadsheets it just drains the energy right out of me. Then I ignore it and put it off. I have a limited amount of time and energy to spend on managing my money. If I spend that time and energy on tracking receipts, data entry in a spreadsheet or writing checks to pay all the bills, then I won’t spend any time on the things I deem really important in my life such as family.
It is possible take the time to set up your finances so that the important things take care of themselves without lifting a finger. My objective in writing this today was to get to talk about automating your finances; to make savings and spending choices and then make them happen automatically. But I didn’t get that far so I guess you’ll have to watch for my next post!
Please comment and tell me about your experience in trying to make money work in your family.
Have you read Mike’s other posts on Family Finances? Click HERE to read more…
NEWS FLASH!!! Mike and Mae are NOW teaching personal finance at our new site called Spend Successfully! Click the link below to learn more!