There were some tough questions Kevin and I had to put to ourselves and to each other. This is not discussions we’ve had before, probably how we got to this place in the first time. I am praying that old dogs can truly learn new tricks. This weekend I was indexing my old journals (aka numbering them all and logging where certain topics are discussed, so I can use them for future writing projects); I was distressed to find more than one entry about trying to gain control over our finances. Seeing that I began seeing this needed to be addressed in 1995, then reoccurring almost every year after – still 20 years later we’ve made no headway (in fact, I’d say we’ve ended up worse than before). So hence, my prayers that this is the golden ticket, so to speak, for us finally embracing the necessary changes.
The first optimistic step definitely has to be that Kevin and I are making a commitment to do this together, and we finally have the tools (Navigating small group study and Compass Catholic resources) to make the changes. We are talking about the issue – that is huge and a first. I am being 100% honest and not trying to hide the extent of the mess so that I can continue to have my shopping sprees and be debt free too! We are also meeting with friends to discuss the study questions together and to encourage each other along this often difficult road. We all decided last night, that the coming together and talking was probably the most helpful step in this process, though it is obvious as we peeked ahead in the study guide there are MUCH more helpful steps to come!
Lessons Discovered in 2016 ~ Let the Journey Begin:
- Contentment is key to living within your financial boundaries.
- Budget is not a restriction but a great freedom to … as my friend says “tell your money what you want it to do,” and not let it rule what you do!
- Though money matters will always be part of our lives we are hoping to get from a place of worrying to planning (being proactive instead of reactive, for once!). A very different (and healthier) mindset!
- Kevin and I are finally looking at similar goals for our money – because we finally (after 26 years of marriage) had a conversation about it! He is the primary “bread winner” – and has been since we started having children 20 years ago, yet he’s had very little say over how the money was spent. I have a great deal of guilt honestly over how I breached his trust with my selfish spending in some cases. In other cases, thedebt has incurred out of decisions we’ve made out of love – wanting me to be a stay at home mom (but not curbing our lifestyle to accommodate now being only one income) or trying to provide things that would make our often depressed son happy (that happiness was temporary and FYI -we’ve learned better in this area as well). Although there were many mistakes – they were errs out of love and we are willing to accept that but that does not mean we can continue in them.
- The GREATEST LESSON (thus far) … is realizing we’ve put GOD OUT of this area of our lives! For two people who pray so often about so much – this isn’t a place we’ve allowed God in! **Because we didn’t want to hear no (if we are honest about this). And that… with so much more… is all about to change!!