Tuesday, July 7, 2009

She is a She & MoneyTalk

We had our first ultrasound yesterday and found out the baby is a girl! Here is a scan of one of the pics:

(That's a profile shot of her head/face and torso)

I know the results of an ultrasound aren't 100% foolproof, plus we're hoping to have at least 1 or 2 more kids after this one (God willing), so we're going to get a lot of the baby stuff in neutral colors. Right now the baby's room is painted a pale green, and I think we're going to leave it that color for now.

But I have already starting thinking about decorating...

Which is a great segue into talking about money, because hubby and I are also talking about redoing one or two of our bathrooms this summer. They're pretty out-of-style right now with not-great wallpaper and the tiles in the tub/shower need to be redone.

I know money is one of the things that a lot of couples fight about, but we've been blessed that this hasn't been a major area of disputes in our marriage.

We both have a financial background with our educations and jobs, but I really don't think that's why we've gotten along so well in this area since we've been married. The things that have really helped us are:

1) Set goals together (i.e. pay off student loans by this date, buy a house by this date) - we usually sit down together at least once per year and discuss what we want to achieve for the next 1-2 years

2) Make a realistic plan to meet the goals - we did this by making a realistic budget that we can both live with. The most important things for us when making our budgets were realizing that there were things that were important to one of us that wasn't really important to the other. For example, the people at my office eat out for lunch a lot and it is sort of a social activity for our workplace. Luke's workplace is a lot different and he brings his lunch a lot of the time or goes home for lunch. So my budgeted "spending money" is a little bit higher to take into account the reality that I'm probably going to eat out with the office on a regular basis.

I feel that making the budget together and agreeing on final amounts keeps us from thinking that the budget is unfair to one partner vs. the other. And it really brings home the bottom line. If I go over budget because I went shopping last weekend, I kNOW that the money has to come from somewhere,and I can see very easily where it comes from.

3) Spending less than we make - We don't live above our means. When we were still in school, we lived in a 600 sq foot apartment. It was TINY! But since we were paying for school ourselves, it was about all we could afford. We didn't go shopping every weekend or get to buy everything that we saw that we wanted. We just couldn't afford it.

4) Not carrying a balance on our credit cards - We use these for work-related expenses (that we'll be reimbursed for later), or to buy plane tickets or large-dollar items online/over the phone. We don't carry balances because we've both seen how that can build up so easily and then bury you (both had experiences like that before we got married). See number 3 if you need more clarification on this point.

5) Splurging - I don't mean all the time. In fact, very rarely did this happen, BUT one thing that is important to make our budget work is to splurge and spend money on things that are special to us. For a long time it was trips to see Luke's family (when they lived on the East Coast). Christmas is a big one - I love giving gifts to my family and to Luke. And this Christmas will be really fun with our DAUGHTER! Sometimes, just something that we wanted that we'd been saving a long time for. Like a new car stereo for Luke that he'd saved up for for months. I fully believe that there should be a reward for sticking to your budget (especially since it can be so hard at times).

6) Giving to our church - this has been really important to us since the beginning of our marriage. By making sure to give sacrificially, and making that an item on our budget, it keeps it at the forefront of our minds just Who our financial blessings come from. And knowing that Luke is just as committed to this as I am brings us closer together. Not to mention seeing some of the amazing things that God has been able to do through the use of our (and others') gifts back to Him.

Not to say that we never fight about money, because we do. But these six things have helped us to see where the money comes from/goes to, and also to stay on the same page about our goals and how we can realistically achieve them.


  1. Excellent points, Lacy! I'm glad you included #6, giving to your church. It's such an important reminder that we are only stewards of God's creation. It all belongs to Him, and He loves to bless us when we unselfishly return those gifts.

    And congratulations again on your wonderful news!

  2. Great post, Lacy! Like Myra, I'm glad you included giving to your church. We have never missed what we give back to Him.

    So happy about your news! Can't wait to see that little one!