A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.
A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.
The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations.
The dreaded “money talk.” This weeks talk was all about finances and budgets. I couldn’t have come at a better or worse time. No better time because there is nothing like starting a new year off right and prioritizing, no worse time because Christmas has a tendency to strain the budget to the max. In short it was perfect and, as always, in God’s timing.
I am not so great at budgeting or rather at staying on a budget. I put a high priority on generosity which is difficult to budget. I also just don’t like having to think that much before I buy something (probably a bad habit). My solution in the past has always been to over budget knowing that the cushion will balance my spending. Unfortunately that doesn’t lead to a lot of savings.
As we had our discussion a couple things came to light. First, we agreed on how we would like to see a budget done. We both like the idea of a detailed budget with contingency and buffer funds. Second, neither of us is particularly good at sticking to the budget. But the last was the most enlightening. We do not have the same stories with money. That is to say, the meanings that are attached to money and spending money are very different.
I’ve never really been equated with the money I do or don’t have. Maybe that has to do with my family culture, maybe it is more larger culture or maybe personal experiences. Whatever the cause, this has not been true of my love. His experiences with money and relationships have left more than holes in his wallet, they have left scars on hi heart. Understanding this vulnerability and concern was important and not something I anticipated. I had geared up for this being a practical but not particularly emotional week and found that in fact it was a very vulnerable topic for my man.
I learned so much about how to love him and what he needs to feel secure and valued. I am so grateful that God’s timing is perfect and He knew we needed this topic at this time. We talked about prioritizing tithing, generosity and savings while delving into past experiences and dissecting why they made us feel the ways we did. It was a wonderful talk.
So to my amazing boyfriend, the love of my life and the partner of my choice, thank you for sharing. Thank you for opening up about what money means to you, your hurts and your fears. I love and respect you so much and I am excited about this new chapter .