of you can share about how you
each see things, discuss what’s
important for your family
finances, determine between
your needs and wants (for your
kids as well), and put together a
plan which centers around your
priorities. Pray that God would
help you to be in agreement.  

The plan – A budget
A common perception is that a
budget is about restrictions
(about what you ‘can’t’ spend).
Although, this may be how it
feels, a budget is actually about
allocations (about what you CAN
spend—just where you'll spend
it). A viewpoint of restriction will
definitely be confining, whereas
a viewpoint of allocation will be
very liberating. As you discuss
with your spouse your family
priorities, a budget will serve as
a financial guide to help your
family fulfill its goals.
Click this
link for a great family budgeting
article and worksheet. For help
with your family plan, print, read,
and discuss the article together.

Eliminating debt
Many people are without
savings, have thousands in
debt, and live a month or two
away from bankruptcy. Living
paycheck to paycheck can
contribute a lot towards marital
stress. On top of this, add an
ever-increasing debt load, and
increased marital stress is sure  
to correlate. Eliminating debt will
help free your marriage up from
this added pressure.
A proven method for debt
elimination is called
“Snowballing”. The picture is of
a snowball rolling down a snow-
covered mountain. As it
continues to roll down, it picks
up more snow and gets bigger
and bigger as it rolls. I’m sure
you've seen this in cartoons. To
start snowballing, 1) list out all
your debt obligations; 2) rank
and then order them all starting
from smallest amount owed then
down to the largest amount; 3)
keep paying the minimum
amounts on all your obligations;
4) except for your SMALLEST
debt, do all you can to make
additional payments to eliminate
this debt as fast as you can--be
ruthless; 5) once you've  
completely paid off your smallest
debt, apply that same amount of
payment and anything additional
you can to the next smallest
debt on your list; and 6) and so
on, let this snowball until you've
crossed out your whole debt list.

My heart has been burdened
these past few months as I've
been hearing about more
people, churches, and ministries
struggling financially. This has
motivated me to dedicate a
series of newsletters to the topic
of money management. I pray
that you and your family will
prosper as you grow in being
wise stewards, and put God's
principles to work in your lives!

Bless your marriage,
     Brother Willie Quan
“Show me the money!”
~ Rod Tidwell (Cuba Goodin Jr.)
in Jerry Maguire
Before I had my financial
epiphany (mentioned last
month), every month I’d get
paid, deposit my check, I’d try to
have a general sense of what
my balance was, I’d take care of
my living expenses, then I’d start
spending. I would use my ATM
frequently ($20-$60 at a time),
or use my credit card, I really
didn't think or care much about
savings. My main rule was keep
out of debt (basically, keep a
balance over zero).

If you asked me to “show you
the money,” I’d be pretty
oblivious to where it was or
where it went. When we don't
keep track of our money, we
don't know where it all goes, and
how quickly it goes. This month,
we’ll be taking a look at talking
to your spouse about finances,
budgeting, and debt elimination.

Talking about money
Do any of you have different
ideas than your spouse on how
to spend? Are you a saver, and
your spouse a spender? Or vice-
versa? Even if you two have
similar ideas about money, I can
still guarantee you that conflict
will arise over it. Happen yet?
That’s why it’s important to talk
about it. It’s vital to create a
conducive environment (hint:
listen, listen, listen) where each
© 2007 BlessYourMarriage.com
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Bless Your Marriage Letters                     Issue 16                                  April 2007
Bless Your Marriage Letters                     Issue 16                                  April 2007