My husband is the best. Not only is he handsome, sweet and so very thoughtful, but he runs a mean budget.
Through his diligence and hard work, we keep a very detailed record of not only our spending, but also our savings. We give every dollar a job, and we stick to a well-defined budget.
Though I am always grateful that he is such a careful steward of what God has given us, last weekend reminded me why once again.
While driving down the I-5, returning from Seattle early on Sunday morning, he felt that the car was veering somewhat. It was a slightly windy day, so he wondered first if our little sport wagon was being pushed around by the wind. That didn’t seem quite right though, and as the tug got stronger, he wondered if he was on a bad patch of asphalt (you know, those parts of the highway where the pavement feels like you’re driving over a series of ridges, and your teeth start chattering as you try to save your latte from going to waste all over the front seat of the car).
Just as he had decided it was none of the above and was preparing to pull over and take a look at the car, his questions were answered. POP! He looked in the rearview mirror to see a piece of our tire waving goodbye as he struggled to keep control of the wheel and pull over safely (and therein is the first thing I am grateful for- he did pull over safely, praise God!). Sure enough, one of our tires had blown.
The thing about tires is that you can’t replace just one. If your front left tire goes, you inevitably have to replace your front right tire as well, otherwise you will have uneven wear (don’t ask me any more than that- I just know that it’s true!).
So, after receiving help and getting a spare tire on, he made it across the Canadian border and immediately headed for the place where we bought our last set of tires (mere months ago). The damage? Nearly $300 (our car requires slightly more expensive tires than most). Gulp.
This is where my extreme gratitude kicks in. Through careful budgeting, planning and saving, we not only have emergency savings that we could have used, but we also had car maintenance funds set aside, ready to be used for a repair such as this. We didn’t even feel weight of the extra expense at all. Can I just tell you how amazing that feels?
It is times like these that I am so grateful for where God has taken us with our finances, for the lessons he has taught us, for God’s incredible provision for us, and for a husband who manages what we have so carefully.
If you are struggling with getting ahold of your finances, I would strongly recommend a few resources for you. We did not come into our marriage knowing how to do this (it is humbling to remember what a huge learning curve it has been for me), and have benefited greatly by the teaching and products that we have received and used along the way. First of all, I would suggest reading Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. Then, I would check out the budgeting system You Need A Budget. You can read more about how our budget and cash system functions here, here and here and I would be happy to answer any questions that you have about it!
Discuss and pray about it with your husband, and determine that you’re going to do what it takes to get to a place of living within a budget, within your means, getting out of debt, and then learning how to stay there. It is worth the sacrifice and the hard work, believe me! Coming from being nearly $30,000 in debt when we married (my debt, not my husband’s), to where we are now in 5 years has taught me that it is truly possible!
There you have it- today I am so thankful for financial calm and peace, a God who is merciful to provide for us, to teach us and to guide us, and for a husband who does his job so very well! Thanks to Laura for hosting Gratituesday!