Why I am grateful for the tire that blew…

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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!

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  1. We also had problems with money when we first got married, and developed a system similar to yours only not using the mentioned resources (which I am sure are great though!) We made a spread sheet on the computer. It definately is tough sometimes to have to wait for the money for things we want, but it is great to know the money is there for the needs when we need them. We also recently had tire problems and were able to dip into our car fund to pay for it. It is a great feeling!

  2. you don’t have to publish this….

    i cannot tell you what a timely post this is. yesterday we were surprised with a check from my husband’s college; evidently we overpaid for the semester. found money is always a joyful occasion, but especially for us since we have zero extra dollars in our budget for anything above necessities. today on the way to work my husband hit something with his tire and it bent the rim out of shape. the cost of the repair is almost exactly what we were given yesterday. i had such a bad attitude about it this morning, thinking we had just been blessed with a gift that would be SO useful right now, only to have it taken away in less than 24 hours. immediately i was convicted – if we hadn’t been given that money yesterday, we would have had no way to pay for the repair today.


    so thank you, for showing your beautiful, graceful attitude and perspective. i needed reminding what it means to be grateful. 🙂

  3. We had the same feeling of relief when we had to replace our washing machine a few months ago (well, relief with our finances but disgust at our worthless 5-year old machine. they sure don’t make things to last!). We always are grateful to not be in the same position as some of our family and friends… and many others who just take out a loan or put it on the credit card. I’m glad your husband came home safely!

  4. This sounds a lot like the way we budget our money. I think people often assume we don’t have any money because we only spend it on things we need…so that we’ll have money for tire blow outs and the like. It’s such a relief to know that there’s money in the bank for the things we need!

    Thanks so much for joining Gratituesday!!

  5. We LOVE Dave Ramsey’s book. We are in the process of making over our money as well. We can’t wait to get to where every dollar we have has a job.We are getting their slowly. Right now some of our money is just wondering around aimlessly, or should I say, towards stuff we don’t need.:o)Can’t wait to be where you are!

  6. Loved this post, Stephanie! I’m glad your husband made it home safely. We have been thankful time and time again that we have had money saved up for unexpected expenses. Those times make me thankful that we live on a tighter budget in order to save. We love Dave Ramsey!

    Last year, though, everything came at once and we did not have enough in our emergency fund to cover. But by careful planning and reducing spending drastically, we were able to cover the expenses without charging on the credit cards(which we don’t have).I’m so thankful that God helped us through that time and it is behind us. It was a wonderful learning experience!

  7. It certainly is a blessing to have a husband who is wise in leading us with our money! This week our car has been in the shop twice!!! Thankfully we had just recently started putting some money into an emergency fund. Wonderful to have it there when you need it! We are big Dave Ramsey fans!

  8. I know this is an old entry, but I was looking at your “budgeting” posts and had to respond to this one!

    We got married one year ago and I brought $42,000 of student loans with me. This was our one main stress in getting married – how on earth were we going to pay all of that off, with my husband starting grad school and our firm belief that we should not long delay having children once marrying?

    My husband sounds like yours – very responsible and knowledgable when it comes to money. And after so many years of struggling with money, and a family that struggles even more, I am SO grateful for him! Between my husband’s savings from before we were married, some very strict budgets (I have $50 cash in an envelope for groceries per week, for instance), and my putting every cent of my income for the first year of our marriage towards debt (baby is due just before our first anniversary!) we got our debt down to just below $8,000 in these last weeks, while keeping a significant emergency fund, with about another $2,500 expected from my income before the baby. We were glad for the progress, but with a $24,000 stipend to live on, we were still a little concerned about the remaining $5000-6000. Then we were unexpectedly blessed with a $10,000 GIFT from family, something we NEVER could have expected! So in less than a year we went from $42,000 in debt to having a good start on a down payment on a house! We have also figured out how to continue to save almost $3,000 a year even with one $24,000/year stipend and me staying at home.

    It makes me feel so much safer to have a husband who is able to do this! He is so vigilent with our finances, and so much wiser about than I am. It makes our marriage so much more peaceful, and like you said, makes unexpected occurances or even emergencies so much less stressful.

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