One of my friends and I sat down last week to talk about budgeting and saving money. It was a fun conversation. I enjoyed talking with her about the things she already does and other possible things she could do. I talked to her a few days later and she said her husband was having fun with it and she was really encouraged.
One area that has a particular high bill for them is their water bill. Where they live (like where we live) water is really expensive! But, they didn't realize it because they had nothing to compare it to. I went home and compared her water usage and bill to ours and realized that her cost for water is even higher than ours. I emailed her right away to let her know how high their water cost is. Knowing this motivated her and her husband to work on cutting down that bill. She shared her stories with me over the phone later and I smiled.
We had dinner at a friend's house last weekend with her family and another family. I smiled the next day when I reflected on our visit. One thing that had really struck me was that she and her husband had the same vision for their finances and generosity. They were definitely on the same page and loved being frugal and saving money--together. In their case, I know it's a whole family effort and vision as well. They are also wonderfully giving people who love the people in their lives well.
I called my other friend to leave her this message... "I wanted to leave you a message because I was so encouraged by our conversation the other day. It's exciting to me to watch God working in your marriage. I am realizing see how God works to give us a common vision and goals with our husbands when it comes to finances. God works in so many ways and it's neat for me to see this one. It's definitely a journey and often not an easy one, but eventually we get there--on the same page together."
The interesting thing to me is that the vision isn't identical in every marriage. Every family has their own priorities and needs. We have different family traditions.
Truly, it makes me smile to see God glorified this way in our marriages. The point of money management and budgeting is not so that we can feel more self sufficient, but so we can be good stewards of what He has given us and to be thankful for how He has provided. Each month when I balance our budget, I share with my husband how things turn out. Last Saturday was one such day. I gave my husband the rundown and his reply was, "Really?" He and I both thanked the Lord for providing for our family.