This is the story of a real life couple and the simple changes that they made in their financial life that transformed their marriage and family.
In honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I wanted to bring you a real life love story. This is the story of Angie and Aaron, a couple in their 30’s with two young children. Though they love God and love each other, their finances were wreaking havoc on their marriage.
The Way Things Were
Like many people, Angie and Aaron always knew they needed a budget. They even made an effort to develop one from time to time, but they never stuck to it. Both natural spenders who love going out, they found it easy to justify overspending anytime they felt like it.
They took a divide-and-conquer approach to managing their finances instead of working as a team. Angie did the bulk of the household spending and made the related decisions and Aaron handled everything relating to cars and electronics. They sound like a normal American couple, right?
Their financial habits took a toll on their marriage, though. Any time they had to talk about money, they would just end up arguing. Especially about overdraft fees. It was so stressful for them that usually, they would rather avoid addressing their finances than getting into yet another fight. Angie says, “I would get angry and shut off to where I didn’t even want to talk at all.”
A Turning Point
To fulfill their dream of owning their own home, Angie and Aaron moved from Southern California to Colorado. But even with the lower cost of living, they found themselves struggling to purchase a home. They had a long list of bills that needed to be paid to have their mortgage approved.
An old friend recommended that they take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (link) after hearing about their situation. At first, Aaron wasn’t interested. It wasn’t until the friend offered to pay for the class that he decided he had nothing to lose.
By the time they made their way into the first class session they both believed that there was no hope for them when it came to finances. Money matters only brought arguments and discord to their home. They didn’t see any way to move from their current reactive approach to a more proactive one. It was so hard for them to agree on anything financially that it took an outside voice to get them heading in the same direction together.
What They Did
Angie and Aaron decided to go all in and follow Dave Ramsey’s plan of sticking to a budget, paying off debt, and building savings. They knew that if they could get control of their money instead of letting their money control them they could have harmony in their home.
They told me that the most effective thing in turning their finances around was the use of a budget. Consistently following a budget each and every month made all the difference. As they developed discipline in their finances, it not only transformed their relationship with money but their relationship with each other as well.
How Things Are Now
“Before Financial Peace, we were out of control, not following a budget, and spending as we pleased,” explains Angie. But not anymore. Gone are the days of impulse buys and last minute decisions. These days they make financial decisions together, ahead of time, and record them in a budget. That way they know exactly how much they have to spend in each category and they are in agreement about it.
Now they have control over their financial life and the fruit can be seen in other areas of their lives as well. Their home is a much happier place. Angie and Aaron argue less and have fewer disagreements. Their girls no longer have to witness their parents arguing in the middle of dinner. They have peace in their marriage.
It hasn’t been easy. They have had to make sacrifices, such as not going out as much. But it has been worth it. They say, “Sticking to a budget has not only served us well in our finances but overall has been better for our marriage.” Their only regret is that they didn’t take Financial Peace University at the beginning of their marriage.
Hope For The Future
A year ago they had accepted being in debt as a part of life, but now Angie and Aaron have hope and new dreams of being debt free. I spoke to Angie recently and she was so excited because they were finally in a position to be able to give to missions, something near and dear to her heart. In addition to supporting God’s work, one of the things they most look forward to now is being able to invest and have their money work for them instead of working for their money. They couldn’t even conceive of that before, but soon it will be a reality.
When asked what advice they would give to other couples, their answer was very straightforward. “Complete Financial Peace University and implement the steps right away and stick to the budget each month.”
Well, what are you waiting for? Could a budget transform your marriage too? You’ll never know unless you try. What have you got to lose?