Spending Time and Money

When it comes to money, I’m a saver not a spender. I love to save money so much that I will hide the odd $5 or even stash a $20 somewhere out of sight just so that one day I can discover it and feel like it’s free money. I love to accumulate money through automatic transfers to savings accounts, through birthday and Christmas money hoarded in an envelope at the back of my sock drawer, through an empty coffee can that collects our spare change. I love to save up for a big splurge and then cheap out and only spend half what I planned. Actually, I don’t love that, but I do it all the time because I so much prefer to have money saved up than to spend it.

Money In Pocket 3

Some of you might wish you had my problem, and I will admit that I have indulged my pride a time or two, justifying my control binges of locking down spending as discipline. I mentioned that Matt and I are working through a marriage prep course with a couple from our church, and it has been really helpful to go back over the basics of building a healthy relationship together! One of the videos examines the lead couple’s differences in how they handle money – one a saver and one a spender – and how they needed to learn from each other. It is so easy to classify savers as “good with money” because they don’t waste money on frivolous purchases. However, as a saver, I am all too aware of the times I have wasted opportunities to spend my money well because I couldn’t bring myself to let it go.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a recent example –

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Mommy Wars

A friend on facebook shared this link on her wall showing pairs of moms who seem to be friends in real life, each holding signs that declare their opposing choices in raising their kids. It’s a great visual representation of the decisions moms (and dads in many cases) make for their families that easily become battlegrounds online but really don’t need to pit us against each other. It’s a pretty feel-good page to scan through and see women beaming about their choices, and I agree that moms shouldn’t be tearing each other down over these things – 99% of moms honestly want to do what is best for their kids, and that is why mommy wars get so intense so often – these are issues that cut to the core of our values and represent our very best efforts, so for someone to question them feels like a personal attack and we want to respond in kind.

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Clean Your Rings!

A few weeks ago Matt and I started a marriage training course with friends from church who are getting married at the end of the month. The course is put out by the same people who do Alpha, and so far I’ve found it to be a highlight of our week. Much of the material so far has touched on similar themes as our own pre-marital counselling sessions: take time to connect with each other, but don’t smother each other either; communicate your feelings and listen without judging; love must be nurtured if it’s going to last; and good marriages don’t happen by accident.

But here’s the thing! I have gotten so much out of these sessions compared to the counselling we went through five years ago, and I couldn’t figure out why. But I think it’s because…. we’re married now! Dating and being engaged are simply not the same as being married, and although I believe Matt and I entered into marriage as well prepared as we could have been, it’s simply a different matter when you put things into practice compared to talking through the theory.

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