Our Financial Story (Money Series #3)

our financial story//naturallyjmharris.com
photo by neONBRAND
It’s been 5 months since we started this Dave Ramsey plan and completely overhauled our household finances and perspective on money. Five short months hardly seems like any time at all to have accomplished what we have.
I’m telling you this because we’ve experienced a supernatural ease that we’ve never experienced before when it comes to money management. And for that I take 0% credit. To God be the glory.
I don’t know how everything on that list came to be. Of course I know the mechanics, but still, the amount of items amaze me. 
We’ve always had an irregular income. We once both saved for our house and paid off our truck in a matter of months. Once our furnace broke just as the nights turned into winter–the Lord in his mercy covered our shortcomings.  We paid our friend’s way for a trip, we were handed money and gave it right back away because we wern’t in need.  One summer had to tell a friend we didn’t have enough in our checking account to cover a coffee run. We’ve overdrafted our account because we didn’t know how to save when paychecks were plenty for the weeks when they were sparse.  We bought a fixer upper with a large potential for equity when we sell.
We’ve been really good at being on the same page regarding long term goals, but really poor at agreeing on how to achieve them. Our financial backgrounds couldn’t be different–Solomon says, “you grew up privileged and entitled; I grew up dirt poor. Your parents bought you a $10,000 car when you turned 18, I worked for a summer and bought myself a $200 one.”  Needless to say, we were raised with night and day different approaches to work and learning to mesh those hasn’t always been seamless.
I never want to write about money with pride. Sometimes times are just plain hard. Despite our best efforts for control, there are seasons of scarcity and there are seasons of plenty. I believe that it is the will of the Lord that a man enjoys the fruit of his labor (Ecc 5:18-20). I hold to that promise. It is what keeps me going when I’m tired of throwing my entire paycheck towards the debt I created.
I believe in financial freedom as being something greater than paying off debt and wealth building. I believe that when efforts are put into household management deep things come unraveled and I don’t want you to give up when they do. I’m telling you this because I believe that no matter how messy your finances may be or how great your shortcomings there is hope. 
I have seen it, in just five short months.  Five short months in which we could’ve done nothing but kept living the way we were, but instead we’ve:
  • -built our emergency fund savings account to $1000
  • -started a sinking funds savings system and have faithfully contributed to it weekly; bought a couple items with our sinking funds
  • -started to pay off debt highest interest rate first, got about $1300 into paying off a credit card before becoming convinced instead of the snowball method
  • -paid off an IRS debt- not our smallest but first because IRS
  • -learned how to be on the same page when it comes to finances, both big picture and practically
  • -stuck to an every dollar budget and mastered how to manage it with our irregular income
  • -(I) learned how to spend our fun money with no guilt
  • -(I) experienced a lot of joy from finding freedom from anxiety about $$$.
Look at this list as a little preview of specific posts to come and subjects to be delved into. I’m not telling you this because I’m proud of our accomplishments (although I am), but because we both at one point had a lot of ignorance regarding money management.  Now that we’ve started to overcome that ignorance, we want to share what we’ve learned – what works, what doesn’t work, what may be behind the money decisions we make and simply what it’s like for a married couple to handle finances together.  Read part one and part two of the series.
Comment below if there’s a specific topic you’d like to see covered!

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