A few weeks ago, Scott and I finally found some time to sit at the kitchen table, pull out the yellow tablet and have “the finance talk.”
Those are fun, aren’t they?
Actually, it was some homework for our counselor and to be quite honest, it was about 18 months overdue. By nature, Scott’s a saver and I’m a spender. Shocker, huh? I live in the now, Scott looks to the future. He’s all “a penny saved” and I’m like “look at the sale at J.C. Penney!!” At least I’m honest.
With all the craziness in the past year: reroofed two houses, filed four claims on the cars, had seven surgeries, eight hospital stays, three ER visits, did some remodeling, you know the usual…we knew it was time to get a handle on what was coming in and what was going out. It was eye-opening, as it always is. Through the process, though, it reminded me of some important life lessons.
1. People aren’t as rich as you think they are. Everytime I get jealous of the Jones’, I think of that commercial with the guy on the lawnmower listing off all the things he has and ending with, “…and I’m in debt up to my eyeballs!”
2. You can’t take the money with you. But, it doesn’t hurt to be a saver, not a spender.
3. All those little things add up to bad habits in your bank account. Starbucks, Sonic, Janie and Jack, Pottery Barn (that one hurt to type, just a little), the endcap at HEB. You know what I’m talking about.
4. It’s ok to say ‘no’, even though you want to say ‘yes.’ At the end of the day, you’ll be glad you did.
5. Don’t forget about naming charities in your will. Scott and I recently did this and it felt really good to do some planned giving. Clearly, we hope those charities won’t reap the benefits of that gift for quite some time, but putting our wishes in writing felt really good.
Those all sound fine and dandy, but putting them into action. Yowza. As Scott says, “It’s a good thing I married him.” Yes it is, honey. Yes it is.
We chuckle at our torn and worn yellow tablet pages. We’ve done this talk just about every year of our marriage and we’ve been smart enough to save all those papers. It’s a snapshot into our life, by the numbers, so to speak. I got teary looking at some of the early ones.
Really, who does that?? Crying, over their finances because they bring back good memories!! Oh, it was just the epiphany that the crisis of yesteryear always worked itself out and our marriage was stronger because of it.
Perspective. Who knew we’d find it on a torn, yellow piece of paper, dated 2001?