Money goals in 2019? Yes, please! I know that so many of you are excited to tackle money goals for 2019, as you should be. But making the necessary changes to live a life of financial freedom isn’t easy. And it doesn’t get easier when you get married. Two people with individual perspectives, passions, and personalities, coming together can seem like a recipe for disaster. But, there is hope once you resolve to develop the same mindset going into this new year! This year, declare as a couple that you will not spend another year repeating the same financial mistakes that kept you broke or even worse, in debt. If you commit to developing successful money habits, you will smash your financial goals in 2019.
Get Comfortable Talking About Money.
I am surprised by the number of couples, new and old, who talk about EVERYTHING under the sun EXCEPT money. Talking about money helps you to dream, plan, and work together. My first tip is to start with prayer and ask God to give you the right mindset going into your money talk. Understand that it is merely a conversation, not a lecture or interrogation. Always communicate with respect even if the conversations become heated and you don't initially agree or see eye-to-eye.
Develop a Common Ground.
You do this by exposing your shortcomings and sharing your goals, hopes, and dreams. Play a game of “Never Have I Ever” with your spouse. Say, “Raise your hand if you have ever co-signed a loan for an ex?” “Raise your hand if you have ever offered to cover the check and were fasting and praying your card would not be declined?” “Have you ever blown a check on something dumb that you probably no longer have or don't even like anymore? We've all been there. Let's learn to laugh, move on, and remove the facade of perfection so that you can connect better with your spouse. For more tips, be sure to listen to episode 3 of my podcast on the “Make Your Money One” show.
Give a Deeper Purpose to Your Money Goals
The journey ahead will not be easy and you'll need a purpose-driven mindset to keep you committed and afloat when you are tempted to ease up or, worse, give up. Ask yourself: “How does accomplishing this goal help me, my marriage and the sphere of influence God has given me?” “WHY do I want to build an emergency fund?” Is it so that you won't have to keep digging into your savings account or borrowing when a financial inconvenience occurs? WHY do you want to stick to a spending plan? Is it so you finally have the confidence to know where you money is going? WHY do you want to muster up the courage to call your creditors and set up an repayment plan? Is it so that you finally begin the journey of having more of your HARD EARNED income instead of those bills?
Give Every Dollar Direction
Have you ever tried traveling somewhere you've never been, without directions, only to take forever to get there? Or even worse, you end up lost? With so many resources readily available to us, it is pretty silly to go anywhere without mapping it out first. We can apply this same thinking to our financial goals. What does that "destination" look like for you? Perhaps it is reducing or eliminating debt this year? How about saving up for a down payment on a house? However lofty or attainable your goals are, the first tool you need, is a plan. That plan is your budget. You can grab the one I use every month here. Budgets create an environment where you tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. Whatever that plan is, be sure to effectively communicate and make it quantifiable, time-sensitive and realistic.
Seek the Lord's Vision For Money
One of the reasons many of us don’t have victory in our finances is because we have not partnered with the Lord nor studied His word (the Bible) to uncover His direction for our finances. In episode 2 of the Make Your Money One Show podcast, I share ten Bible verses all believers should know about money. Also, ask God to help you with all that you'll need to stick with your goals in what may be a challenging season. You'll need all the wisdom, grace, focus, discipline and contentment to win this race. Changing or creating new habits definitely requires hard work and dedication. As a result, you'll need help from God. Involve Him in the process! Don't fall for the lie that prayers should be reserved only for healing, protection, and salvation. Ask God for the consistency, encouragement, accountability, and unity you'll need to attain your financial goals.
I hope you noticed that none of these money moves actually included money. That is because I believe that strong marriages create strong finances and financial transformation begins in the mind. Before I can coach you and formulate a financial plan, it is important for you to develop the best marital environment to accomplish your money goals. It is never too late to make wise decisions for yourself and your family. My prayer is that God gives you the grace to create AND implement money moves that your future selves would thank you for.
Rickette Williams is a finance blogger whose mission is to help save Christian engaged & newlywed couples stress, overwhelm and confusion by helping them get comfortable talking about money! For more information, please visit makeyourmoneyone.com.