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Spending As a Couple With Howard Dayton


Christian talk radio with Rob West

April 20, 2022

Money is one of the primary causes of marital strife, and usually squabbling over money involves spending. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Howard Dayton joins us today to discuss how to come together around money. Howard Daytong is the founder ofCompass Finances God’s Wayand author ofMoney and Marriage God’s Way. THE POWER OF EXPECTATIONS When two people are raised very differently with regard to money, that can lead to very different expectations about lifestyle. What a couple spends on their lifestyle can have a massive impact on their relationship and their finances. Differing expectations, if they’re not discussed and reconciled, can damage or even destroy a marriage. It’s crucial for couples to agree on a lifestyle they sense God wants for them, one that is affordable and enables them to achieve their long-term goals together. THE DISCONTENTMENT TRAP And one of the biggest obstacles to reaching unity in lifestyle comes from the persuasive power of advertising! Think about it! Advertisers spend hundreds of billions of dollars every year. All for just one purpose -- to get us to spend more. Whether the product is cars, clothing, or deodorant, the message is clear: the happy, wrinkle-free life can be ours if we are willing to buy it. And if we can't afford it now? No problem; we can always charge it! Advertisers are pros at creating discontentment and turning wants into needs. Five of the six times the word contentment appears in the Bible, it involves money: In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul said, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. " And Paul wrote those words from prison, in chains. The fact is, no one is born with the instinct of contentment. It’s something we must learn. It resists the urge to buy-buy-buy and enables us to live within our means. Howard recalls his marriage to his first wife, Bev, who has gone home to the Lord. He says early in their marriage they realized that if they were going to reach their long-term goals, they needed to control spending and be content with a sane lifestyle. They decided thattheir short-term sacrifices were unimportant compared to the long-term benefits of arriving at true financial freedom. KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK They asked these questions about each spending category: Can we make life-style decisions that’ll reduce our spending? Do we need this item? If we need it, can we get it less expensively? Consider asking the same questions with your spouse about your spending decisions. Remember, the objective is to reduce spending so you can create more surplus each month giving you the ability to give more, pay off debt more quickly, and save more. BEWARE OF COMPARISONS! Comparing ourselves to other couples often leads to trouble. Many couples have suffered by trying to "keep up with the Joneses" whether they could afford it or not. Young couples are especially susceptible, wanting to begin with the same lifestyle their parents took years to build. They often buy homes, cars, and clothing that are just too expensive. Some want to create an affluent facade to impress others. Don't fall into this trap! Christian author George Fooshee once wrote, "People buy things they do not' need with money they do not' have to impress people they do not' even like. " In Luke 12, Jesus says, "For not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions. "Think of your possessions simply as tools to help you accomplish what God wants you to do for Him. He’s entrusted you with assets that He intends you to use for His purposes and that doesn't include trying to fake it 'til you make it. PLAN YOUR SPENDING! Of course, it’s nearly impossible to control your lifestyle without a spending plan (a budget), but that can be another point of contention. It’s a common problem that one spouse recognizes the need for a budget while the other doesn’t. If this is your situation, in a kind way ask for permission to start one, committing to do the bookkeeping yourself. Then ask your mate to meet a few minutes each week to review their financial progress. Often your spouse will see the benefit of this approach particularly if you don't use the weekly meetings as an opportunity to nag. When possible, it’s best to work with your spouse to draw up your initial spending plan. Then the spouse more gifted in keeping records should do the accounting. Meet together once a week to pray, examine your progress and make adjustments. If you need help creating your spending plan, check out the MoneyWise App. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●How do you determine the best way to sell property to minimize capital gains taxes? ●Does it make more sense to pay off a home sooner or invest more in the market? ●What is the best way to invest on behalf of a young grandchild?

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