One of the biggest changes for me when Chris and I got married was the combination of our finances. I had never done something like this before and knew it would be a challenge. We officially combined everything the month after we got married, and for the first 6 months Chris was in control. I’ll admit, I had no idea what was going on. He tracked what we were spending and he made sure the bills got paid.
Shortly after the new year I looked into Dave Ramsey. I had some friends tell me about Dave’s class in the past and always thought it would be a good resource. I figured now was a great time for Chris and I to get on the same page. So I signed up Chris and I for the 9 week (we met once a week for 9 weeks) Financial Peace University class at a church nearby.
I was eager to participate and learn, Chris however was just along for the ride. I did a complete 180 in the class, from not knowing anything about how we were spending our money to wanting to know and calculate where every single cent went. I was 100% on board with what Dave was teaching and wanted to implement his ways right away. I got crazy obsessed looking at our credit card statement and bank statement daily. Chris, not so much. I think it is safe to say we had our first couple of big fights over this and our finances in general. We were not on the same page. There were many times I regretted signing us up for the class, and wished we could just go back to the way things were.
But thankfully somewhere along the way (probably right about half way through the 9 weeks class) Chris got on board. He realized that this plan would work best for our long term dreams and goals. We talked about our big dreams and how we would spend and save our money in our married life. We had some truly amazing conversations that brought us so much closer, and gave me moments of falling even more in love with my husband. We put together a plan that at the end of 3 years would leave us debt free (except the house), have 6 months of living expenses in a savings emergency fund, and a fund to buy a new SUV with cash.
Things were looking up. We had a plan and we were putting it in motion. We both felt great about where we were going. We “graduated” at the end of May and even though the course started off incredibly bumpy ended with smooth sails ahead!
Then life happened. It’s a long and personal story, but by the beginning of July Chris was without a job, and is currently still looking for full time work. So everything is currently on hold. Thankfully we kept more than the “allotted” $1000 in savings that Dave recommends while you are in the debt snowball phase, and have yet to touch what is in savings with just my income, his unemployment, and the help of both of our parents. I know we’ll be ok, and I’m so thankful that we took the FPU course to set up our monthly budget, and truly learn where we can cut back.
These past few months we’ve relied on one of our wedding gifts as our perfect date night. The gym girls group, individually got us a monthly date that we’ve been opening up on the 5th of every month. We’ve had some great dinners, we went to a Rockies game, a comedy show, the Botanic Gardens, etc… So with those, we’ve still felt like we have a life!
I would highly recommended the course regardless of where you are financially. We learned some great tools and I look forward to referencing the material in the future. If anything check out Dave’s website as that alone as some great pieces of information and is super user friendly.