I have discovered that there are frequent forks in the road to my marriage recovery and even some dangerous curves. Now I have to add the speed bumps that have popped up also. These bumps are slowing down the process, but not stopping it.
My warning to others, if you encounter what looks like a speed bump along the way, do not, I repeat, DO NOT try to speed up and fly over them. Just like the speed bumps in the parking lots, that will just rattle your body, spill your drink, and possibly put you in danger of not being able to control your vehicle – speeding over these speed bumps will cause rattled emotions, dropped opportunities, and uncontrolled behaviors…. None of these are good ideas.
Our marriage recovery speed bumps come in the form of finances and decisions regarding where our home base will be.
Since our lack of any financial communication and responsibility during our past marriage caused so much of our angst, anxiety and anger, it is vital that we figure out how to overcome this and move forward with a totally overhauled budget with a healthy savings and spending agreement.
After divorce, we both took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes through the church. It is probably a good idea to take a refresher course – together. The first time, we were in a different emotional state, and quite frankly, in survivor mode… just trying to figure out how to handle our own money alone. For myself, personally, I know I was emotional learning about all the errors from our financial past that couldn’t be undone to really focus on learning what I should do differently.
By some miracle, we are both fortunate to be without debt. Who else an say that in this world of 0% down, high interest loans? Cars, homes, toys, education. All paid for. Credit cards are long gone. So, why don’t either of us have a decent savings plan? Why do we only have meager retirement accounts and small life insurance policies?
I confess, much of my problem is a result of apathy and just lack of attention. It is odd to admit that I am not a big spender, I don’t have a decent wardrobe, I don’t have a shoe or purse collection. I can only name a couple of ‘designer’ names in my closet (and those are all a result of gifts from others), I have not taken a vacation in years, I have no recognizable hobbies or habits draining my bank account. Hmmm, what’s up with all that? Apathy I say… plain ol’ apathy.
With some attention lately, I realized how much money the cable tv service costs each month and translated that to the annual expense amount. Yikes! And, I don’t really watch anything specific or regularly. Cancelled that. What’s next?
Now we have finally connected to the internet, downloaded some budget software, itemized our spending and are trying to come to grips with where our money has been going. Next steps will include learning to agree on where it needs to go and how much as well as what needs to stay and why. Family budget 101. This should be worth the effort eventually, but it is a bit of a speed bump at the moment.
Where to live is going to be the next area to really discuss. Currently he is in a much older mobile home that he is working on repairing so it can sell. And, I am in a house complete with a homeowners association. We agree that we want to start out our next marriage in something we enter into together at the same time. Something that will meet our individual wishes and likes as well as that which will be a true reflection of us as one entity.
I guess there is great value in taking things one day at a time. We are both working on our places, looking at want ads, and starting to move towards a search for a new address. And, of course, the budget to get there too.
“Everything in heaven and earth is yours, and you are king, supreme ruler over all. All riches and wealth come from you; you rule everything by your strength and power; and you are able to make anyone great and strong.” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12). And too often we do not realize that how we handle money can have eternal impacts. “If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with worldly wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?” (Luke 16:11)
I keep praying, trusting and thanking God for all our gifts and blessings, most especially the gift of forgiveness and each other.
thank you God.
in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!