Today, I told my wife, for probably the fourteenth time: “Honey, I’m just not settled with finances.”
I was speaking not about the amount of money we are making (though we sure could use a bit more), I was speaking about the managing of our finances and the logistics of it all.
She and I have been working on the whole financial management part of our relationship since our first months of marriage. Actually, we talked about it several times while we were dating, so it started even before we were married. But once you’re married and things become real, you get into the bank accounts, tithing, taxes, paying rent, and all the nitty gritty things that go into managing finances in a relationship – and things become a bit more tricky.
I believe in the importance of being a good steward over the things I have been given – be they talents, blessings, finances, or anything else. And at the moment, I feel that I can particularly improve as a stewart over my finances.
But when I said: “Honey, I’m just not settled with finances.”
She responded: “What is it that you are unsettled about? I feel like its working pretty well.”
And I thought to myself: Well what am I unsettled about? We have made some big improvements. What is it that is still bothering me?
So, I’ve decided to dig into this. It’s something I’ll spend time on over the coming weeks and months as I work through it and get to a point where I feel more settled.
Maybe its the bank fees that loom if we don’t transfer $100 from one account to the other and then back again. Or that I am still not sure if using credit cards of debit cards is the best thing for us to do. Perhaps its the frustration of managing personal and business finances in two different systems. Or that I have an excel spreadsheet, a mint.com account that we use regularly, written goals, and several documents to track health costs, etc. and I still don’t feel organized.
At any rate – I’m determined to figure it out. If its a better program I need: I’d like to build it. If its a better system we need to use, then I’d like to find it and switch to it. If its a person I need to meet and learn from, then I’d like to find that person.
Surprisingly, I’ve heard that others experience similar frustrations in the area of personal finances. I’d really like to know who is doing this well. I’d love to know what programs they use, if and how often they categorize their expenses, and how they stay prepared for tax time.
If you have a method that works well for you, I’d love to hear about it.