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Being A Team Player

     In our house, my husband does the finances. We have taken turns in the past with this mundane but necessary responsibility, but I found that he likes to have an understanding of exactly where all the funds are going. That's fine with me; however, being the home-front manager, I'm usually the one who has the ongoing "list." "So-and so needs new shoes; the whatchamajig needs replacing; two birthdays are coming up; the van's wipers aren't working right," and on and on. I have sometimes felt that my husband brings home his hard-earned wages and I come up with all the ways to spend it. I don't like feeling like he's on the earning side and I'm on the spending side, because the fact is we're on the same team. When things get tight, I like to feel like I can contribute something.

GwaltneyFamily      We both have convictions that my job right now is to be home with the kids, instructing and training. Going out and getting a job is NOT an option, and trying to work out of the home wreaks havoc on the kids by adding stress to an already demanding work load. I've come to the conclusion that if I'm not able to help with the inflow of money into the budget, then what is left for me is to affect the outflow.

     I've taken it on as a personal challenge to cut costs as much as it is my power to do so. One area is food costs. I make sure I plan all my meals ahead and have some quick-fix dinner ideas in the cupboards so it doesn't have to come down to ordering out or fast food to feed my hungry brood. I never want to rely on eating or ordering out because I'll easily pay three to four times as much to feed my family. Let's say it only happens once a month. That could still easily add up to $400 per year or more depending on where you go to eat or increased frequency. I look for inexpensive meals to prepare as well. A pot roast sure smells wonderful cooking in the crock pot, but a hunk of meat like that is going to be much more costly than a hearty pasta meal or some beans and rice. Of course, those inexpensive meals are not always the meals of choice among our set, so from time to time I throw in some of the more expensive meals. They just aren't the norm.

     Another area to limit the outflow of funds is in tools/appliances for the home. If I know something needs replacing, we do the research and ask the question, "Where can I get it for less?" We consider used appliances if we can find reliable ones. It takes more time to find things, but consider how saving 10-20% here and there can add up over a few purchases. I can't stand that feeling I get when I buy something hastily and then find I could have saved $5 or $20 or more if I had just looked around a bit.

     Of course, part of being on the same team with my husband means gracefully accepting it when he decides "we just can't do that right now." Fretting over things doesn't do any good and ends up sending him the wrong message. I always want to convey that he's doing a good job as a provider for our family. Anytime my husband feels like I'm on his team instead of being at odds with him over something makes for a more peaceful home.

     Are you doing everything you can in your home to be a team player in the area of finances? Are there are few things you can die to? A few places to hold your tongue? A few ways you can build up your husband and let him know you can be content with what he's bringing home? The Proverbs 31 woman is a wise money manager and she makes her husband proud. Being a team player with our husbands in finances is a great way to model those two characteristics. You can start by asking God for some creative ways to trim the budget within the circumstances unique to you. He cares about all those details of our lives. Just ask!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Heather Gwaltney

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