I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like to admit when I’m wrong. I also don’t really care to admit that I’m not as good at some things as I think I should be. The problem with pride, though, is that it can move us toward unreasonable behavior.
(Okay, this is embarrassing, but I’m going to share it anyway.)
At about year six in my marriage, I was fed up with my husband’s “bossing” when it came to money. I had accumulated some consumer debt, and he was frustrated with my choices–and I heard about it more than I cared to. I felt like he was constantly telling me what to buy and what not to buy. To be honest, I felt like he didn’t trust me and that he felt like he was better with money than I was.
So, I took one of our tax refund checks hostage.
Yes. I. Did.
I got the check out of the mailbox and immediately deposited it in my personal checking account and let it sit there–without Dave’s knowledge. It was WEEKS of Dave wondering why our check was taking so long (and of me not sleeping very well at night) before I confessed…while he was headed out the door on his way to work one morning.
That was a very bad day.
I share this with you to illustrate the OBVIOUS point that I was not willing to see at the time. Dave was right. He WAS (and still is, by the way) naturally better with money. (Like I said, I had accumulated some credit card debt for no real good reason on stuff that was NOT necessary.) Dave may have also had a valid point in that I could not be trusted. (Maybe.)
This was a turning point in our relationship financially. Nine months after this very dramatic (and traumatic) incident, we began our Eat Cheap! journey with $200 for groceries, diapers, detergent, paper products and cleaning supplies each month. God had forced me to take a hard look at myself and to accept that I was coming up short, and He gave Dave the ability to forgive me and to lead our family into a much more stable financial situation. For those of you who have read my book or heard my story, you know that I didn’t think Dave’s $200/month was possible. But, I was willing to try (if only to prove him wrong, haha!). That budget worked for us for THIRTEEN YEARS, allowing us to pay off everything but our home on ONE average INCOME!
Sometimes, it pays to swallow our pride.