The short version of this story is that after eight years of marriage and eight years of Chris handling our family finances, I took over in July.
It’s messy. But then, life is messy.
Let’s go back eight — almost nine — years when Chris and I made the decision that he would oversee this area of our family responsibilities. He was self-admittedly not great with his own finances to date, but he wanted to prove himself and be a leader in our marriage. I respected that fervor, and I gladly handed over the reigns to him, even though I secretly missed balancing my checkbook.
Fast forward eight years, and we were stuck. There was always, month after month, more month than money, and we could never get ahead. We knew we had money. OK, so there wasn’t much money January through June because I basically got fired from online teaching*, but the Lord provided a lot of great freelance work for me early last year, and there was money to live on.
In July, I started a new job. A great job. A job I love. But as I was estimating the amount of my first paycheck and looking at the already negative balance in our checking account on July 7, a week after Chris received his monthly paycheck, I got mad.
That’s right, I got mad. Not mad at Chris, mind you. Mad at this hamster wheel we were running on. Mad at working and working and running and running and not going anywhere.
To get straight to the point: After some counsel from some trusted friends** who over coffee reviewed every penny of our budget with us and who asked us point-blank, “What would happen if Sarah took over the finances?”, we had an ah-ha moment, and we haven’t looked back.
* Fired. Yeah, I’ll own it. And it was a huge blessing. And I’m not being sarcastic.
** Life…together. Lane Harrison, you are welcome.