We have been attending Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in recent weeks. Even though my husband and I have been married for 31 years, we are still working at refining this whole money management thing in our marriage.
Apparently we are not alone.
If this is a challenge for you, keep reading. If not, skip down to “Managing Time” and go from there.
Financial Peace encourages having a budget. You probably know that a budget is simply a plan for spending. Most financial advisors agree that you should not spend money you do not have, and consequently you need a plan for spending the money you do have to get the most bang for your buck. We’ve all heard that. I heard it a lot from my dad.
But advertisers and marketers are constantly trying to sell us things. That’s their job, and they do it well. Lots of us are buying/consuming more than we really need. And when you spend what you do not have, it costs you. Sometimes it costs you dearly.
In marriage, having a budget of some kind to manage finances is important. It requires effort to get on the same page with your spouse and work out a good system for staying on track, but couples who are vigilant about this are quick to testify that it makes their relationship stronger. (Did you know that arguments over finances are one of the main sources of stress in marriages?) Some of the most outrageously happy couples I know are those who give, save, and manage their resources well. They seem to experience real contentment.
Anyway, Dave Ramsey’s course is great for working on managing finances and budgeting. But it got me thinking about something else that must be budgeted in a marriage—something besides money.
Everybody seems to be incredibly busy these days. Ask the average person how they are doing and somewhere in the answer you are likely to hear the word “busy.” We are “pretty busy” or “staying busy” or “in a busy season.” Work keeps us busy. Family life keep us busy. I often hear friends who are married with children say, “the kids’ schedules sure keep me busy” or “the grandkids are really keeping me busy.”
Busy is not bad because it can be productive. And being busy can feel useful and worthwhile.
But time is a limited resource. Every day has a finite number of hours. Every week has a finite number of days.
Good marriages require some investment of time. Relationships just can’t survive indefinitely without time spent together. And if you use up all the time you have on other things and there is not enough left for your spouse, your marriage will suffer. It just will.
If you are too busy to have a conversation with your spouse, share a meal together, take a walk, or go on a date you may need to figure out a “time budget.”
Time is a limited resource, but the ways to spend it are endless. One difference between time and money—there is no way to borrow time. When you use it, it’s simply gone. So choosing how to spend your time is important. When you do not spend enough time on a significant relationship—like your marriage—it can end up costing you dearly.
This week, choose to spend time with your spouse, and plan how you are going to do that. (Want some date night ideas?) You may need to cut back on some of the busyness in life to carve out time for your mate. But time spent growing your relationship can lead to real contentment in your marriage, and that’s always a good investment.
6 Ways to Stay Connected When You Are Busy
How’s Your Relationship? Take the Marriage Quiz
The Dangers of Marriage Separation
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