The Gift of Debt: A Stronger Marriage
Usually we talk about debt as a bad thing. Today we're taking a slightly different angle and looking at the positive aspects of debt.
It sounds kind of strange, but stay with me. Without our debt, we wouldn't have gotten OUT of debt. We wouldn't be where we are now. We wouldn't have taken Financial Peace University, Eric wouldn't have written a book, and we wouldn't have flown to Texas to speak to influential women about budgeting.
And without our debt, Eric and I wouldn't have joined forces to fight a common enemy. Without our debt, we wouldn't have as strong of a marriage.
So if you're in the trenches right now, digging out of debt, know that you can do it and you'll be better for it on the other side.
How Getting Out of Debt Strengthened Our Marriage
- Communication: Before we joined forces to tackle our debt, we didn't talk about money. Every time we did, it ended in an argument. Every time Eric brought it up, I felt like he was telling me he wanted to limit my spending. I didn't understand what a budget was or the freedom it could give us. But once we jumped in with both feet (you can read more about why we did here), it forced us to learn how to communicate open and honestly. I have to say, once we learned how to talk about money, we learned how to talk about other sensitive subjects as well.
- Teamwork: Getting out of debt required us to learn how to work together. We are different people and bring different strengths to our relationship. We learned how to keep each other motivated and how to lift each other up when we felt weary. We learned how to push hard together and how to celebrate when we paid off a specific loan. It brought us closer together and definitely strengthened our bond.
- A common goal: One of the best things we did when we decided to get out of debt was to set a common goal. Our goal was to get out of debt so I could work less once we had kids. This was so motivating to us! Even though we're out of debt now, we continue to set goals because we know it works to keep us focused. Then, as soon as we reach the goal, we try to set another goal so that we don't lose valuable money without a plan.
- Living out our vows: For better or worse, for richer or poorer. These aren't just words to us. We made a promise on Oct. 7, 2006, and when you go through hard times, you have to lean on the promise you made. When you strip down your spending and get second jobs and bust your butts to pay off debt, it can be hard. We made sacrifices. We didn't have money, but we sure had love.
Almost everything we do has something to do with money (directly or indirectly). If we want to go out to eat, it requires money. If we go to a wedding, it requires money (for a gift, at least). If we want to travel to see family, it requires money. There are numerous times a day where money is exchanged.
As a result, clearing up our money issues cleared up A LOT of other issues we didn't even know were tied to money. We no longer have stress around buying Christmas gifts or taking vacations, because we've made a budget plan and we try our best to stick to it.
So, thank you to our debt, for making our marriage stronger. (We're so glad you're gone, though.)
This post is part of The Gift of Debt Series, an eight-day multi-blogger extravaganza designed to give you the permission to kick up your heels, embrace your debt with glee and look forward to finding the gold at the end of the rainbow. Follow along in the series as we tell the story of our gift and encourage you to find yours.