You know those newlyweds who sip iced lattes in the spa outside their five-bedroom Tudor while planning their next trip to Italy?
Neither do I.
Most people I know started out eating mac and cheese in a cramped apartment while sorting stacks of bills.
Weren't your first years of marriage supposed to be magical? Weren't you supposed to take weekend getaways, buy spontaneous gifts and paint the town? So why does it seem that every dime is paying off the past or accruing for the future?
Enjoying the "just married" moments and still saving money is challenging — but you can live well when you prioritize your spending based on the three C's of financial contentment:
If you can't have it all, discover the most important aspects of your activities. What's the best thing about going to the movies? If you think it's the atmosphere, attend an earlier (cheaper) show. If it's discussing films with friends, rent one at home and invite the gang. Figure out what brings you the greatest enjoyment. Then look for ways to have fun without breaking the bank.
When the Joneses are buying hot tubs and big screen TVs, it's tempting to pull out the credit card and keep in step. It's the American way, right? How quickly we forget to thank God for the simplest things. Even hot showers, comfortable homes and cupboards full of food represent luxury to people in most other nations. Challenge yourself to take your eyes off of your neighbor's toys and to reflect upon everyday blessings.
God commanded the Israelites in the Old Testament to give Him the first 10 percent of everything they harvested. This showed they trusted Him to provide the rest. New Testament writers don't play with percentages; they remind us that all we have is God's. The lessons: Give generously and spend wisely. When we invest our time and money in Him, we reveal our hearts. And if you think faithful giving only leads to eternal rewards, talk to someone who consistently offers his "first fruits." He can probably amaze you with stories about God's abundant provision here on earth.
Live better — and smarter — by incorporating the three C's of financial contentment. Here are 20 money-saving tips to get you going.
It's great to dream about the future — and wise to plan for it — with the one you love. But ultimately, your level of financial contentment as a newlywed depends on your mindset. French poet John Petit-Senn summarized it this way: "Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance."