3 money-saving musts
Why save money when I can spend it now?! Sometimes, spending discretionary income for immediate gratification is fine, but some saving is necessary for planned gratification. Don’t worry, you’ll spend it, just later. There are three primary reasons to save part of your income – a short-term emergency fund; long-term, for a purpose; and retirement.
An emergency fund of 2-6 months take-home income is a necessity to preserve your family’s assets and lifestyle. Long-term saving is often for a purpose – college, house down payment, vacation, cottage, parent-at-home-with-the-new-baby fund and all the other goodies and dreams in your family plan. Retirement saving comes in the form of IRAs, 401Ks, pensions, profit-sharing plans, etc. Look into all the tax-deferred benefits of many retirement plans that help you save more with pre-tax dollars.
Saving takes conscious planning. As good stewards, we’re obligated to take care of ourselves, our family and our community by wisely managing our assets.
– John Morris
One way to create more time for dialogue
Most days, married couples are in such a hurry going to work, performing daily household chores, shuttling children between activities and finding time to eat together that they find very little time left to engage in dialogue with each other. They never get the chance to get it “all said” without some distraction. One thing that can ensure a continued conversation about your day, sharing thoughts and feelings, is to keep the TV out of the bedroom. A TV in the bedroom can be a distraction to nurturing a marriage relationship. – Tom and JoAnne Fogle
Time tip: Men watch an average of 28 hours of television per week; women, just over 32 hours. Think about what you could accomplish by simply replacing TV time with something else. Reducing time in front of the TV will not only increase your available time, but will have social and spiritual benefits.
(tip from Time Management for Catholics by Dave Durand)
How open and honest is your marriage? discuss this and find out
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and the two of them become one body. The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.” (Gen 2:24-25) This statement is loaded with meaning regarding being intimate, vulnerable and open with your spouse in marriage. To become one body means you’re connecting deeply with each other sexually, emotionally and spiritually. You’re a team-marriage. You work together out of love and commitment. To cling to each other means to be permanently bonded together like super glue. To be naked and feel no shame means that you can be yourself in front of your marriage partner – warts and all – and know you’ll be deeply accepted for who you are. Discuss the following with your spouse and be honest and accepting:
• Do I feel I can be totally open with my partner?
• What areas do I hold back?
• Do I love and accept my partner as he or she is? (This doesn’t mean we always have to agree.)
• Does our sexual relationship mirror this openness and intimacy, or are we holding back due to fear of something?
• Do we spend enough time nurturing our intimacy and love?
– Tony Sperendi
How can newlyweds keep romance alive after the wedding day?
After the tux is returned and the wedding dress is stored, some couples discover their expectations for a romantic marriage are difficult to meet. There are basically three sets of circumstances that can interfere with romance in marriage:
1 External: lack of time, money worries, careers, kids, household chores, etc.
2 Physiological: physical limitations, illness, chronic fatigue, depression, etc.
3 Behavioral: poor communication and problem-solving habits, unrealistic expectations, selfish attitudes, being out of touch with one’s needs, etc.
External stressors may be most distracting for newlyweds at a time when the new family is trying to form, blend and function on many different levels. This is also a critical period for establishing communication and problem-solving habits. Successfully getting through this stage requires a real focus on the relationship.
Carefully balance time and priorities by putting the relationship first. Adjust expectations, give up some selfishness and, above all, practice forgiveness. Reach for unity as a couple in all things by moving from “me” to “us.” Come to the understanding that keeping the love alive in your marriage involves a continual process of growth. Never be afraid to seek out appropriate help or counseling when the struggle becomes too great. Get involved in your local parish and pray together for a good marriage.
– Rick and Diane Peiffer
Spending and giving
Him: Our pockets are deep, our pockets are shallow; Whatever we give the Lord shall hallow.
Her: Whatever we keep we’ll someday lose; Whatever we give will be measured profuse.
Him: Whatever we spend we’ll have to account; Whatever we give will be tenfold amount.
Her: Our pockets are shallow, our pockets are deep; Whatever we give the Lord will keep.
Him: Whatever we keep the Lord will take – and will ask an accounting of what we make.
Her: Whatever we spend may it be for the good; Of those in the world and our neighborhood.
Together: God bless us, sustain us, your joy to accrue; On the interest of giving from us and from you. Amen.
– Pat Nischan