Monday, January 5, 2009

Meet the Mr.

Since my wife decided to introduce herself, I realized I never really introduced myself. So, here goes:

Jennifer mentioned she learned to use credit cards throughout college and she faithfully made her minimum payments. She also mentioned when we were first married, I used my savings to pay off her cards. So, you can probably infer we had different money strategies.

I grew up in a family that should have been upper-middle-class, but we always had money troubles. My parents simply were not good at budgeting. So, I committed to being different. Money became something to be horded and stuffed under mattresses. Actually, growing up, my parents tended to take any money I managed to save; they always promised to pay it back, but never did. So, when I got a job in high school, I hid my money in the one place I knew my parents would never look: inside the family Bible.

I joined the Navy right after high school. Once out of boot camp, I went to the base credit union and took out a 6-month $500 loan and immediately opened a $500 secured credit card. I paid faithfully and built my credit through the secured card, to an unsecured card, to a gold card, to a platinum card. That was back when gold cards and platinum cards weren't given out like candy. And I would never allow myself to owe more than I had in the bank. After a year or so, I paid cash for a motorcycle. When I left the Navy, I had saved thousands of dollars.

I mentioned in a previous post we felt like we were moving into a shed when we bought our current smaller house. Well, there was a time when I actually rented a shed (converted into an efficiency) behind someone's mobile home. I paid $250/mo including utilities. I didn't even have a TV (everything I owned could be carried on a motorcycle), so I borrowed books on tape from the library.

Alas, my wife broke me of my ridiculous frugality. And I broke her of her spend-it-while-you've-got-it attitude. Well, we met in the middle. I needed to learn to place my trust in God more than money. And she needed to learn to think more than a due date away.

I once took great pride in my financial self-determination. Jennifer took pleasure in buy-now-pay-later. We were a Stoic and an Epicurean more than Christian Hedonists. Now, we're hoping God will be glorified in how we use what he has entrusted to us and we will find pleasure in God and boast only in him. And that's what this blog is all about.

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