March 12, 2013 by Will Ray
I’m going to start doing a FPU review/response post after Financial Peace University on Monday nights with our class. It’s a great way to dig into the material a little deeper, and for you to understand what all is covered in FPU, if you’re not familiar with it.
I realized last night that I have a lot of favorite lessons in FPU. “Relating with Money” last night is one of them, but I thought about the others as well – Dumping Debt, Buyer Beware, and The Great Misunderstanding among them.
Last night covered the important aspects of how money affects our relationships. Dave discussed how to communicate about money with your spouse and children, and how to set up a system to discuss your finances if it doesn’t come naturally. Dave also explained the differences between men and women when it comes to money.
He also introduced the infamous nerd/free spirit distinction, and talked about how to get around your differences. (For the record, I’m the nerd in our family, and Nancy is the free spirit; although she has gotten fairly nerdy over the years.)
Nerds generally enjoy doing the budget, crunching the numbers, and creating a plan. Or maybe they just have more of an aptitude for it. Free spirits generally tend to take less of an interest (if any) in a budgeting process and don’t necessarily enjoy making a plan.
This distinction is helpful to gain understanding, but it’s good to remember not to pigeonhole your spouse or someone into an “extreme nerd” or “extreme free spirit,” as that can be annoying and unfair. For example, although very free-spirited, Nancy has come a long way in her willingness to discuss the details of our finances. In the same way, I’ve loosened up (a little bit, lol).
Rachel Cruze (Dave’s daughter) made a contribution as well, as she discussed how to teach your children about money. That’s an extremely valuable lesson to implement. If we can teach the next generation to really work, give, save, and spend wisely, we can save them from a lot of the heartache and financial stress that my generation and the one before me have experienced.
I think one of the most exciting things about this lesson is what it can do for your family. Money fights and money problems remain the number one cause of divorce in North America. This lesson (and the understanding that comes with it) has the power to revolutionize marriages, if both spouses are willing to work at it.
Imagine couples that have never been able to talk about money without it being a fight. Maybe you are that couple. This single lesson could trigger a complete turnaround in your marriage.
And the possibilities for the next generation? Endless. Teaching them to work hard, avoid debt, save money, give generously, and spend with a plan sets them up to be unbelievably effective money managers one day. It can prepare them to do so well with the money that God will flow through their hands in time.
It’s hard to do this. It’s hard to be filled with grace and patience with your spouse and children sometimes. It’s hard to work out a compromise with your spouse when you disagree about money. It’s hard to teach your children the same lesson over, and over…and over. But anything that is worth doing is hard. This is worth it. Your marriage is worth it; your children are worth it. Let’s make it happen.
Question: Do you think you’re a nerd or a free spirit when it comes to money?