He slammed the checkbook down on my desk with a look that simultaneously expressed fear and anger. “I can run a multi-million dollar corporate budget, but we can’t get it together with THIS (pointing to the checkbook).” His wife sat there quietly nodding her head.
This was our first financial coaching session and literally the first time I had met the couple. But it wasn’t the first time I had witnessed a similar scene. Two people love each other, but finances are tearing their marriage apart because they can’t get on the same page about money. Is it because they are self-centered, unkind or just plain mean? Not usually. The roots of the challenge actually began when they were both children. The way their family handled money, their personalities, their peers all impacted their view of the role and priority of money decisions.
Over the next few months, this couple began to discover the power of reprogramming their thinking regarding financial matters. They had heard that God owns everything, but didn’t know how to bridge that truth into their daily life. Their first step was literally surrendering their resources to God’s plan instead of their own. Their journey held setbacks (health & family challenges) and expensive joyful milestones (2 daughters through college and marriages). It required determination, perseverence and prayer.
I saw them again the other day. Their smiles stretched from ear to ear. Mortgage paid, over $100k credit card debt conquered, and thousands of dollars given away. You know what impressed me, though? The freedom. Financial freedom. They are at peace, content, and joyful, and they are sharing the message with others because it feels so good they can’t help but pass it on.
What does financial freedom mean to you?