Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Money, Money, Money

Today's post is coming to you courtesy of one of my favorites-my husband! The Mr. Mobley (David) had a few guest posts when I was sick (found here and here), but has been hiding in the shadows recently. Well, he's back! He was prompted to share some details of our money managing thanks to a sweet comment left by an even sweeter lady! Without further adieu. . .

An earlier blog had a comment / question about the “fun money” that Lauren referenced when wanting to use some of “her money” to pay someone to mow the yard.

Growing up, I (David) was very much of the “you earn a dollar, you save a dollar” mentality (and I still fight that to this day).  Nearly every dollar that I earned, or was gifted to me, was put straight into the bank - as early in my life as I can remember.  I definitely understood the mentality of saving money, but it was obvious that I had not matured in ENJOYING money.

Right after Lauren and I were married and she started her job, we tried to save nearly every dollar that we could in order to accumulate a down payment for our house.  In doing so, we worked 40+ hours a week and never really enjoyed the “fruit of our labor” (ref Ecclesiastes).  Money that came in was used to pay bills and necessities and date night (one thing we will never get rid of) and the rest basically went towards savings.  After we bought our house and were planning for 2012, we decided to implement a “David” and “Lauren” budget.

Our thought was that each of us works and earns money, and we should each be able to enjoy the fruit of our labor.  Lauren and I agreed on an amount (we’ll call it $10 for the sake of simplicity) that we would be allotted each month.  Basically, I had $10 to spend and Lauren had $10 to spend - no questions asked.  Lauren has been known to use hers for haircuts, coffee, shopping - anything she wants.  Furthermore, we decided that this amount could roll over from month to month or we could go into “debt”.  In other words, if I didn’t spend my $10 for January, I’d have $20 available in February.  On the other hand, if I bought a $20 DVD one month, I’d be “in debt” until March.  I, for example, had the great idea to buy a bass guitar and amp to learn for church, which obviously put me “in debt” for several months.

We found that after buying the house and without having an obvious goal, we suddenly had no more structure financially - our goal had always been to save.  Before, we knew that we were saving for a house - period.  Once the house was purchased, it became very easy to just go and spend money since the huge sacrifice had been made.

I think this scheme has several benefits, but two in particular:
  1. It allows (and almost forces) us to enjoy some of the money that we earn - no questions asked - however we want to spend it
  2. The set amount holds us accountable to not spend extravagantly on ourselves - causing us to think before we spend.
That being said, we have many budgets that we’ve created through Mint [INSERT LINK] that follow the same philosophy, as far as rolling over money we don’t use or going “in debt” if we spend too much.  Several examples include:
  • Vacation
  • Date Night
  • Groceries
Lauren and I recently got back from our Charleston vacation, something we’ve been “putting away money” towards for several months.  We found that we actually enjoyed our trip more because we knew we had saved a specific amount of money allotted for that specific purpose.  We didn’t worry about “spending” during the trip, because we knew what money we had available.

I’ll end with this - If you’re a scrooge with your money and pinch every penny, you’re likely enslaving your spouse - as I did for the first year of our marriage.  Similarly, if you’re loose with your money and constantly spending with no limits, you, too, are enslaving your spouse.  God has gifted and entrusted us with everything we have - to facilitate and enjoy by His grace.   Manage, but also enjoy, your money wisely.

Hope y'all enjoyed that little foray into our lives. Maybe we can convince him to come back again soon. Until then, check him out here!


  1. Hey. =) Was this for me? haha

    This was great! Thanks for sharing! I actually tried to go make an account with Mint after we talked the other day, Lauren, and that got put on hold because I was at work..and they expected me to work. Whatev's. Anyway, def going to check it out! :) Y'all are the best..and how cool that your husband blogs.

  2. Our good intentions went out the window after daughter #2. We're re-visiting the budget subject after daughter #4. Sometimes you just cannot plan enough. I think I will make Jeff start the date night fund though ;)