23 04 2010

We watched Disney’s The Princess and the Frog the other day with Brenna, Leah’s little sister.

I’ve always been a Disney fan, but was never drawn to this recent production. However, I kind of enjoyed it.

There’s a great part where the lead guy says, “I’m completely broke” as he describes his financial situation. Leah and I laughed and have been quoting that line in our best Creole accents ever since.

It’s funny because it’s pretty descriptive of my current financial situation. In fact broke might be an understatement – I should probably be saying, “I’m completely, in debt.” Haha.

I laugh. But I recognize it’s not a joking matter – and I’m on the path of resolution.

The fact of the matter is that when Leah and I get married, we just won’t have a lot. And by a lot I mean pretty much nothing.

There won’t be a huge ring to get things started and we will have to be careful with our money.

I have written about this before – and my friend Angela ( sent me a great message about how they have made things work wonderfully after having a modest start. I know countless older couples that started with nothing and have made it work. It can be done.

I know that we can do it – and that we will grow closer and stronger because of it.

Several people during the trip have mentioned their concern about my financial situation. However, they quickly acknowledge they came from humble beginnings. I know they want us to be able to have a better start than they did….

BUT – that might deprive us of some experiences we need to grow and learn more about ourselves!

I’m not worried about money. The Lord will provide —  as long as we have our priorities straight.

“But, before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. (Jacob 2:18)

?  How did you make things work financially at the beginning of your marriage?




14 responses

27 04 2010
Anthony Ambriz

Probably tired of my comments by now but I had to say something.

Pay tithing!

We make it every month. We manage to have fun, pay off some debt, save some money, and pay the bills. I really don’t know how we do it but we do because we pay our tithing. Even when we manage to get off budget because we splurge a little somewhere we still make it.

So yeah make a budget and have an account that’s just for your bills and another account just for spending and of course your spending account.

The Breakdown
1. Pay tithing & Offerings
2. Budget
3. Account for all bills
4. Account for fun
5. Pay Debt
6. Savings account
7. 2 Credit Cards (EMERGENCY ONLY!)- The reason I say two because one is for BIG emergencies and the other is just for minor back up.

8. Government and Church will help you if you need it as well. Hey you pay tithing and offerings and your taxes you deserve it.

Help this helps man. Okay enough from me.

28 04 2010

I’ll NEVER be tired of your comments. You’ve got great insight that has been helpful!

How do you budget? Do you use a program on your computer? Write it out in a book? I’m curious about your system???

27 04 2010

I cannot emphasize enough how impressed I am at both of you for starting out without a fancy ring. A ring should be treasured and be something you look at with fondness, that is hard to do when it was purchased with large amounts (or any more) debt. A cute fake ring from wal-mart can be enjoyed and made done with until you get a nicer one. We actually have a few friends who traded out their “real” rings for something larger/different and completely fake! 🙂

“BUT – that might deprive us of some experiences we need to grow and learn more about ourselves!”

What a great realization! Our generation has it in their heads that we should be in the same position as our parents when we start out. But when you think about it you realize your parents took 30+ years to get there. Reed’s dad didn’t buy a new stereo until about 20 years after college. The one he’d had as a teenager worked fine and it wasn’t worth replacing. They went without a headboard for 30 years. They didn’t have a couch for a few years and when they did it was used.

We didn’t (still don’t) go out to eat more than a few times a year. It isn’t worth the money. You can learn to make your favorite dishes at home.

28 04 2010

I love love love what you said about “real” and “fake” rings. I was looking today at some of the “fake” rings you can get and it is amazing what technology has done for the entire jewelry industry. There are “fake” diamonds that are nearly identical in every way that cost SIGNIFICANTLY less!!!!

Thanks for the story about Reed’s dad! It reminded of my mission president who said that for the first year they had NO furniture. They ate off of a crate box they had and he said that single period of time was one of the most defining in their relationship and laid a foundation that he feels has blessed their lives ever since!! I LOVE stories like that!

27 04 2010

Oh man, Brandt and I laugh about how poor (cheap) we were when we first got married. We had a little bit of money when we got married. We weren’t in debt even though we each had a little less than a year left of school and that made things so much easier. We were still very cautious because we had no idea what would come about after we left the safe and cheap way of life of BYU-I. We laugh about how we handled things though and I wish we had handled them a little different. For instance… On our honeymoon we ate at a gas station next to our hotel for dinner one night. We ate there because it was super cheap. We ordered gas station pizza for one of our honeymoon dinners!!! It was gross and the attendant starred at us the whole time. The next night we looked for coupons in the phonebook at the hotel. We found one for pizza. We ordered it and picked it up so we wouldn’t have to pay the delivery fee. We got it back to our place and realized they completely messed it up. Completely. We ate it but didn’t like it one bit. Now every year we try to do something special for our anniversary even if it’s a little more pricy to kind of make up for it. We treat ourselves really nice on that date because it is an important date to us. Don’t be as cheap as we were on your homeymoon but still be cautious. Even if you’re broke, don’t eat at a gas station for dinner. You can scrimp and save before you get married and after it but make that experience a nice one (nicer than we did). Then, once we got back to reality we were still really careful. You have to be. I know that if you do all you can and pay your tithe the lord will provide a way and you’ll be happy, really happy.

P.S. My ring cost like $100. It is EXTREMELY special because Brandt designed it (engraved it and everything). It’s so simple but it’s all I wanted and all I ever want.

28 04 2010

Love the story! Thanks for sharing!!
I think you’re exactly right about the ring — what makes it special is that it came from Brandt and he took the time and was thoughtful about his choice : )

27 04 2010

money, schmoney…who needs it? LOVE is all you need!

28 04 2010

I totally agree actually — and Leah is so amazing! I’m grateful to be with someone who can rough while things are tight!

28 04 2010
Anthony Ambriz

Pay tithing and offerings! That’s how we make it.

8 Tips

1. Pay Tithing and Offerings
2. Budget
3. Checking Account just for Bills
4. Checking Account for spending
5. Pay Debt
6. Savings Account
7. 2 Credit Cards (One for REAL Emergencies and the other for back ups)
8. The Government and Church will help you… You pay taxes and Tithes right?

By doing this we manage to make it every month and still go out to for dinner and a movie, pay bills, get out of debt, and save.

Mostly I believe its because of paying tithes- something to do with the Lord pouring down blessings… look it up.

Good Luck man.

Also you don’t need money to be happily married that comes with the struggles of learning together.

28 04 2010

Totally down with tithing!!
I’ve never heard the idea of 2 checking accounts — what do you like about having one for bills and one for spending???

28 04 2010

When I got married the first time around we had everything. The custom ring I designed, the perfect house with room to grow all the latest and greatest furnishings a new lexus and BMW everything a married couple should want right? Well we all know that went to pot faster then anyone expected it to.

Then Bryan and I got married the ring is modest and we lived in a very tiny (by tiny I mean 500 square foot apartment) so smaller then the one stef and I lived in. We both had to work hard and still had little money to do a ton of extra stuff. But that is how we learned to love each other there was no where to escape if there was an argument we had to face it. We also had to figure how to live on a budget and save money more then before. (when you buy stuff you feel accomplished and proud that you earned what you have because you saved so hard for so long.) And camping is better then a 5 star hotel.

The only thing you must do and by must do I mean have to do no excuses! Is continue to date each other even if it is just a walk through a park with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a picnic always remember to date each other. And don’t always assume she’ll go when you get home ask her out and set aside a night that is just for the two of you.

But always remember put the lord in your marriage this means tithing before anything else (its ironic how much further your money goes when you always remember your tithing first before bills and before fun)

I know this is getting long but one last thing. The ring for your wife… My diamond is a third of what my sister in laws are. But mine means more to me then theirs does to them because I saw how hard bryan had to for it all everyone else had graduated school and had careers so it was just trip to the jewelry store, bryan got a job while going to school to get enough money for mine. And my diamond is slightly larger then my mother in law’s. They are the most well off couple I know and you know what she told me. Its not the size of the ring nor the expense the only thing that matters is what it means and I wouldn’t change what it means so I wouldn’t change anything about ring. I was impressed by that so much some one who could have a 5k diamond saw no point in one. Just saying its not the size of the ring its what you did to get the ring and what the ring means to the both of you.

Good luck and I expect at least an announcement for the big day!

28 04 2010

I’m all about continuing to date!!! I’ve seen my parents do it and it seems like such a great idea!!! Love it!

28 04 2010

Like the great SNL clip says; “Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford!”. It’s as easy as that and always paying your tithing!

28 04 2010

I love that clip!! Can’t wait to see you guys next week : )

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