If you or your church are pondering whether to do a money management course in January (such as a Dave Ramsey or Crown Financial class), I want to propose a completely new idea for you: We’ve been doing money management programs in the wrong order!
Nearly every such program starts with teaching and encouraging the technical elements of money management – how to budget, get out of debt, and so on.
But the vast majority of couples – 77%! – can’t really talk about money well to begin with! These programs throw us into the deep end of the pool before we’re even able to swim. Which is why, all too often, we avoid money courses entirely or stop halfway through.
I know in our own household, Jeff really, really wanted to take a Dave Ramsey course and I really, really didn’t! We had no idea that each of us first needed to learn what we thought and felt about finances, and why. Why did I want to snag Amazon packages off the front step before Jeff saw them? Why on earth did he view the prospect of grilling Costco chicken 30 days in a row as a fun, money-saving challenge? Why did one or both of us get defensive when certain topics came up? And most important…why did we always seem to devolve into the same arguments over money matters?
For nearly all of us, before we can do Step 2 (a good money management class) we have to do Step 1 (understand what is going on under the surface with money, and be able to communicate about it well).
This is why we’ve created a brand-new Step 1: The Thriving in Love & Money Course for couples, small groups and churches! This Discussion Guide (and the resources that go with it!) is the resource that will help you get on the same page with your spouse, understand one another (and yourself!) and actually enjoy discussions about this crucial topic that we deal with every day.
A few details: This Discussion Guide accompanies the book and includes access to 6 sessions of video teaching led by Jeff and me, as well as simple discussion questions and prompts to help you think through and get a handle on all the factors underneath your responses to money. This course gives practical steps toward coming together as a couple, so that down the road you can do whatever more involved money management course is right for you!
A special note for churches and ministry leaders: Please consider this as the missing piece most of your people need in order to help them want to do your financial class. Helping them create a great relationship around money, first, is a low bar – and a fun one. If you want more detail, please look at the information on our website about the Thriving in Love and Money Course. Consider incorporating this new resource into your programming. And if you are not a leader but think the leaders at your church would benefit from knowing about it, please forward this article to them!
Are you currently reading Shaunti’s latest devotional, Find Joy? Please leave a book review on Amazon!
Check out Shaunti’s latest book (co-authored with her husband, Jeff), Thriving in Love and Money. Because you need a better relationship, not just a better budget.
This article was first published at Patheos.