Debt Reduction, Everyday Living

‘Til debt do us …

The Husband and I just got back from spending the weekend with his folks. (Happy birthday to both of you!) Among the many things that my mother-in-law and I have in common (we love to cook, we both love her oldest son, we love old country music, etc.), we both love HGTV. But this post has nothing to do with us watching HGTV last night and gasping over a truly terrible dining room makeover – this is about the show that we ended up watching afterward on CNBC. First off was “The Suze Orman Show.” She scares me about as much as Jillian Michaels does. I admire their messages, but they kind of scare me with their tough attitudes. Suze was awesome, as usual – although I found myself wondering what she would say if she met me and heard about my experiences.

And then … the show that had my husband and I talked for the three hours back from his folks’ house … “Til Debt Do Us Part.” The premise of the show is that many relationships break up because of money problems and then spotlights a couple per episode, looks at their financial and relationship problems and then gives them a month to turn things around with concrete guideposts along the way. The way that the show’s host Gail Vaz-Oxlade tackled these issues was real eye opening. How does this apply to my life?

Right now, I don’t have any consumer debt – the credit cards are gone, the car is paid off – I have good debt. But I’m really not making any headway with savings and sometimes dip into savings to cover my spending from week to week. Although I’m light years away from where I was a year ago, there’s still more work to be done. So this afternoon, my husband and I talked about what our budget is/should be and resolved to save $600 per month. And since there has never been a better time than right now to accomplish that, I need to write a check to him tonight to cover part of that since most of his paycheck goes towards all of our household items and I’m the person with more wiggle room in my financial life. I’ll check in with you at the end of the month to see how well we accomplished this goal.

Secondly – my husband and I have one of those sickeningly wonderful relationships that would be appropriately displayed on the Hallmark Channel. (I can see the tagline: “It took them 10 years to realize it, but they were meant for each other!”) But beyond that nausea, we have some work that we need to do in terms of motivating each other. Our house could stand to be cleaner. We could work out more and be at our computers less. And so in honor of what I watched last night, we’re going to make a subtle change that we’re hoping will get us into a good habit for the future: We’re going to start eating at the table for dinner. I know that sounds kind of dumb, but we’re hoping that this will cause us to be more mindful about what we are eating, maybe prompt us to clean up after ourselves a little bit more and as my husband so lovingly put it: “But we’ll have to talk to each other.”

That’s when I told him that we could read books at the table, but he was smiling as he said it – so I think talking will be served up along with our suppers. It’s all good …

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