You Can't Save or Give What Is Already Spent

December 10, 2013

I received a phone call the other day from a young couple inquiring of me some strategic advice for funds they had received from selling a business. As their story unfolded, it became clear that they were looking for the same thing many of us look for – “balance” in our lives. They wanted to give, they wanted to save and they wanted to spend but didn’t really know where to start.

We looked at their income and expenses and quickly realized they were spending more money than they were making. Many couples – old and young – find it stressful to discuss spending but this discussion is actually very healthy for every marriage relationship. While budgeting may indeed be a stressful exercise, working together through the process usually ends up taking the stress out of a relationship in the long run. 

Both had a desire to be more intentional about giving while preserving a portion of these funds for good measures, such as college educations for their kids and future retirement. However, we had to acknowledge the fundamental principle about investing: “One cannot invest what one is spending.” They agreed that one of the critical areas of their lives was out of balance, in this case spending, and they left in agreement that they would make the changes necessary in order for them to begin saving properly.

True Balance is hard to achieve in life because the desires to give, save and spend are so strong.  These were great people with great hearts for family and others. I appreciated the opportunity they gave me to speak into their journey and am confident they have already made some tough decisions to help bring their life into a better balance.

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