Focus Your Finances: Finding Financial Freedom

One of my favorite stress-relieving activities is shopping. I’m a sucker for a good deal, and I have absolutely no problem spending hours scouring clearance and sale racks for the perfect deal. I hate math, but I can figure a percentage like nobody’s business! In fact, I’m pretty sure the only reason Kate even knows how to calculate percentages is because of my constant sale shopping.

I love shopping with Kate, but she gets so frustrated with me. I’m a creature of habit and fall into the same pattern every time

  • Scour sales and clearance racks
  • Find a couple of cute and cheap items
  • Carry them around the store while she shops
  • Get ready to check out
  • Put them back
  • Buy her items

She hates it. She gives me crap about it every time.

I wasn’t always this way.

Finances are tricky things-whether you are single or in a relationship. Now, I know some of you are reading this thinking, “I don’t deal with our finances. My partner does that.” Even if you are skeptical or feel this way, I beg you to keep reading and thinking hard about this very important issue.

Young, Naive, & Idealistic

I got married when I was 20–young, naive, idealistic, and brainwashed by the church to believe marrying someone who identifies as a Christian is all you need for success in life and marriage. 

We were poor when I was little.

McDonald’s was a treat.

By the time I went to college, we weren’t poor, but we weren’t well-off, and we definitely weren’t wealthy.

I was raised to understand the value of a dollar. 

Throughout high school, I worked and saved money. I had a checking account I never overdrew. 

Remember when I said I was young, naive, and idealistic when I got married? I never talked to my future husband about finances because he was a Christian, so obviously, he would make sound financial choices, right?

We were married less than 3 days before he overdrew our checking account for the first time.

As a young, naive, idealistic wife of a Christian, I thought this was an isolated incident and clearly just a mistake. I mean, what else could this possibly be? I was married to a Christian, after all, and the church ingrained in me that marrying a Christian meant smooth sailing because I wasn’t yoked to an unbeliever.


My husband’s answer to our financial situation was that he would take over our finances completely because it stressed me out more than him, and he “had a business mind” after all. 

Just to reiterate:

  • I worked my whole life
  • I saved money my whole life
  • I never overdrew my checking account
  • Within 3 days of married life, our checking account was overdrawn.

Obviously, it makes complete, logical sense that I would trust the person who just overdrew our account to be solely responsible for our finances. 

But, I did.

For the next 18 years, I lived in complete ignorance of anything happening in our lives financially. My husband consistently told me we were fine. Everything was good. We refinanced our home several times, and when I mentioned things that we should be doing with that money, I was constantly met with excuses, and nothing ever got done. At the time, I never understood where the money was going.

I didn’t know how much money was in our accounts.

I had no idea how much we spent on bills a month.

I had no idea how many credit cards we had.

Money Lessons the Hard Way

When we got divorced, I had to run my credit report to even get an idea of what my situation was because I had no access to any of our accounts. 

It was a dismal situation.

Thankfully, by the grace and guidance of God, I can tell you I made it out of that mess, canceled the credit cards, somehow managed to get out from under that debt, and rebuilt my credit.

But, it wasn’t easy.

It took me several years, budget spreadsheets, payment plans, maintaining a ridiculously strict budget, and intense frugality.

Because I never want you to go through the financial nightmare I went through, let me offer you some suggestions on how to focus your finances.

Focus Your Finances

  1. Be Honest.

Do you know how much money you have coming in every month? What about how much you have going out? For years, I had no idea. It wasn’t until I took control of my own finances and was honest with myself about my financial situation that I was able to truly understand the severity of my situation. Then, I was able to make a plan to attack the chaos and give myself financial freedom. I was single at the time, so it was only me I had to be honest with. If you have a partner, though, you have to be honest with them and seek honesty from them as well because honesty and transparency are the keys to financial freedom and security in relationships.

Proverbs 12:22 (TPT) tells us “Live in the truth and keep your promises, and the Lord will keep delighting in you, but he detests a liar.” Deception, half-truths, and lies of omission are all forms of lying. Lying not only destroys your human relationships and creates walls in them, but it creates a separation between us and our Father. Even though these conversations about money and finances might be difficult, they are so necessary to keep honesty in our lives and unity in our relationships.

  1. Make a Budget.

I love budgets. I thought my budget was pretty cool before I met my husband and saw his amazing budget spreadsheet. As you can imagine, I was slightly gunshy about relationships and finances after my disastrous first marriage. So, within the first week of dating, my now-husband and I had a very honest money discussion, and I had instant relief because he is money and budget-conscious! Yay! We have a spreadsheet that has all the details of what comes in a month, what should go out a month, all our incidentals, and what we want to save every month. 

This keeps us both honest. We both know how much we have budgeted for groceries, entertainment, clothes, etc every month. We don’t have to stress about buying those couple cute shirts every once in a while–because it’s in the budget. We don’t have to stress about going to dinner and a movie–because it’s in the budget. We don’t have to stress when a car needs to be repaired–because it’s in the savings…that was in the budget.

Luke 14: 28-30 reminds us “For who would construct a house before first sitting down to estimate the cost to complete it? Otherwise he may lay the foundation and not be able to finish. The neighbors will ridicule him, saying, ‘Look at him!” While the point of this section of scripture is that we should consider the cost of following Christ, the practical application can’t be lost! We have to consider the costs in our lives and determine whether or not we can afford them. A budget is the best way to do that.

  1. Live Below your Means

If you pay attention to any financial advisors, they are going to tell you to have at least 3-6 months of expenses in your savings. Does that stress you out? If it does, it’s probably because you are like the majority of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Let me ask you this–what it would it take for you to put 3-6 months of expenses into savings? What do you need to sacrifice or do without in order to have financial security and freedom?

These are hard questions. I get it. I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. I know what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. In that process, though, I learned that I can live without so much. We have so much junk in our lives–material junk, technological junk, entertainment junk. We tend to think we can’t live without it, but when it’s actually removed, it’s amazing how much more free and open our lives are, and how much fuller they can become.

If you aren’t saving, if you aren’t living below your means, I encourage you to take a close look at your finances, your budget, and where your money is going. I pray you can find the extra expenses and the junk and that you choose to get rid of those things to find freedom and security.

  1. Pray about your Finances

There are so many reasons why people don’t pray about their finances. 

  • Maybe you’ve been irresponsible with your finances in the past, and you feel like that disqualifies you from seeking God in your finances now.
  • Maybe you feel like your finances are too small or too insignificant for you to burden God with.
  • Maybe you aren’t tithing, and you think God won’t hear your money prayers because a church has guilted you into believing that.
  • Maybe you just feel unworthy.

Thankfully, God has already addressed those feelings and fears for us:

  • Philippians 4:6-7(tpt) says: Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding will guard your heart and mind through Jesus Christ.

  • Matthew 6:26 (tpt) says “Consider the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food.”

  • I John 5:14-15 (tpt) says “Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we ask anything agreeable to his will, he will hear us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we also know that we have obtained the requests we ask of him.”

Finances can be stressful and feel nearly impossible at times. Like anything else, though, with God, they are possible to overcome. 

I hope that you have been encouraged to be honest with yourself and your partner about the reality of your finances and that you can take whatever steps necessary to make positive changes in this area of your life. 

Reflection Questions:

  1. What stresses you out about your finances?
  2. How honest are you and your partner about your financial situation?
  3. What is one practical strategy you can use to relieve some of the stress from your finances?
  4. When was the last time you prayed about your finances? 
  5. What is keeping you from being honest with God about your finances and your desires for your finances?

Success! You're on the list.

4 thoughts on “Focus Your Finances: Finding Financial Freedom

Add yours

  1. Finding financial freedom is so important! Many struggle in that area. Thanks for sharing your experience and honest advice.


  2. Wonderful article. At one time my husband and I were 150,000 in debt. It’s because we had separate bank accounts, no budget, and we were not following God’s ways. Then we discovered Dave Ramsey and once out of debt dedicated our lives to Jesus Christ. It is amazing to live with financial freedom.


  3. Financial Freedom is such a great way to live, Kristen! I appreciate you sharing your financial story; it is inspiring!


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