shrekRecently, I have had the opportunity to hold marriage prep discussions with hundreds of engaged couples. Part of these lessons is to provide them a dose of reality that seems to elude them when they are blissfully engaged. Too many of these couples assume that married life will be as simple as Cinderella’s happily ever after pattern. While that is possible, I try to get them to focus on Shrek. His marriage to Fiona seems to be more realistic.

One of my marriage prep topics is finances. Of course, many of these young couples have not spent a lot of time working through the drudgery of family finances. Typically, the each them assumes the other will be the financial expert. Well, sometimes reality hurts. So I figured I might as well be the one to help them see the challenges that finances can be and to provide them simple tools to help the prepare for this vital part of their relationship.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am by no means a financial expert. In fact, my wife had to struggle quite hard not to burst out laughing when I was called to be the Ward Financial Specialist. I didn’t even know where our checkbook was. So I am looking forward to your contributions to help educate me on some simple family financial topics.

Besides, who needs a checkbook if you never spend money….

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