Category Archives: Finances

Success is Our Goal!


When couples work together to reach mutual goals, the level of intimacy increases in the marriage. A great deal of satisfaction comes from accomplishments made as a team.  Look at the excitement and energy on display when a baseball team wins an important game.  They train, struggle, and sweat together to take that championship. Listen to the guys sharing about their last backpacking trip and the satisfaction expressed that in spite of fatigue, terrain, or weather conditions, they made it to their destination together.  Observe the young couple who scrimped and saved prior to getting married just so they would have enough money to make a down payment on their first home. The joy of accomplishment is beyond words!

Working together toward a common goal creates a sense of belonging, teamwork, and accomplishment, there is no doubt.  It is important to benchmark goals and have smaller intermediary goals on the way to the grand finale of goals.  By doing so, momentum will remain high because we can see our efforts beginning to pay off, thus increasing the likelihood of attaining our end goal.

 Setting Goals Together  An acronym that helps to summarize the basics of goal setting is as follows. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.  You may have heard this acronym or something close to it in one form or another, but it bears repeating.

 Goals should be Specific. The problem with the goals many people set is that they are so vague it is difficult to determine the direction the goal setting is headed.  Leave for your destination without a map and only a vague idea of where you’re headed and you will end up traveling all over town and wasting a great deal of gasoline and time in the process—to say nothing of the frustration and anger that will result. A map shows us exactly where we are headed, and we’ll know when we arrive.

 Goals should be Measurable. It is helpful to have a way to benchmark our productivity as we move toward a goal.  In this way we can assess from time to time and see if we are indeed moving along the right road. When a goal is measurable we are also encouraged by the small plateaus we hit in striving toward the desired end.

 Goals should be Achievable. We should not set financial goals so high that we will never meet the mark. A family with a combined annual income of $50,000 should probably not decide to start saving $2000 a month toward a down payment for a new home.  They will become disheartened by the second month and give up the goal entirely.

 Goals should be Realistic. It’s great to be a visionary, but if you set your goals too lofty you will never be able to attain them. You will simply become frustrated and give up.

 Goals should be Time Sensitive. We should make sure that we designate a certain amount of time for accomplishing our goals. This too will help us to benchmark our progress. Short-term goals are usually ones that you can successfully accomplish in six months to one year’s time. Longer-term goals will usually range from one to five years.

Again, your goals can be personal ones, something you would like to accomplish. Maybe the completion of that college degree you have been working on, or joining the gym to take off those last ten pounds. They can be goals focused on you and your mate—perhaps saving some money so that you can attend an upcoming marriage retreat your church is sponsoring. Goals can also be family oriented, such as putting together a big family vacation.  When we are working toward the same goals as a couple or family, we get to share in the benefits of accomplishment.

I pray blessing on you and that God give you the strength to do what’s right.

©2017 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.

Leave a comment

Filed under Behavior, Commitment, Expectations, Finances, Goals, Obedience

Don’t Compare Until You See Their Bills

imageThe issue is not money being the root of all evil, the issue is determined by your motivation. The problem is the love of money. If your investment in money is that of status, security, and reputation, you have a motivation problem. God wants us to have all that we can, for he wants us to prosper. More importantly, however, God wants us to be good stewards of our money. When we remember where our prosperity comes from—whether monetary, emotional, spiritual, or physical—we can make better choices about how to be a good steward. Always keep in mind that God gives us what we have, right down to the gifting He gives us to excel in our jobs and be good providers for our families.

Discipline, a diligent work ethic, and learning to be joyful with what we have rather than living a life of jealousy and envy are foundational to financial happiness. Don’t spend all your time looking at everyone else and comparing what you have to what they have. Some of the most unhappy people in the world are those who place money at the top of their priorities.

What motivates your relationship with money? How did your parents handle their finances? Are you living beyond your means to compete with others? Does the thought of money produce acid in your stomach? For you, what needs to change to develop a healthier relationship with money?

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted


Leave a comment

Filed under Finances

Bless with your Blessings – A True Display of Thanksgiving


A very important aspect of relationship is selflessness.  This may seem like an odd topic to discuss at this Thanksgiving holiday season.  It is a common thought that being thankful involves gratitude for the things that we have been given throughout the year.  Yes, this is true, but sometimes we forget that the best way to show our gratitude to the one who has given us the most is through giving back.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.          -2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Often we too easily forget the warmth and satisfaction that comes to us when we have the opportunity to help someone that is truly in need.  Certainly our goal in helping others should not be motivated by what we can get out of it.  However, the natural occurring consequence of doing what is right produces a contentment that surpasses any emotional response.  Essentially we plant the seeds of joy in our soul.   Remember, we are called to be joyful even when facing trials.  This scriptural observation verifies for me that joy is not something as fleeting and inconsistent as an emotion.  Joy is something deeper, a foundational inner-contentment.  Such selfless action is truly a gift that we can be grateful for.

Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.   -2 Corinthians 8:2-5

If we understand that all we have is a blessing from God, it does not seem unreasonable to give back to Him a measly 10 percent, known as our tithe, when he is allowing us to keep 90 percent. Tithing goes back to the church to support a wide variety of ministries and expenses that benefit others.  Remember, a very important aspect of relationship is selflessness.  It’s time to start investing in others if you are not doing so already.

Giving back to your church is only one way for you to bless and be blessed.  Not all of your giving has to go back to the church you attend.  I am sure that there are organizations that have instilled a passion in your heart and are worthy of your support.

I have yet to hear from anybody who is a consistent giver that they have not been able to make ends meet at the end of each month.  Quite the contrary, usually God meets their need far beyond their wildest expectations when they are good stewards of their money.  Keep in mind that blessings do not just come in the financial variety.  We serve a faithful and trustworthy God. Sometimes we just need to give him a chance. You will find that you can’t out-give God.

Final note, Giving is not just monetary.  Give love.  Fill your home with compliments, compassion, forgiveness and kindness unlimited.  In doing so, this will produce an abundance of things to be thankful for.

When we bless with our blessing, we will be blessed.  So remember, gratitude goes both directions!

Blessings to all of you and your families and God bring you peace and abundance.

Eric A. Disney

©2015 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted.  It’s a thoughtful Christmas gift for any couple’s in your life.

Leave a comment

Filed under Behavior, Character, Finances, Giving, Selfishness, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving

An Early Christmas Present

Christmas lights

I was just sitting here this morning reading through the Scriptures, just minding my own business, and where do you think God took me?

We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.      1 Tim. 6:7-10

Why, when I was reading this, did I think first of this holiday season? Christmas for the Christian is a time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. A life of great importance, a sacrifice beyond any we have ever encountered, for a purpose many simply don’t understand. “Why would Jesus Christ come to earth in the flesh to die on the cross and pay the price for our sins?” “I am hardly worth the trouble.” (An entire topic for another conversation) Believe it or not, understand it or not, it happened! How then, I ask you, does this stern warning regarding the love of money bring up thoughts of Christmas?

I think it all plays into the issue of idolatry. What have we chosen to worship in lieu of offering our praise and worship to the messenger of our salvation? It’s sad to say that at this holiday season the priorities of people become abundantly clear. I have found myself guilty of stacking the Christmas wish list with little goodies that feed my flesh and NOT my spirit.

We get so caught up in buying the best and most expensive presents for others simply for the accolades that we will get when they open it. Our present has to the best because you know it reflects on us (and we get to rub other’s faces in it). This is the time of year that we get to gorge ourselves on all the things that we wouldn’t think of touching the rest of the year.  All care is abandoned to the wind. We skimp on our tithe to purchase things for ourselves (“they are on sale!”) because we don’t have the patience to wait to see if we get it for Christmas. Perhaps we cease giving all together because traditionally we so overspend that we don’t have the money to make ends meet and our church giving is the first to be sacrificed. In honor of the birth of our savior we summarily dismiss discipline and many of the things that Jesus preached against in his lifetime.

This is the season when churches, charities and other organizations are most hit with the needs of others. I want to encourage you, eat out a few less times, reduce the amount spent on gifts, don’t spoil the children with incredible excesses. Ask yourself, “Could I impact the life of another on the amount that I am going to spend on this (fill in the blank)?” During the holiday season most churches take a big hit in their tithing and yes, the bills still need to be paid. If you’re asking, “What has my church done for me?” I would first say, God will forgive you your selfishness. and secondly, if you can say that you’ve never received from your church, I’m not just talking money, perhaps you need to find another church. On the whole, I don’t believe that to be the case.

All of these things, they are not the reason for our Christmas celebration.

You can still have a fun and sane Christmas holiday. Watch your budget, stay out of your savings, except Christmas Clubs. Don’t buy to impress others, impress God with your discipline.  Gift-give modestly and within your means and share your love abundantly!

Most importantly, focus on the meaning of Christmas. If you’ve forgotten, grab the family and pop-in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Little Linus has got it right…out of the mouths of babes?

God bless you and have a joyous Christmas Holiday!

Eric A. Disney

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. It’s a thoughtful Christmas gift for any couple’s in your life.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas, Finances, Idolatry, Selfishness

You Want to Draw Closer? Budget!


Budgeting is a great way to increase intimacy in your relationship. Whether the goal is to hold each other accountable to your budget or to save for some future purchase, you grow together when you strive for the same end. It is important to keep open communication with regard to finances. It doesn’t matter who has the mathematical gift or who actually writes and sends out the checks; what matters is that you are both involved and aware of your debt. Sit down once a month and go over your bills together so that you both are aware of what is coming in and what is going out each month. This way you will be on the same page and there will be less likelihood of distrust creeping in because one spouse isn’t sure about the expenditures the other spouse is making.

Trust is a solid foundation for marriage; don’t let doubt intrude, especially since finances are a key area that can begin to create uncertainty when things are not going smoothly in other areas of the relationship. This is another reason why I do not recommend separate bank accounts. If the marriage is doing well, do not make the finances the place where you begin to lead separate lives. Again we come back to the issue of perceived trust. Once things start to be hidden in a relationship we have laid the ground for doubt.

Are you a spender or a saver? How about your spouse? Are you effective at coming together to set financial goals (Planning vacations, preparing for retirement, children’s education, saving for marital enrichment, etc)? Has trust been an issue in the past with regards to finances? Are you content with the way you handle money? What might need to change in your household?

©2014 Eric A. Disney, Marriage by Design

Ready to Reactivate Your Marriage? Click on the “About the Book” tab to learn more about Marriage by Design: The Keys to Create, Cultivate and Claim the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted

Leave a comment

Filed under Finances, Trust