The $100 Rule

Financial freedom is not just about having more than enough money. Financial freedom is also about money not having you. There are many people who have no money, but money has them. Then there are a few people who have money, but money doesn’t have them. The question is not how much money do you have. The real question is how much does money have you? As a young man I had an almost fatal attraction to money, and what you can acquire with money. Over the last 13 years I have learned that the most valuable things in life are priceless and no amount of money can buy what people really want. I know we need money to pay bills and live, I am not naive to the reality of real life, in fact the website you are reading this blog on isn’t free so I get it.

I want to share something that I did that was really stupid. This is very personal but I am sharing it with you because I think it can benefit you. Your well being is more important to me than my ego or image. About 6 years ago I was a newly married. Sarah and I were married less than a year or so when I made a rookie mistake. The mistake wasn’t what I bought, it was when I bought it and how I bought it; with a credit card. I bought a Thompson Chain Bible, sent it to Texas and had it wrapped in calfskin and then had it sent to me in New Jersey. This Bible is so nice, they wouldn’t write my name on it. When I asked if they could engrave my name on the bottom right of the front cover of the Bible they said, “we don’t do that, this is a calfskin Bible.” This was a $250.00 purchase. When my wife found out what I did she was pretty upset, and for her to be upset is very uncommon. In fact in my marriage if I don’t create a problem I will have no problems. My wife Sarah is a beautiful, patient, considerate woman. So this purchase led us to what we call the $100 rule. Neither one of us will spend more than $99.99 without the consent of the other. What this says is that – you are more important than what I want. We have both committed to value each other over what we may want in the moment. This rule is easy for her but hard for me. It has become easier over time now. If I was a perfect steward of money we probably wouldn’t need this rule, but it has served us well. As we pay off debt and earn more the rule may become the $250 rule but for now we are keeping it the $100 rule. A large portion of fighting and divorce is over money. Setting financial rules of engagement is very important especially if you want to have a peaceful and lifelong marriage. If you are single it still pays to set financial boundaries for yourself. I am hoping that my transparency and vulnerability can save you an unnecessary calamity. If you choose to be accountable now with your spouse or a trusted friend you are actually protecting your future. This is only the beginning. I can’t wait to tell you about a $4000.00 mistake I made. My intentions for sharing my mistakes is so that my lessons learned would be your problems avoided. I just want to save you pain, tears, money and time.