In the sports world, the phrase “defense wins ballgames” is well known.
I remember hearing this mantra as a kid in sports, and I always loved the loud “Defense” chant at basketball games.
The idea behind it is if you play great defense and keep the other team from scoring, you don’t need much offense to win.
The same is true in our financial lives.
If we play more financial defense and spend less, we don’t need to earn much money to meet our needs.
I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost 8 years. During this time I have made zero dollars, so we have lived on one income.
When we moved to Arizona 5 years ago and cut that one income in half, I quickly realized the best thing I could do was simply play better financial defense.
Every dollar I didn’t spend felt like $100 earned.
I learned saying “No” to 4 or 5 smaller purchases meant I could say “Yes” to something bigger later.
I learned how to look at our budget and expenditures and see the excess and wasteful spending.
And I learned that if I managed our money well, I could continue staying home.
There were a few points where the numbers weren’t adding up, and staying at home didn’t feel feasible anymore.
But then I would find an opportunity to play defense and save money (cheaper rent, cheaper cell phones, etc) and we would be okay.
One of the biggest benefits of my defense?? The pressure it takes off my husband.
As the sole income earner, there is natural pressure. But if he knows I am using our dollars wisely and playing good defense, he can relax a little. He can also be more supportive of me in my role.
It is a domino effect.
When we support each other we get support back.
If I waste money, Kevin doesn’t feel appreciated or loved. He feels like he is going to work for nothing. He feels like he is chasing his tail.
On the flip side, if I spend our money wisely, he feels appreciated. He feels like we are a team and we are making progress towards our financial goals.
So in 2020 we are improving our defense even more. We are trying to spend efficiently.
We are using our daily tracking calendar to play defense, recognize spending habits, and improve how we use each dollar.
It may seem tedious to track everything.
But defense wins ballgames.
Wow! Love the way to put this, soooo true!
Thank you Maria!! Kevin and I love sports analogies, so this one has been really helpful with our finances!! 🙂
My husband and I had a life change in 2012 that required us to rethink our financial situation. Sometimes it takes an unexpected act to get a person out of the slump of just continuing the same routine. We share our financial decisions too and it feels great to know i have a partner who has the same goals. We do view money differently so that is an obstacle to work through at times, but our goals are the same so we are united. I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the great articles!
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I agree that an unexpected change often leads to a money mindset change. I know downsizing our income 5 years ago really made us reevaluate our “needs” and “wants” closer and really get back to the basics. It can feel restricting at first, but then it is freeing to know exactly where all the dollars are going. Thank you for reading!