Money Matters in Marriage

I am not a financial guru (that’s so obvious), but my husband seems to be esteemed as such because of his involvement as host for ANC’s On the Money program. But Edric will also be the first to tell you that he is no expert. He is learning along the way, as he interviews businessmen, financial advisors, CEOs, and the like. Nevertheless, he gets invitations to give talks on personal finance. Yesterday, he invited me to join him to give a short testimony to break up his three hour seminar. I have said no to doing talks in this season of my life (well, I have to be very discriminating) because my commitments revolve around the home. But, when Edric asks me to be his side kick for seminars he has to give, I consider this part of my role as a wife…prioritizing my husband.

So, I tagged along with him to a company that requested he give a 101 money talk that integrated family values. I am including my part of the “intermission” because his segment is paid for…mine is FREE! ;)

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Edric and I chose to get married young. We were crazy romantics like that. Well, as you all know, love does not put food on the table. Between Edric’s corporate job and my PR work, we were making P40,000, which means we didn’t have a lot of financial liberty. We started off very simply. I was very blessed to have a husband who liked to use a spreadsheet and make year long budget projections. So this is what he did…percentages, budget allocations, monitoring of our spending patterns etc.

Admittedly, I had no idea what it meant to keep a budget. My mom didn’t have to stick to a budget or so it seemed, so I thought that it was normal to be able to spend indiscriminately. She wasn’t an extravagant person so I wasn’t either. She never splurged on designer bags or shoes. My parents were not the type to buy heirloom watches or jewelry either. They invested in travel, land, properties, and businesses.

It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized how much people spend on designer clothing, bags, watches, shoes, and the like. Fortunately, because my siblings and I were not brought up to have an appetite for such things we didn’t mind not having it later on either. (My mom still shops at the tiange and gets compliments for her clothing without people realizing that she spends less than 1,000 pesos for most of what she wears! I love this about her.)

Going back to the early years of marriage, I wasn’t a major shopper but I didn’t have a concept of what it means to plan for your expenses. It was a foreign concept to me. And this is why I needed a husband like Edric. Edric is very FRUGAL.

It took me some time to realize the wisdom behind my husband’s strictness when it came to money management. But I began to appreciate it as the years went by. If I was in charge of money in our home, we would now be in dire straits.

One thing that he did give me was a discretionary fund or a “fun fund.” It was a fund for personal things – going to the parlor, buying myself clothes, eating out with friends, etc. We have often encouraged couples to have a discretionary fund that a wife can use without having to clear everything with her husband. If I bought anything outside of that fund, then I would ask for permission because he was in charge of managing our overall budget. Otherwise, my personal expenses were not audited. I had liberty, within my budget, to go shopping or treat myself.

The second money principle I learned in marriage was the concept of “living within your means (or even below, if possible).” Because I came from a family with means, I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know what it was like to have to take public transportation or have a second hand car. I knew how to do house chores, but I had no idea how hard it was to make money and make it grow. I would feel stressed when we didn’t have enough money to pay for repairs or fix things around the house.

God taught me NOT to make money my source of security. I had to learn contentment, avoid panicking that money was not in abundance, and quit comparing my state of life with siblings and friends. We couldn’t really travel out of the country. I didn’t have an unlimited budget for shopping. Even if I had a discretionary fund, it wasn’t that big. (Praise God it grew as the years went by!)

Living within our means was humbling at times and uncomfortable. I remember when I was 8 months pregnant with our first child, I was driving down McKinley to pick up Edric and I had to do a U-turn. But the car stalled in the middle of the road while I was doing the U-turn! Traffic was blocked on both sides of McKinley. I started to panic. Edric wasn’t answering his phone and I didn’t know what to do. Should I go out and push the car? I was 8 months pregnant! Cars were honking me. It was rush hour. I was so stressed…on the brink of breaking down. I prayed and prayed and after about 10 minutes, the car finally re-started. Whew. What an ordeal.

For a while I was bickering to myself and thinking, Why do I have to go through this? Why can’t we have a car that works better? I never had this problem when I lived at home! (Well, wake up honey, this is your new reality. God is working on your character.)

Although it was stressful at the time, Edric and I laugh about our adventures and the challenges we had at the beginning of our marriage. We used to park one of our cars on an incline just to make sure we could give it enough momentum to start the next day!

These comedic memories have turned into romantic memories. Seriously. When Edric and I reminisce about how God has faithfully provided for us through the years, we look at each other and say, “I am glad we went through that together.” It wasn’t easy but it made us closer. We started off without much so we had a lot to look forward to.

Many people wait so long to get married these days because of career choices, wanting to build up a piggy bank fund so they can buy a house, a nice car or two, and comforts that they are used to. My encouragement to women out there is learn to be simple and easy to please. Don’t be so high maintenance. It scares guys. They will feel like they can never afford you! Be wise and marry a man who loves God and works hard, and God will bless him financially. But be willing to adjust your own preferences. You may not get a big house right away or a shiney new car, but hey, you can look forward to those things together.

The third principle I wanted to share was lowering expectations and raising appreciation. I had to learn to be an encourager and a positive source of affirmation for my husband. Guys go out there and fight a whole different level of stress. Remember, God said that Adam would have a hard time tilling the ground!

Early on in our marriage, I didn’t know how to be a very good encourager. When Edric would tell me his issues with work and finances, I would say, “Well why did you make that decision? Maybe you should have said this or maybe you can do this…” And he would tell me, “Hon, if I need your advice I will ask you.” Oops. Verbal diarrhea in the house. In other words, what he wanted to hear was encouragement so he could go out there re-energized to get through another day.

In Genesis, the Bible talks about how God created woman to be a suitable helper to the man. A suitable helper doesn’t mean a yaya or househelp. The Hebrew word means “Life giver along side.” It is a beautiful picture of how a wife can support and uphold her husband. I am called to be a life-giver to Edric. I do this by submitting to his leadership, trusting that God has made him head of our home, and respecting him. But a big a part of being a life giver is also appreciating him, even for the little things.

When Edric would doubt whether he was a good provider, when he would feel down about not being able to give me the kind of lifestyle he thought I “deserved,” I would tell him,”Hon, I see your life. You love God, you are faithful to him. I don’t doubt that he will bless your efforts. Just keep trusting in him.” And then I would go run away to cry out to the Lord! “God, please let Edric know that you are mindful of him. Please allow him to experience your hand of blessing.”

But I made it a point to communicate to Edric that I believed in his God-given capacity, that I appreciated how hard he worked, the sacrifices he made and still makes to give us a comfortable life. Most importantly, I would tell him how blessed I was that he loves God and wants to be a godly husband and father. His face would change, he would hug me, sometimes even get teary eyed (just a little), and tell me how much my affirmation mattered…that it would inspire him to try his best.

Did I still have my dreams and longings? Of course. But instead of pressuring Edric to be the fulfiller of these things, I turned them over to God. I surrendered them and said, “Lord, in your time, your way, I know that you will give us the things we desire, if it is your will.” I would pray for Edric and commit our marriage, finances, children, and circumstances to him (I still do), and he has been faithful. I’ve received more than I dreamed of, not always what I wanted but better than I could have imagined.
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Lastly, I wanted to talk about the idea of priorities. For several years into my marriage, I was working full time and then part time to supplement our income. But, when we started having more kids, Edric and I talked about priorities and we decided that it was more important for me to be available to the kids and be at home. I am not saying that everyone has to make a life choice like this, but for Edric and I, it was a faith decision to switch to a single-income household. Who does that these days? It is not the trend.

However, we thought of what will really matter twenty, thirty years from now. I knew I cannot buy back the years of being absent from the home and missing my children’s moments. So I wanted to be present to instruct and train them. We both believed in homeschooling and that became my full time job. It doesn’t pay monetarily but it pays in eternal dividends.

And let me just say that I am never bored as a housewife. I have four kids with different personalities who keep me entertained, on my toes, and absolutely dependent on God. Plus, there is decorating, cooking, trouble shooting, and appliance fixing (I am actually pretty capable with a wrench and pliers. It doesn’t sound sexy but I am pretty proud of my handy woman abilities.)

God turned my heart towards my family and home…

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 NASB)

The principle is do not neglect or sacrifice the priorities of God, spouse and children on the altar of money. If you are a working woman and your spouse still feels like he is a priority, your kids are growing in character and they are turning out just fine then you are one of those superwomen who can balance and juggle everything. Hats off to you. But, if your home life is suffering then consider how you can make adjustments.

Money can buy some things but not everything. It doesn’t buy a happy spouse, happy children, a happy home, real peace or lasting joy, especially if the most important relationships are neglected.

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We are a happy family, by the grace of God! Tiana doesn’t look too happy here, but she is. :)

Above all else, Edric and I have learned and keep learning that God must always be the center, even when it comes to our finances. He is our ultimate provider. He owns everything. We are merely stewards of what he is given us. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first his kingdom and all these things will be added unto you.” God delights to bless people that love him and follow him. But often times, we have it the other way around. We make money and worldly pursuits first in our lives, the center, and leave no room for God. It is a constant striving after wealth for our sense of security and peace.

Here is the good news: When you follow God and come into a personal relationship with him through his son, Jesus Christ, he not only provides for your needs and more, he gives you riches that money cannot buy. You may not become a millionaire or billionaire, you become more! You become a child of a Father who has infinite resources; who knows when to withhold and when to give; who cares about the desires of your heart but knows when to protect you from them; who never abandons you; who gives you purpose and meaning beyond the drive for worldly successes; and who gives you eternal life with HIM to look forward to.

 

 

Comments

  1. “it was a faith decision to switch to a single-income household. Who does that these days? It is not the trend.” — hahaha guess what! well we joined you sister! there are 5 of us ex-career women and im sure there are more (esp in CCF) who quit our job because we realized , by God’s grace, our real roles as wives and moms!thank God!

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Awesome! Let’s start a new trend!

    • Thank you for sharing this. I am a new mom with a 2 month old and have had success in my career early on. Been struggling to look for a nanny that I can trust and realized I a,m the only one who can do the job as well. Yes, let’s bring back the simple life with single income households and raise society ( through our children) well! :) I will remember this when I draft my resignation letter.

    • Amen to that! I wanted to be a full time mom as well.

    • I too gave up my 7 year stable work to be with my first born child. Now I am 8 months pregnant with my second and I never regret any of the decisions I made. I am happy to share your sentiments when it comes to family and relationship with your husband but I still think I have a lot of room for improvement and a whole lot of things to learn from people like you. My husband and I have been together for 3 years and I always say, I believe that we have a good God since He led me to my husband, someone in whom I see God everyday. Our bank account may say otherwise but we are truly blessed. We feel, act and think blessed every single day and that for me is the true essence of happiness. :) Each time I think about all the answered prayers, no amount of challenge could sway my full trust in the Lord and my husband as our provider. Praise God for letting us find the true meaning of life through our family (husband and kids). Your article is such an inspiration and a great motivator to be better full time moms. :)

  2. Jona Ferolino says:

    I agree! My husband and I have actually just made that faith decision as well. Oh..thank you so much for the confirmation and affirmation of our faith. I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and it has always inspired me. I thank God for making you a blessing to women, wives and mothers, who wants to fulfill their God-given roles in life. God bless you and your family more! :)

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Thanks Jona! Excited for your guys. It’s always exciting to make a faith decision. May God abundantly supply for your needs! God bless you, too :)

  3. Just what I needed! Been dealing with controlling my wants lately…I so agree with the principle of living within your means. I used to have a corporate job but then I am now a work at home mom just because my husband and I both decided to make that faith decision as well. It is indeed true that if we always want for something we don’t have we tend to forget to appreciate the blessings we already have. I’m just so thankful that my husband is able to make me realize what’s truly important in life. Thanks for this post Joy!

  4. Thanks for sharing! How fitting for my situation, I was just worrying about money and then suddenly I come across your post and it just gave me an affirmation from God and a whole new perspective! :)

  5. Super blessed by this. :) I’m a career-driven girl but I hope God gives me the wisdom and grace to prioritize my (future) family, when the time comes. Was it hard for you to give up your corporate job?

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Hi Jin, Honestly it wasn’t that hard to give up working because, when I started having kids, my heart really longed to be with them. We just had to figure out budgets and how to live on income that didn’t have me really contributing to it. :) I’m sure God will give you the conviction too if that is what he wants you to do. :)

      • Maybe I don’t see/feel it because I don’t have my own kids yet but you make motherhood sound like an awesome career on its own! :) Praying that God will also let me experience that too if it’s His will. :)

  6. I love this! You’re such an encouragement!

  7. Truly inspiring. :)

  8. Joy,

    Thanks for your writing. My girlfriend is a Christian and all of the things that you’ve written, I hear a lot from her– almost verbatim, but I must admit that by my not believing in god sometimes gets in the way of learning a good lesson nonetheless. I’d love to keep reading what you write. Sometimes it’s easier reading it with the entire idea surrounding it so well put than hearing it and having to understand, especially when scripture is cited. In this way, it’s also my helping me understand things that are important to her, especially if I intend to spend a lifetime with her.

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Is this Marco Diaz from Ateneo?! If it is than hello and it is great to hear from you. If it isn’t, then, good to meet you. You know what, faith is really a personal choice. I am obviously and overtly Christian in my views and the way I insert bible verses but I am blessed to hear that you are willing to read, Marco. Perhaps you might want to consider Pascal’s wager, too, if you haven’t already hear of it…

      The philosophy uses the following logic (excerpts from Pensées, part III, §233):
      – “God is, or He is not”
      – A Game is being played… where heads or tails will turn up.
      – According to reason, you can defend either of the propositions.
      – You must wager. (It’s not optional.)
      – Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.
      Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. (…) There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.

      You owe it to yourself to find out if God really does exist. I know people who actually posed a sincere challenge to God “Lord, if you are real,can you show me?” I believe God is a personal God who reveals himself in a personal way. If you have time to, you might also want to view the site http://www.jesusfactorfiction.com

      I respect that you have an actual conviction about what you don’t believe. Many people are cultural christians without ever understanding the basis for why they believe what the believe. The latter site gives reasonable and logical arguments that helped me grow in faith. Perhaps you and and your girlfriend can check it out together. :) That’s kind of romantic, right?!

  9. Ang haba naman ng article mo. I wanted to read it sana pero it took you so long to get to the point. There was more background story, intro, rather than actual substance. Ugh.

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      You are right…I tend to write lengthy articles. Alot of them are ridiculously long! But if you don’t mind putting up with them, maybe you will find something really worth reading.;) Your comment was a little painful to read this morning but I appreciate your honesty.

      • I don’t think your entries are too painstakingly long to read, Joy. :) Please continue writing and blessing us with your insights. If we wanted short, concise, straight-to-the-point articles which are devoid of any personal stories, then we would have chosen the school library. Thank you for sharing your life with us. :)

        • Joy T Mendoza says:

          You must be very patient, ha ha! Thanks for the encouragement! Appreciate you :)

          • Your post is just fine. It’s long, just like my other blog posts. and my wife was the one who shared your article to me. I would be the one to tell you that she doesn’t want to read long articles but this, she read it and even shared it to me. We can relate to your story very much. Thanks for sharing. this is truly informative and inspirational. :)

            - Rogie

      • Hi, Joy! Thank God for your talent to write. You inspire inspired people. You are a channel of blessings to those that give precious time to read your writings. Keep it up, Joy! I love reading your blogs. I don’t find them lengthy at all because in every sentence you make, there is always grain in it. I would often say, more please!!!!!!

        To Anonymous: You showed that you are an idiot and pessimist. You will never grow in character with your behavior. Your comment alone tells so much about you. You can’t even speak straight English and construct a good English sentence. That alone shows that you have a limited comprehension of the language.

      • It was an easy read. Great job joy. God blessed me while I was reading your article. It gave me a lot of hope.

    • What you wrote was very encouraging and inspiring Joy! Thank you for this, I think a lot of wives and mommies go through that stage where they decide if they will be a stay at home mom or career woman or both. Thank you for sharing what your set up is and how it came about. And may your detractor be blessed with patience and wisdom ;)

    • I just recently subscribed to your blog Joy and I have been tremendously blessed since. I keep on forwarding your articles to my husband because I want us to learn, mature and be more Christ-like in everything that we do. It saddens me to read negative comment here, but I must say, that your background story is the actual substance! Your testimonies are the real source of inspiration. So keep them coming Joy! :)

      Blessing and love,
      Lyn from Canada

  10. Contrary to the previous comment I found ACTUAL substance in what you have said. But maybe I am in that point in my life that I am ready to accept that financial management in the home do come with values as well. For one, a major point that really struck me is that if your sense of fulfillment is deeply rooted in God rather than on material things, when the time comes to make choices on which expenses are needed to be prioritize, it becomes easier to make the right and wise decisions.

    The second point that I really liked about this article is the fact that you have included a “fun fund” in your budget. This is probably something that I don’t see that often in financial management talks and articles. I think it’s just being realistic that as women, we do want to be pampered once in a while. Even men need a budget for what they would consider fun things to buy or activities to spend on. I think God wants you to enjoy the fruits of your labors too. Married life should not all be about the bills, debts to be paid and what-not. However, it is also not called a discretionary fund for nothing. If you don’t have that much to spend, then you might have to trim down your budget for this without necessarily eliminating it.

    And lastly, I like what you said in the last paragraph. My fiancee and I recently got engaged and we are planning to get married in the US this summer. Since it’s customary for the woman to shoulder the expenses of the wedding in this country, I have started gathering ways and means to put together a wedding that is within my means and budget. I was starting to get so obsessed with keeping track of our budget, finding all sorts of cheap stuff and even thought of making DIY projects until my fingers bleed and get swollen–but thank God for using my hubby-to-be to remind me that God is the source of our finances and NOT me. And as I read your blog I was reminded once again that I should put my faith in God and not my abilities to earn the budget for our wedding or my ability to manage the resources we have now.

    Was it a lengthy post? Sure. Did it take long for you to drive a point? Maybe. But, heck…this is your blog! You can do anything you want with it and the choice to read your posts is ours to make…noone can FAULT you for that! I don’t know you personally but I admire your candidness and your ability to put yourself out there. I know it’s not easy to post and publicize what you have written knowing there will always be random strangers who just happen to pass by and feel free to criticize without actually offering some constructive feedback especially on how you can improve your writing.

    I pray that God will bless your family more and that your upcoming baby will be a girl so little Tiana will have a baby sister to play with. Thank you for posting.

  11. Greetings from the Himalayas! I am always excited to read your blogs! I learn much from it and i love reading every word! I am inspired how you can juggle everything and still write out your mind. See you in September/October.

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Thanks Imee! It must be freezing. The weather here is turning into summer fast. :( But I still wouldn’t be able to bear the kind of cold you guys have too. May God continue to bless your ministry there. Praise God for you!

  12. Very inspiring.. Thank you..

  13. hi! very inspiring and a great reminder! been reading ur blogs for over a year now. i really admire your writing and how you share your life experiences with us. im still single, but i learned a lot from you. just wanna say thank you! :D may God continue to bless your famly!

  14. Thank you for this reminder. I was teary-eyed while reading it because God used you as a gentle reminder that I am worried because I am starting to put my security in finances. I could very much relate to your story because my bf and I recently decided to wait a few more years so we can save up more and prepare better for married life. I tend to worry when we’re not able to save as much as we wanted to and sometimes to the point of not appreciating his hard work and sacrifices. I will try my best, through God’s enabling, to be a better encourager and turn to God instead of pressuring myself and my bf. I was blessed and may you continue to bless others as they see God’s work in your life and in your family. I also enjoyed your stories :)

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      I’m so blessed to read this comment, Ruth. God is your provider. He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. May he continue to guide both of you…

  15. Hi Joy! I love what you wrote. Your experiences mirror mine, and it simply gave me enough strength to continue being a good wife and mother. I’ll be visiting your blog often. Thanks a bunch! :)

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Thanks Shane! I checked out your blog, too :) Quite a blog!!! And you are pregnant. Congrats! :) I would love to be 31 weeks by now. I’ve got a long way to go at just 15 weeks…

  16. it cannot be easy to share so much of yourself and get brickbats. Just know that so many of us appreciate how you share and encourage us along the way, yes, even though your posts are long, they are full of substance. i can miss a sermon and come to your blog and get a ‘preaching’ that is more substantial than one from the pulpit.

    i don’t know why but like shane said above, some of your experiences mirror mine (i think i commented on this before) – like how i prayed for NBA to go away and it was deleted from our satellite TV subscription, ha, ha.

    and i hope you don’t get offended, ha, but P40,000 remains a lot. I know many Filipinos who struggle to earn half of that amount so I don’t think putting “only” in there is … well, you know. i hope you get what i mean.

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Got it, Athena! Thanks for pointing out that reality about the 40K. I edited the text there. Whew. Appreciate readers like you who can keep me accountable and careful. After all, publishing your own entries must be done with such delicacy and sometimes, I don’t see everything — the errors, typos, criticalness of spirit, wrong thinking, etc. So, many many thanks. I hope all the people who read can help me to improve the articles I write. God uses people like you to help me grow as a writer and as a person. :)

  17. Story of my life? Haha Only, we started at 14K not 40K LOL So blessed reading your blogs. Actually, I am one of those who want them longer. I find it “bitin” if they are relatively short. I want ALL the details!!! :D

  18. Noted. Haha thanks neighbor.

  19. Thank you for posting this article. I really need to hear everything you wrote, I’m still on the process of putting everything in God’s hands specially financial matters. Specially now that I’m pregnant and cannot even do anything, for my pregnancy is too high risk, I even go back and forth from the hospital. I know that this is my consequences because I didn’t listen to what God really wants for my life. But I also do know that in this consequences I’m having, God is with me and will never forsake me. And I just realized that I’m also at this point of my life, because I never really surrendered everything to God. And now I want to. I praise God for your life. Continue to inspire women! God bless you and your family!.

  20. I admire you a lot, i wish and hope that i will have the same courage as u do, keep safe, God bless. Thanks for the encouragement and for the inspiration. Ur such a great woman, wife and a mother.

  21. Juvs and Regh says:

    It was nice to read your blog. Me and my wife also share the same experience maybe not all but most. :) when i saw your blog i immediately started to read it without knowing that my wife was also reading it(she just saw me and said “pareho pala tayo ng binabasa hehehe!” that’s why i put our names instead of mine only. :)

    my wife was having a hard time also before because of my way of budgeting our money.
    but time goes by and she got used to it(i guess :D). we also experienced ups and downs in our relationship and just laugh how we managed to get through it. also putting God at the center thought us to be satisfied of what we have.

    again, nice blog. more blessings from God. :)

  22. And then I would go run away to cry out to the Lord! “God, please let Edric know that you are mindful of him. Please allow him to experience your hand of blessing.” —> I have the same prayer for my husband and I can’t help but tear up when you said it. Read this one with my husband and we literally were wiping away tears as we read. See, we’re in that stage now (one-income household) and though there would be “dry” times, we would continually believe that what we have invested in today will pay off greatly in the future—our family. Btw, it’s actually the stories behind the principles you’ve shared that made them more personal and relate-able, which basically help most of us how to apply them in practical ways. Otherwise, it would have been just another financial advice not different from the ones we’ve already encountered. And I love how this “money matter” advice ended with Jesus and how faithful God is to provide for us. Take the negative comment as a constructive criticism but know that we, your regular readers, appreciate how you write out your insights on life, love and faith. :)

    Happy to also see Ninang Imee following your blog too. Hehe. :D

  23. I love your article! I will make my husband read this :) we will learn so much from you. Thanks Ms. Joy for sharing this. Godbless you and your family.

  24. Your blog is a blessing because through what you write, others are inspired to do, think and be better.

    On the other hand though…I have actually noticed that it is a growing trend: mothers staying home again and finding fulfillment in the home. I guess it helps that we can now earn from home and stay connected to friends digitally. And I love it!!!

  25. Hi Joy, I met you through Achi Betty. I’m Catholic and I love this aspect of the Christian faith where money shouldn’t be first. When I resolved to take care of the children first (and just have a stay at home job/assist my husband in the business), it wasn’t like you said, a popular decision with others. Still, I feel so much happier and blessed. I used to tell my husband, how much can I earn as a professional? I’ll just forego one major shopping and Europe trip and it more than compensated for that. I can’t figure out how people find it hard to leave their business/delegate it and yet find it ok to completely delegate their children to yayas. It’s a sad world that requires the best educated and most competent people to run their companies and delegate their children to sometimes unskilled strangers. I love my yayas, but I see them as help to me, not the ones to take over the care of those dearest to me.

  26. VERY WELL-WRITTEN AND ENCOURAGING! And timely too. Thank you for sharing. Keep writing! :)

  27. Luz Tamondong says:

    I was blessed today after reading this meaningful writeup about family and financial matters. It is true that nowadays both husband and wife have to work everyday to make ends meet. This is very true wherever you live be it in the Philippines, U.S.A., Canada or anywhere in the world. Living is getting harder and harder. It is also true that spending good times with your children at a very young age is more important than acquiring more than enough wealth for fill our sense of financial security for the future. If you have just enough, it would be best to be a stay home mom to be with your children while they are still growing up because once they become adults it will never be the same. At a tender age nourish those moments, teach them the values in life. These bonding moments at their tender age could never be captured again. It will be history.

  28. Ronald Cruz says:

    Reading your blog spiced up my morning. I felt great knowing how you and your husband prioritized your family life. We are almost on the same situation; its just that I’m the one at home while my wife works. But I felt very encouraged when you talked about your support role to your husband. Actually, the more I think of it, you are supporting the entire family…by being the backbone providing strength, harmony, peace, love and joy. Its a tough job and is very important.

    I felt a reinforcement on my decision to leave corporate life and devote more time to life priorities. Thanks for sharing your experience. Very helpful to me and to others.

  29. Your blog is so inspiring.
    I can’t help but be inspired to continue doing my best to be a good provider (to the best of my might) to my wife and my kid.You both seem to be good parents to your kid, I can sense in the picture.
    God bless you and may you continue to inspire others.

  30. This is really nice Joy =) I believe God led me to your blogpost today because He wanted to affirm something =) How awesome, for about 2 month now a desire was placed in my heart to stay home and spend more time with my son! But I’m too worried about finances! =) I know in time, God will reveal how we are going to do it =)
    Thank you for blessing me with this article.

  31. I thank God for what you have shared.. this is very timely.. It is an affirmation that the move im going to make is the right thing to do. I am resigning from my work in Manila to have more time for my family.. I’m sort of scared of my decision since my income will be cut more than half. But Im doing this to prioritize and take care what God has given me, my husband and to have a baby. It is indeed a step of faith. Trusting God more than my own capabilities and money. Thanks God bless you!

    • Mari Cris Faustino says:

      Dear Joy,

      Your article is refreshing & no doubt inspiring to many who read it! It brings back memories of how Tito Len & I started out in our married life (35 years ago) with practically nothing. Our wedding reception was a “pot-luck” with only 50 guests! We rented a small, old but cozy 2 bedroom house for only P300 a month (unbelievable). When it rained, it literally rained inside our house as well, hahaha… I remember we had huge drums in our garage to catch rain water from our downspouts since Merville had a water problem back in those days. There was a time when we were in between job contracts & we survived by selling barbecue at the street corner! I sold anything from makeup, shoes, personalized shirts, baby clothes, dressed chicken, eggs, milk, oranges, home-made cookies, pies & cheese cakes, etc. We didn’t have much, but we were happy & our kids learned to be content with what we had. Most of their clothes, shoes & toys were hand-me-downs from relatives & friends. Even my clothes were second hand & I’d only shop in bargain stores in Baclaran.

      With a lot of hard work, determination & God’s help, we slowly built our business. We were very new Christians then & we experienced God’s faithfulness very early in our walk with Him. We also decided early on not to live beyond our means & always set aside money for a rainy day. We were blessed to have been taught very sound Biblical principles & Tithing. Even if we didn’t have much to spare, we supported a couple of students through Bible College & a couple of missionaries. But God never failed to supply our every need! He is truly a faithful & generous Father!

  32. This is a good article. I have chanced upon some of your posts and I believe that you write from the heart and you have the desire to help and inspire others.

    I believe we are almost of the same age (and I think we have common friends) and we also experience similar things. When I got married, my husband’s business was just picking up and I had this fear – how will he sustain us and the family we will have as I was not making very much then in the bank. And this is where I know and believe that God provides. Each child we had was like a step in the success in his business. We now have three girls and I had to recently quit the corporate world to help him (almost) full time (he wants to have me as a partner to run it) and I have more time with our girls. We have been blessed financially and since I am directly involved, I know now that we cannot just spend on our usual whims. Everything should be planned for for our, and our kids’ future. :)

  33. Anonymous says:

    Hi! Are you LDS Joy?

  34. Wow, it’s like reading the story of my life (at this early point in time of my marriage). Thanks for sharing. I am greatly encouraged and uplifted. You are a blessing!

  35. Alvin Abrantes says:

    Very Inspiring! I’ll share to my friends ;)

  36. Jing Panganiban-Mendoza says:

    Hi Joy, we were classmates before in Creative Writing. I found a link to your article through a common friend in FB. It was a pleasure to read this piece. Keep it up!

  37. Thank God for this wonderful blog! I love it! You’re so inspiring! I feel so blessed after reading this. :)
    My boyfriend and I are both Christians and we plan to get married soon. I live in Manila and he is based in Cebu. I sometimes worry that marriage would make us financially unstable (what was I thinking?!?). He was the first one who subscribed to your blog and he told me to subscribe, too. He sent me the link and asked me to get back to him on what I think. He assured me not to worry and check out your testimony. God bless me. I spent almost an hour reading your blog! I can’t stop! :) I’m encouraged to be like you who is faithful to God, to her husband and to her kids. I hope you continue to write beautiful articles and may God use you more in sharing His word. God bless you and your family.

    Btw, I have subscribed to, liked and shared your blog. Yay!!! :)

  38. Juvy Polancos says:

    Thank you for this lovely piece. God bless!

  39. Hello Ms. Joy, such a very inspiring article.. :)

  40. I am in this situation now where I am contemplating whether to pursue my career or be a full time mom to my baby boy. I have been very blessed in my career…but I am having difficulty entrusting my son to a yaya. I feel that I am the only one who can take care of him, no perfect substitute. My husband and I are still evaluating our options and praying for God’s guidance.

  41. Love this! Reminds me of a story o how my family is. I, the wife, although is the frugal one. We buy everything used furniture and the thrift store is the place to go!! (Hey, they have awesome finds if you’re lucky). I made our family a year long budget as well as we tackle our debt (in the beginning of marriage we got ourselves into a big mess) and by the grace of God, he introduced us to Dave Ramsey, a Christ follower and a financial guro. My mother in law bought us his book, total money makeover, which is helping is tremendously. Since then, we are working on being debt free, no more borrowing money (aka credit cards or loans) if we don’t have the money, simply we can’t buy it. living off “beans and rice” as they call it. I love what he says , Live like no one else now, so later, you can live and give like no one else. I bet your husband has heard of this Dave Ramsey guy. Seems like you guys are on the right track!!! Good luck to all of us and God bless.

  42. tina artigo says:

    Nice ;-)

  43. This should have been a paid portion of the talk. May God bless you as you are a blessing to others.

  44. Your blogs are very inspiring. This entry might have been lengthy but all good things should be savored and not rushed through. It is about shared experiences and not a quick fix-it blog!

  45. I love this article because that’s our family life in a nutshell too! Thank God he’s God.

  46. Lovely Sharon B. Medina says:

    Really love this!!! It inspired me… i cried and realized what matter most…. God bless to ur family ;-)

  47. I love reading this. Very encouraging!

  48. Very inspiring! :)

  49. Wella Jane R. Sabado says:

    Thank you for inspiring me in your articles. God bless you and your family! : )

  50. Long article but worth reading.. Was working fulltime when i only have one child, then part-time when i had two…
    Eventually decided to resign, simply because i want to witness their milestones while growing up.. Isa pa, i dont think it’s worth it when you leave d kids to the yaya and they become sick.. Now, i have three kids (2girls ages 5yrs & 3yrs and a baby boy -9mons)and i have not been working for almost four years now.. We dont have much money and still saving to buy our own house but we are happy.. FAMILY FIRST ALWAYS.

  51. Thank you for sharing, Joy. As a newlywed and as someone who is struggling with housewife status, I really needed to read this. Thank you for showing me that it may not get easier, but you just get better, God willing.

  52. risza ambil says:

    it’s an eye opener for me … realizAtion in a married life, to be a happy -contented couple and a family life as well :)

    • Hi! Yeah, pretty long article up there.. but it’s so amusing to discover quite a number of similarities to our experiences, roles, backgrounds, as well as convictions.. We’ve also decided to go for single-income for me to attend to the kids, and homeschool them since my hubby & i got married 15 yrs ago. It wasn’t a very popular choice at that time, but it sure is paying off. Slowly, the Lord showed different income generating resources for us as the kids grew bigger. Everything in its own beautiful time. God’s grace is always sufficient. :)

  53. Millet marbella says:

    Hi. I have one question. This may seem unrelated to your article but I really need to know because it is a factor i think that is really worth helping. Here is my question, Do you have a nanny or household help? Your feedback is very crucial because it will help our marriage. Thank you very much! But your article itself is very realistic and full of lessons. Thanks again and hope you will respond to my one question.

  54. Wow! i don’t read internet stuff too often but you had me read through your article from start to finish. Good thing my wife sent me a link to your blog and i am blessed with every thing you shared. This is so encouraging and so uplifting. Truly God has used you to inspire couples like us who struggles with day to day life especially in the area of handling finances. Your story inspired me and gave me a sense of direction. Truly God has a lot of amazing ways to uplift a person’s spirit and i’m grateful He used you to touch my life today. I hope that you will continue to share your personal testimony and God given wisdom. God bless you and your family! May His abounding grace be upon you and may you continue to be blessed to become a blessing. This is your calling and you are hitting the mark by touching people’s lives. :)

  55. hi… i came across your blog posted by a friend on FB… it is indeed inspiring to know about couples who agree that some things are more important than having more money than one can spend…

  56. Hi Joy! One of my friends shared me your article. While I appreciate and totally relate with a lot of your experiences, I don’t get the part where you suggested to be ‘simple and not high maintenance’ that it ‘scares guys’. I believe in being yourself when looking for a mate. I think whether a girl is simple or extravagant if the guy is intimidated, it certainly isn’t the girl’s problem.

  57. This post says what I already know.. That is, I need to be a better wife!! lolz!

    I would have to keep reading this everytime I start forgetting.. Thanks for sharing!! :)

  58. so inspiring as always. you are a blessing! :) thanks for sharing this

  59. Truly inspiring! Working and making ends meet here in Canada without Canadian experience or education can be pretty hard especially with all the competition among people who had their education here. My husband recently found out that we were pregnant and due to pregnancy complications, I had to quit my job making us a single-income household. It was a little ironic because we have now a reason to be more hardworking but we both decided that the child comes first before any career. We just have to trust God that HE will provide for us since HE has given us the greatest gift that we have been waiting for 2 years already, we just have to take care of the gift :)

  60. michellene says:

    Thank you. I wll share with my children. Wonderful article. God bless you for sharing.
    Mich

  61. sheila fuentes says:

    You’re such an inspiration.In my case i have a son who’s 1 year and 4 months old and carrying my 2 months old second baby in my womb.I really wanted make a faith decision of being a full time mom but i cant because my husband wont be able to pay for all our expenses, thats why i need to work as an online homebased teacher.I really wanted to have more working hours so that i would be able to earn more financially for my family but i couldnt get a good nanny.My husband is working as a lead technician for an american company but these days he wanted to quit his job to fulfill his dreams of becoming a policeman which gives me stress because it means that he needs to undergo training for a year and i need to support my family on my own when he’s away.I support my husband because i love him i really want him to fulfill his dreams but to tell the truth i really makes me sad because few months from now i’ll be giving birth without him.I’ll be raising my kids in a year without him.I’ll be working day and night just to support my family.I’ll be a full-time mom and an online employee at the same time.Thinking of these really made me feel so stress and sad.Sometimes i just lift it up to God.I know God is so powerful .I always pray this “God, in your time, your way, I know that you will give us the things we desire, if it is your will.” I know that if God’s will everything be Okay :)

    Thank you for inspiring us and please pray for my family.God bless you always
    Sheila :)

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Hi Sheila, my heart goes out to you. But I also believe that God gives special grace to every season we are in. If you need to work right now then may he give you the supernatural strength and ability to manage everything you have to. And if it’s his will that you can let go of your job then I know he will also make circumstances come together in such a way that you will be able to. Keep hoping in him and continue to encourage your husband. I waited for a number of years before I could just be at home. And God dealt with my heart by teaching me to give him my desires and trust in him.

  62. Hello Joy! This is nothing personal. I admire your views and I respect you for that. Women Empower one another and I am not writing here to debunk what you said, but just to put in a different perspective, so we can have healthy discussion.
    There was once a time that I thought, I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I have 3 kids, we were living in a foreign country and I feel that since the kids are growing up fast, I wanted to be with them and guide them.
    But all throughout those days of being a SAHM (2 years), I was restless. I was doing all sorts of nonsense things (shopping, learning a craft that don’t materialize into anything, aspiring to be a chef, aspiring to learn a language) and so on… just burning money while the kids are at school.
    Yes, I was on top of my kids homework, school meetings and so on… but there’s just too much time on my hands! I am not the type to volounteer for school programs or church. I was the type who wanted real accomplishments that I can call my own– not only being a mother, a wife, but a person who have a degree, and who have marketable skills.
    The real crux was when my husband almost went unemployment. Nowadays, Job security is a thing of the past, especially in a foreign country where we don’t know labor laws and unsure whether my husband can find employment quick. I was so insecure what will happen to us. What if he get laid-off? what if he gets a debilitating diseases? what will happen to us and the kids?
    That is why, I decided to really take the bull by the horns, and be an equal-earner at home. My husband was relieved because he has peace of mind, to look for a better career opportunity without the risk of the family getting hungry.
    And I realize many things about myself too. My personality is different. To be a BETTER MOM, I have to be a BETTER ME. I have to find my own fulfilment, which is, having a career for myself. Otherwise, I will just be miserable mother. Now, I am happier and the kids are happy because I am no longer a Helicopter Mom who sees and monitors everything, just because I was not busy. They become more independent of themselves, their homework and they understand the value of parents working hard to give them a comfortable life.
    I salute all SAHM out there! It’s something that I can’t do.
    But for all moms who may feel differently, here’s an extra reading that you might find useful, as well.
    I feel guilty sometimes of not being there full-time, but I don’t want to have a regret with my own life , as well.
    God Bless us all…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grown-and-flown/why-i-regret-being-a-stay-at-home-mom_b_3402691.html

  63. ruth s. abuedo says:

    i thought that i am a stressful mother… doing all this things..and have a pitty on me…now i know my worth as a mom-at-home…thanks for sharing…..:-)

  64. Hello Joy,

    I super love you and your blog. This is the first post which I read and I’m truly inspired. I’m featuring this on my site soon. I’ll keep you updated about it.

    Just like you, I’m a highly favored daughter of God, deeply loved wife and greatly blessed mom. In Jesus, we find completeness and by his grace we are saved.

    I am Mai, a Christian OFW in Malaysia. I have my family here and I am a working mom and a servant of God. Would love to meet you one time to share my testimony too.

    God bless you more sis Joy!

  65. i like the article..but actually 70% of Filipinos don’t live like yours.. for them being in your situation is already a dream come true for them… a lot of families are starving and money really causes all the troubles.40,000 a month is really big. You and your husband are very lucky because you grown up with all the needs provided by the parents…how about those in the squatters??..money really matters!!! like what you said it doesn’t buy happiness but money is something for those minimum wage earners…

  66. Wow…I feel so blessed reading this. I am very much single but I still really loved what you wrote. I love how God is really our great provider. And I am amazed by how God could really shape you and your husbands hearts so as to stay loving each other whether finances are up or down. :)

  67. Hi Ms. Joy, your article really helps a lot especially to young couple. It reminds to have a real focus on God. It really make sense, i hope plenty people will read more to this and learn the basics of right living. God bless you more and your family. All the best.

    -Gara Family

  68. As what the woman says God taught me NOT to make money my source of security. Money could not buy everything but with the loved of God, You will be secured with him. As what Hellen Keller say “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart” By learning to love God, you will be learned to loved yourself, loving ur family and respect all mankind, instead wanting more in your treasure’s cabin. Praying always to God and have faith and God will lead the way! GOD BLESS U ALL!!!!

  69. what an inspiring story of a wife,trully that we being a married person do think on financial and the wealth of our family.most for our kids future.but without GOD in our home in our hearts,everything is nothing.I hope that thse story will give us lessons,.Ihad also my story but it was not as good as is.but in every thing,i always believe that i need god in all doings i have to make,LET US ALL KEEP THE FAITH IN GOD!

  70. This is very inspiring. As a young wife and a new mom, your writings serve as a great source of learning. Continue to inspire us more. :) thanks a lot. :)

  71. After reading your article you really uplifted my spirit and inspired me to be strong and offer everything to God. May you continue to inspire us more. God bless you and your family :)

  72. thank you so much Joy! it inspires me..

  73. Paul Martin Reyes says:

    Dear Joy, may i ask what if its the other way around? What if the husband is the “houseband”? You know ive been working for the past 20 years but unfortunately i got unemployed 3 years ago. My wife works in a bank as a manager but her earnings hardly augments our finances. We have four children, my eldest son just graduated last year and is now working; my second son will soon graduate this coming term; my 3rd son is still in 2nd yr college and my only daughter is in grade 8. Its difficult for me to land a job because of my age (49). Its difficult to raise a family specially to support the needs of my children. I could not even afford to buy my daughter a plain burger sandwich whenever we go to a mall…..Or buy the things she needs for school. My eldest would contribute from his salary but i wouldn’t want to demand or ask since it is not his obligation. Last year, our maid left for the province to take care of her grandmother who is sick. Since then we did not get one and i thought it was blessing in disguise because we could no longer afford to pay the salary of a maid. I stayed at home doing all the chores from washing the clothes, cleaning the house, prepare their breakfast, cook food, etc…. Im sure you can relate. In other words, i became a full pledge Houseband!
    I prayed like i never prayed before asking for a job. It came to a point that i was feeling disappointed and discouraged, complaining to God how come he hasn’t heard or answered my prayers and pleas. It seemed God has abandoned me, i thought. All of a sudden i received a call one day asking me to come for an interview. I went, and to cut it short, i was immediately accepted! It is a good paying job much bigger than what i receive from my previous employers! Oh how i praised God and thanked Him for this blessing! However, things did not go too well. I was given more than 50 projects to work on with simultaneously without any team to support me. I was given a title Assistant Manager, but i was left to work alone without any support from management. I was expected to report at 730 in the morning (with 2hrs travel time) and leave office at 8:30 pm arriving home almost 10pm. Meantime, our home and family are in total mess. We had a hard time getting a maid. There was no one to cook for us, though i wake up at 430 to prepare the breakfast before going to work. There was difficulty arranging who among us will pick up my daughter from school. No one to wash our clothes but only till weekends. No one to cook, no one to clean the house, it was really a total mess! We need to lock the house everyday and no one is left till the first one arrives. I can see the stress building up on each one of us. Finally, my wife and i decided that i should quit my job. I resigned after 2 weeks because aside from my family problems, the pressure from work was also steaming up i couldn’t anymore handle. The job was too technical for me (IT) which is not my line of expertise and experience. Besides, i not happy with that job even with the salary of 50k.
    Now, I’m back full time as a houseband. And as i reflect what happened, I’m beginning to realize now that maybe, God has a plan for me. The reason why He has not answered my prayers is because He knows i wont be happy with it. He gave me what i wanted…a job..yes thats what i prayed for, thats what i complained. He showed me that He has not abandoned my pleas and prayers, he heard them but he could not give it because it will ruin my family. And he allowed me to experience it. I made a choice, but that choice was to surrender to God anything and everything, in His time, in His way. Now I’m beginning to learn and to accept things as they are….to just trust in Him! Yes, its still difficult…its not paradise, we still have our financial problems, i cannot still afford to buy my daughter a burger even at Jolibee, but everything will just be all right.
    I hope you can give me your insights as well in this humble reflection. God is good! Thanks for reading! – paul.

  74. Thank you Joy for sharing this! I’m inspired and encouraged. God has truly blessed you with such wisdom to put all together those words for the Lord to be lifted up even. I am not yet married though nor I have a boyfriend, yet I appreciate when you said, “Lord, in your time, your way, I know that you will give us the things we desire, if it is your will.” It really affirms my heart to just submit to our loving God. Thank you!

  75. Thanks Joy for sharing your testimony! It is an inspiration and an affirmation of how God makes a family happy, peaceful, content, and abundant if He is in the center of it. God bless you and your beautiful family!

  76. I remembered how I cried last Sunday during the worship service at CCF center, I thank GOD for blessing me a wonderful relationship with my boyfriend. At first it was not easy for us since we came from different religion, but I patiently prayed that GOD will allow us to be in one faith someday… after 2 years of praying my boyfriend submitted his heart to GOD and I’m happy how he values GOD in his life… every Sunday were always excited to attend the worship service and worship the LORD together. I’m happy that even though there are times that were miles apart because of the nature of his job, still we can read the bible together everyday and share with each other how GOD works in our lives. Were growing together spiritually. We always trust GOD about his plans for us.. indeed for almost 7 years now, GOD has blessed us a lot because he’s at the center of our relationship. I remember one time, while I’m battling with despair I told my boyfriend “I’m happy for you, for all the blessings you have, I hope that someday GOD will bless me too” my boyfriend answered me, “Remember you are included in my blessings, whatever my blessings are, it’s yours too”. Just as you have mentioned in this article “Be wise and marry a man who loves God and works hard, and God will bless him financially.” I think I found mine :) thank you for sharing to us this beautiful article, I really feel blessed.

  77. Hi Joy! I heard you sharing your testimonies in CCF several times already and I admire your boldness in sharing your life to the world. :) My husband shared this link to my FB wall and he shared his insights to me and we are thinking of homeschooling our 6-year old son. I have a friend who homeschools her kids and said it was quite rewarding. Because of your post, we are praying for God’s direction. I hope to read more of your blogs. God bless you as you continue to bless other women/couples through your articles. :)

    • Hi Joy! I heard you sharing your testimonies in CCF several times already and I admire your boldness in sharing your life to the world. My husband shared this link to my FB wall and he shared his insights to me and we are thinking of homeschooling our 6-year old son. I have a friend who homeschools her kids and said it was quite rewarding. Because of your post, we are praying for God’s direction. I hope to read more of your blogs. God bless you as you continue to bless other women/couples through your articles.

  78. Cielo Dayan says:

    The first thing I checked when I first came across your blog was the section entitled, “A Little Background”. After reading this post, I thought to myself, who would have guessed that the beautiful, elegant and classy lady in the pictures went through some exciting times financially during the early of her marriage. I like the story about the car bogging down while you were making the u-turn. I learned so much from this article. I look forward to reading your other posts. Thanks for sharing your life with us. God bless you and your family abundantly.

  79. Jelica Sullano says:

    thank you for giving me this kind of enjoyment.we honor and appreciate it

  80. tababes says:

    i appreciate every family who fear God….

  81. Thank you for this wonderful blog. I will surely share this on FB. By reading this I feel blessed and that I am not alone in this full-time job of being a mother. I quit my job after I had my second child (a boy) because I wanted to concentrate on nurturing them. I was not able to provide my full-time attention on my first-born (a girl and a premature at that) because I need to work in order to support for the finances that we have incurred during her hospitalization. I gave birth prematurely she was running 7months when she came into the world. Thank God she is a blessing, she will be turning 5 this year. About your article, truly GOD is our ultimate provider. Thanks for this!! God bless..

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      Thanks for sharing something so personal, Jhanyz. Appreciate you and your resolve to be a full-time mother! It pays in eternal dividends. :)

  82. Such a wonderful, life-giving message. God bless you more!

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