Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Breathing Room

Impulse shopping is really, really fun. There’s the enticement of an email, the excitement of a deal, and the endless possibilities that this next purchase will open up. Anticipation builds as the fulfillment and shipping process plays out and crescendos at the unboxing.Read Article


One of the false hopes that our psychology causes us to believe is that if we only had more, we’d be satisfied. If we only had that one more thing, a little more each paycheck, one more cookie, that’s all that we need. Regrettably and predictably, we get to that one more thing, only to find that the goalposts have moved.Read Article

Stay the Course

If there's one thing that we can count on, it's change. Perfectly laid plans are disrupted by unforeseen events and suddenly, they aren't so perfect anymore. The decision that we must make in times of change is if we're going to stick to our guiding principles or if we're going to throw out the playbook and do something completely different.Read Article

Why I'm Optimistic

Inviting God into every aspect of your life is clearly an excellent idea. Having His help and guidance is like having a cheat code in life. There are many areas, however, that I don't even think to invite Him in. Guidance on a major purchase, request for help while working towards goals, or even just increasing the prayers of thanksgiving and showering Him with gratitude are places where I have room for improvement.Read Article

Long Term Thinking

Life in the Collins household has been in full motion as of late. Just after Thanksgiving we bought a van and expanded to a two car family. Then, late in December, my trusty Prius essentially died. We were able to sell it for a fair price, but we’re back to just one car. Of course, I was mildly devastated to lose my signature car.Read Article

Take Care of Your Things

In our disposable culture, there are very few things left that are well made. Quality construction comes at a price, and consumers would rather pay less now for a lower quality product that will need to be replaced than buy a high quality product and simply fix it when it's broken. This line of thinking applies to everything from cars to blenders.Read Article

I Hate Car Dealers

Alison and I are in the market for a new car. Well, we thought we wanted a car, but now we've decided on a van. A few weekends ago we spent a marathon three days car shopping. We went to three different dealers and a couple of private party sellers. We didn't walk away with a van, but I did walk away deeply disappointed with the process.Read Article

Take Advantage of Financial Booms

There's nothing better than a family financial boom. Flush with cash, you and your spouse breathe a little easier, you dream a little more, and the door of possibilities opens just a little wider. The great temptation is obviously to do something fun with the money... something a little reckless. The responsible thing is to use it to get ahead. How do you decide?Read Article

Take Pride in Your Car

Alison and I's Prius is 10 years old this year. Well, technically, I guess it's 11. We'll soon cross the 250k mile mark and man, is it in good shape. Looking at it from the outside, you'd never guess that it was that old or that venerable. In general, I think that men love taking care of their cars, but I want us to go a step further. I want us to have pride in our cars.Read Article

Diligent Budgeting

Diligent budgeting requires three distinct toolsets: allocating, tracking, and accounting. Although each toolset has its own challenges and difficulties, using all three in unison can prove a very powerful asset as you strive to reach your financial goals. By not employing all three, you’re likely to lose money somewhere in your budget.Read Article

Things Will Never Make You Happy

When there's something that I want to buy, I tend to develop a laser-like focus on achieving that goal. I'll work to find any way I can to be able to get that thing. This most often happens with technology. All of this focus builds suspense and excitement, which quickly dissipates just a few days after I make the purchase. The suspense and excitement are gone, and I just move on.Read Article

Fighting Financial Fatigue

Perhaps the most difficult struggle that any of us face in reaching our financial goals is the inevitable long journey it takes to reach them. Most of us have goals that are far in the future, like buying our own home, getting out of debt, or retiring in comfort. When we strive to reach a goal that we've never before experienced, it can be easy to fatigue on the goal, and to start losing ground. It's in those moments that your resolve is truly tested.Read Article

How to Move Past the Worst Mistakes

Perhaps the most painful mistakes you or I will ever make will involve money. Bad buying decisions, late payments, or even bouncing a check are all extremely embarrassing life events. We all struggle to let go of dumb money mistakes that we’ve made in the past. Yet, your mistake might not even be an external money mistake. Sometimes money mistakes involve only your family, like going over budget on something. Even though it only involves your family, it’s still embarrassing. It's incredibly important that you be able to forgive yourself and to forgive your wife for money errors.Read Article

Are You Taking A Pay Cut?

If you work for an employer that offers a benefits package as a part of your compensation, I strongly encourage you to make sure that you fully understand all that is being furnished to you. Alison's upcoming NFP certification course, for example, qualifies under her employer's tuition reimbursement program, meaning, essentially, that she's gaining several thousand extra dollars in compensation this year. Your employer furnishes benefits in exchange for a lower overall salary, so when you let your benefits sit unused, you're essentially taking a pay cut!Read Article

Pride and Money Mistakes

Money just might be the most personal thing in the world. Almost no other topic causes people to become defensive so quickly. After graduating from college, I went overboard and maxed out several credit cards. It was a big mistake and one that set me back two years in my financial plan. When I realized my mistake, with the help of those around me, I found a plan and worked my way back out. Money and pride are closely linked together and they're a deadly duo. We make mistakes, but pride compounds the problem. We need to take a few steps to help keep our money in check.Read Article

The Joy of Giving

Earlier this year, while at the March for Life, Alison and I were approached by a man selling official event hats. Ordinarily, I don't bother buying branded merchandise from events, but this time, I did. He told me that the proceeds went to help a particular charity that provided housing and job training to the homeless. Since the hats were clearly high quality and bore the official logo of the March, I immediately reached for my wallet and bought two. The thing is, giving your money to help others is the most fun that you'll ever have.Read Article

Staying on Budget

Going over budget is never a good thing. Not only does it mean that you have to find the money somewhere else, it also means that you’ll experience a setback on your progress towards your current goals. There are two main reasons why people over spend: they didn't budget enough money to start with or they didn't anticipate certain expenses. If you've been diligently budgeting for a while, going over budget probably isn't a result of irresponsibility, it may just be poor planning.Read Article

How to Allocate Charitable Dollars

I love the hum of the mail truck. Although we live on a busy street, there's a particular sound that the mail truck makes as it rumbles down the road. It's a low hum combined with short bursts of acceleration as it moves from box to box. Even if I'm in the back of the house, I can usually hear when the mail has arrived in the early afternoon. Several days a week, our mailbox is filled with charitable solicitations. In the Christmas season, it gets even more intense. I don't mind receiving these mailings and we give each request due consideration.Read Article

Better Understand Your Budget

We love to hate budgets. It can be annoying to do them, we always forget to add things, and they’re nearly unrecognizable at the end of the month. The problem with avoiding doing a budget, or doing it poorly, is that all budgets really do is acknowledge reality. We’re going to spend money, it’s just a question of how we’re going to do it. Regardless of how successful you are at staying on budget, the fact remains that ultimately you have to balance your budget, or suffer the consequences.Read Article

2015: The Year of the Gazelle

I absolutely love this time of year. The anticipation of Advent, the joy of sharing Christmas morning with my own little family, and a chance for all of us to breathe a little easier and take stock of our year. It's been a big one in the Collins household and I hope that you've had a fun year as well.Read Article

How Our Budget Committee Works

Alison and I have been married for 26 months. That means that our Budget Committee has assembled 26 times to write 26 different budgets. There have been some fun meetings when we were flush with cash and there have been meetings where things were really tight. We’ve had Budget Committee meetings that planned for the arrival of Benedict, and planned for gift giving to those we love most. Our Budget Committee has planned for everything from trips to toothbrushes. Over time, we’ve refined how we operate our Budget Committee and I’d like to share our process with you.Read Article

3 Steps to Help Your Reach Your Financial Goals

Setting goals is hard. Reaching financial ones is even more difficult. Money flows in and you instantly want to spend it. How do you balance the pursuit of your goals with the wants of today?Read Article

Loving On A Budget

Romance doesn’t have to be expensive.Read Article

You're Worth More than A Paycheck

At some point in our lives, we each ask ourselves the question, “What is my worth?"Read Article

Cash is King, but not God

Money makes the world go around. Currency allows us to buy things, both needs and wants.Read Article

Budget Committee

Finances are central to our lives. Money is how we buy the things we need, and do the things we love. Having money can be a great thing, but it can also be a tremendous burden. If you don’t take the time to decide what you’re going to do, you’ll soon find you don’t have any. In your marriage, working with your wife to determine how you’ll spend your money is one of the most important things you can do together.Read Article

Financial Dreams

Money is something that people don’t like to talk about. The only thing we like to do with money is pretend that we have lots of it. It’s a shame because it is really a tool that can be our greatest ally.Read Article

The Apartment Phase

Our lives have phases. There are good phases and there are not so good phases.Read Article