Welcome to Spend Your Values!
We’re a husband and wife team (Kate and Alex) trying to figure out the answers to one of those age-old questions - “how to live.” As part of our quest, we are fascinated by the ideas of financial independence and financial freedom, mostly because they so closely align with our commitment to Christianity and our search for how to live out a daily Christian life.
Yet, the more we started digging into our questions about faith and finances, the less we could find. Financial independence voices don’t have a ton to say about a life of faith. Christian voices (even those dedicated to financial freedom) never seem to get as deep or nitty-gritty as we want. So we decided to jump in at the deep end. Start a blog and use it as a way to encourage ourselves to research, examine, and test out questions and ideas about how to align our Christian faith and the way we spend our money.
We plan to include a slew of different topics and series, with a fairly tight focus on how to integrate our faith with our spending (money, time, and energy). We’ll talk about our own finances (with monthly and yearly updates), money/spending/saving in Scripture, interesting financial values gleaned from other folks, and offer ideas, thoughts, and life hacks from our daily life and our conversations with others.
Like many blogs before us, we are very excited about the possibility of connecting with other like-minded folks and hope to learn from others along the way!
ABOUT ALEX & KATE
We met while teaching at an academic summer camp for gifted high school kids (#nerds), where Kate taught Alex to play Ultimate Frisbee and Alex regaled Kate with stories of his exploits on the road to Pakistan (he has yet to actually make it to Pakistan). After eight years of marriage, four years of moves (on two continents), and four years of being students, we're still trying to figure out the "real world."
What do you guys know about money and finances?
Kate cared nothing about money or finances until she met Alex. Kate’s parents modeled frugal values and responsible money practices and Kate’s primary financial splurges were at the thrift store. Being a student for 12 years also helped curb spendy habits. But now she’s knee deep in the personal finance world and busy explaining (and re-explaining) financial concepts to herself using animal metaphors.
Alex, on the other hand, has degrees in economics and public finance, makes spreadsheets for fun, and even volunteers to help people do their taxes. He has always been interested in optimization, economics, and societal issues relating to finance/taxes/money, but wasn’t that interested in personal finance until a few years ago when he was forced to realize that yes, a lack of money at a personal level really limits your options. Since then he has been reading like a madman (well a madman who really likes reading about personal finance and is otherwise pretty sane) and having conversations about money with anyone who fails to flee in time.
What do you guys know about Christianity?
Kate was raised as a good non-denominational evangelical, went to two Methodist universities (a Free and a United), dallied with Episcopalianism, got a PhD in religion, and then gave in and re-embraced a social justice-y evangelicalism. She likes to think that she is the only person who has ever become more evangelical by writing a dissertation about the history of American evangelicalism.
Alex was raised as a Catholic, tried a few different churches in college, and now feels pretty impressed with the United Methodists. Kate greatly appreciates Alex’s straightforward religious life, so that she can be the only one with evangelical baggage and an overly-analytical faith from three academic degrees in religion.
Where do you live and what do you do?
After two and a half years in the Washington, DC area, Kate and Alex moved back to Bloomington, IN (where they both went to grad school). Now Alex works for the university, and Kate works in higher education market research. They are also learning the ins and outs of starting a business!