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Keep Track, Not Score

By Jon Acuff

Dear Husbands,

Please never use the word "chores" when referring to things your wife asks you to do around the house. Taking out the garbage is not a "chore." It is, as my wife taught me, "being an adult." When it's your house, you don't call them chores; they're just what you do as a mature husband. Especially one who does not want to sleep on the couch.

Also, when you're asked to take care of the kids while your wife goes out with her friends, don't say, "I'm babysitting." A babysitter is a teenage girl who watches other peoples' kids for a few hours. Fathers "watch their children." You might not think there is a difference between these two ideas, but I assure you, in the mind of your wife, there is. Babysitting and parenting? Two very, very different things, my friend.

And when you're talking about the budget and who spends how much on what, never "keep score." When you keep score, you end up saying things like, "Well, let's add up all your expenses" and "That's one of your expenses, not mine." Careful, friend, careful—you're walking into me vs. you territory.

Spouses don't "keep score," but they do "keep track." A budget is not about keeping score or showing your spouse how much better you are at handling money. Beating debt is a team sport, and if anything, as you keep track—not score—of your money, you'll find your marriage actually becoming stronger.

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Keep track, not score.

And now that we've got that settled, get back to washing those dishes and watching your kids. That's not babysitting. I promise.

Jon Acuff is the founder of stuffchristianslike.net and the author of the book Stuff Christians Like. His insight into everything from church, to advertising, to money, to life is as funny as it is true. In the last 12 years, he's written branding for companies such as The Home Depot, Chick-fil-A, Staples, Bose and many others. He's a contributor to CNN.com , speaks nationally on the subject of social media, and joined the Dave Ramsey team in 2010. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Nashville, Tennessee.