Cash speaks. Romance is vital. Don’t forget the little things.
These were the main topics of Rand H. Packer’s Education Week class in the Joseph Smith Building auditorium on Monday, titled “Money, romance, and the little things.”
“You’ve got to keep doing those little things,” Packer said. “If we would just do these things, you watch fun and love come back into your life.”
The first point he made was how to budget within your marriage. He explained how using cash forces a person to be fully aware of how much they’re spending.
“You only spend what you take in,” Packer said. “That’s how the Church does their finances. We would be wise to follow that example.”
He also suggested dividing up the remainder of the family budget and splitting it equally between husband and wife. He said money should be up to each individual’s discretion on how to use it after that.
“If I like the sound of money being pulverized by a disposal system, I can put my 10, 20, 100 dollar bills into the disposal system,” Packer said. “I don’t have to account to anybody. If my wife wants to buy 20 dresses, then she can go out and buy 20 dresses.”
He said to focus on not letting financial matters be a contention in a marriage.
“Whatever budget you choose, make it be one you’re happy with,” Packer said. “And if you’re not happy with it, change it to make it something you can be happy with.”
His next point was to make romance a daily part of married life.
“Is there anything wrong with feeling the way we used to feel about each other?” Packer said.
His biggest and most focused suggestion was to keep kissing. One time, he caught his parents kissing in the closet, and he said it just made him giggly to catch his parents and see their love for each other.
Salt Lake City native Melissa Walton, studying nursing, went to Packer’s talk because she looked forward to hearing about marriage from someone who has had experience.
“I liked that he said to keep kissing and that when he caught his parents in the closet, he got all giggly,” Walton said. “I hope to make my kids giggly about kissing.”
Packer also talked about the meanings of a kiss.
“It’s a symbol of the covenant that we made,” Packer said. “Why is it that Judas and the betrayal happens with a kiss? It’s a symbol of purity and virtue and a thousand other great acts.”
He suggested scheduling romance or else it will be forgotten.
“Nothing interferes with date night,” Packer said. “If you don’t plan a date night, the world will take it away from you.”
After counseling couples about their marriage for years, he put together 100 little suggestions to guide couples to do the little things. Some of those tips included complimenting each other, hugging, blowing kisses, and acting like two lovers when a couple meets in the hallway rather than two ships passing each other in the night.
Clark Flake and Verena Flake from Oak City, Utah, enjoyed the class and said they attended it because they’ve been married for 15 years.
“We came to remember the small things, the romance, to show affection,” Clark said. “It just helps remind you of things you let slide—like doing a weekly date.”
Verena appreciated what she heard about budgeting and thought his financial advice was sound.
“What he was saying about money sounded good—like being equal partners and sharing,” Verena said.
The couple recently purchased a farm in Oak City and have seven children, so Clark said Education Week is a good time for them to have a break and remember priorities.
“When you get so busy, it’s good to be refreshed and remember how important it is to keep up with the romance,” Clark said. “You think it’s one of those things that are not as crucial to keep up with, but it’s something you can’t forget to remember.”