I don't really have an amazing story to tell.
I've never racked up $35,000 worth of credit card debt before finding the key to financial freedom, and my relationship with money has never been complicated.
As far back as I can remember, I've always had a frugal head on my shoulders. It helped me get through college debt free, taught me never to be late on payments for my first car, and I happened to pull off one of the most inexpensive weddings you've ever heard of….with style.
But lest you think life has always dealt me the right kind of cards, you are mistaken. Being smart with money isn't always easy, and my first big challenge came when I met the love of my life!
No doubt about it, opposites attract
Girl who didn't want to spend anything met guy who spent everything.
While Joseph and I were dating, he had no problem handing over money for a new shirt, shoes, or paying for everyone's meal at restaurant get-togethers.
Little did I know, he was following the same habit 38% of Americans do, by living paycheck to paycheck, including no extra savings for monthly bills or emergencies.
When we started talking about marriage, I knew this was a topic we had to address, especially when he showed me his bank account. It was probably the best conversation we had ever had….and it changed everything.
Time for a financial overhaul
Most couples start combining and working with their finances after they get married. We started right about the time we got engaged.
I think it really depends on each individual relationship to know when the right time is to talk money. Joseph and I had been friends long before we dated, so it was natural to bring up the topic every now and then.
It didn't take much convincing for Joseph to grant me permission to “take over” all his financial accounts and obligations. I kept track of his bank accounts, bills, and we started communicating about purchases and receipts. Best decision ever. Especially since we were both totally on board!
This financial overhaul helped us:
- Learn how to manage money together.
- Communicate our expectations.
- Plan a wedding with realistic financial goals.
Ultimately, it set us on the path to a healthy marriage, and an equally healthy relationship with money.
The next phase in our lives brought on a whole lot more financially then we had planned for our first year of marriage. It threw this type-A girl for a loop.
When did you first start talking money with your other half?