Early on in our relationship, Brandon and I would work during the summer painting houses and listening to Dave Ramsey. While that seems pretty weird for a set of teenagers, it’s something that truly laid a firm financial foundation for us. Because I had watched one of my sisters go through a bankruptcy while I was in high school, I was pretty determined to never end up in a similar situation. So, Brandon and I lived well below our means and worked incredibly hard to ensure we both graduated from college debt free.
Other than Dave Ramsey, we both have a professional background in terms of finances. I actually worked for a financial planner for two years during college. Those two years gave me incredible insight and training in all things finance. In addition, Brandon spent years managing millions of dollars for the Air Force as a CPA. We both love talking about financial things and have done extensive personal development when it comes to managing money.
We each knew what we wanted our financial blueprint to look like, and recognized our own tendencies toward spending and saving. While Brandon is a bit more of a spender on smaller, everyday items, I like to save when it comes to those things. However, I can be a huge spender when it comes to big ticket items like houses and jewelry! Knowing these tendencies and our financial goals helps keep us in line and out of fights with one another. So far, we’ve been able to keep the peace while reaching our financial goals. Here are a few of our tips to help you and your spouse do the same!
Track your finances.
We track our finances every day: both personal and business. Each day, we both know exactly where we are in terms of our financial goals, expenditures and income. This helps keep us on track and on the same page.
Set Specific Financial Goals.
We set very specific financial goals related to our net worth, and reverse engineer how we will meet those goals. Every 6 months, we re-assess those goals and set new ones. Having shared goals helps to keep the peace big time!
We communicate about our finances regularly. We talk about our goals, how to save more, how to give more, and how to earn more. We regularly keep those things in the forefront of our conversations so we are on the same page when it comes to our money.
We blow money.
This has been incredibly helpful to us and is a fantastic way to keep the peace when one of you is a saver and the other is a spender. Each month, we take 10% of our net income and use that as “fun money.” Early on in our marriage that didn’t amount to much, but today, we can obviously do a lot more with that 10%! But, knowing we have a specific amount every month to “blow” however we want is incredibly freeing. It takes all of the guilt out of spending money, because that money has been earmarked for fun! Having this money allotted each month also prevents splurges that can lead to a pile of debt!
We do feel strongly about giving as well, and each month give away at least 10% of our income. We wholeheartedly believe that in order to be faithful with what God’s given us, we need to give back. So, 10% is given, and 10% is blown!
Finances are a huge cause for stress for many couples. If you don’t know the numbers, your goals, or where your spouse stands on those issues, you will undoubtedly have some discord. Be sure to communicate with your spouse often, set specific goals together and keep a regular pulse on your finances. Doing these things will go a LONG way to minimizing arguments that center around finances!