Ever since I scrimped and saved for my first stereo system as a high schooler, I’ve been pretty frugal with my money. So before Kellie and I were married, we sat down together to figure out a budget - and I was a ball of nerves. Newlyweds often have different financial views depending on how they were raised, and I was bracing myself for what was sure to be a “conflict of interests.”
Here’s a picture of us having spent a couple of hours talking money, armed with our Macbooks, spreadsheets, (my ego), and budgeting tools.
Kellie and I saw some financial matters differently then and we still do to this day, but to my great relief we were pretty much on the same page. We both believed in living below our means and saving. We believed in the value of wise investments in the near future (education), long-term future (retirement and financial independence), and investing in others (gifts and charitable giving).
It’s been more than four years since our first budgeting chat. As some of you know, I recently started Hale Financial Solutions after years of working in the banking and brokerage industries. As a small business owner, money always feels tight. The other day, Kellie shared with me her concern with us having made a recent “large” purchase: a used Nissan Murano for $13,000.
It felt like so much money to her. And factoring in all the other costs of maintaining and owning a car, she wondered if we should sell it and get something costing a few thousand less. (Side note: the average new car payment is around $500/month for 68 months!)
I could have just melted with love! Here was my wife asking this cheapskate to sell our car for something cheaper, in order to make sure we had enough for our other priorities.
I know money talks can be very difficult for couples, especially if money is already tight and you’re used to different spending habits. However, I believe getting on the same page financially can bring incredible harmony to homes and families and, as an added bonus, free up cash flow to achieve deep, meaningful financial priorities for your family.
By the way, we’re keeping the car.
Every month I find an opportunity to help others understand this important concept of having a family budget. It’s incredibly fulfilling! Feel free to reach out if you have a question about how budgeting can help your family.