Money talk Monday

I’ve mentioned a few times that Jesse and I like to geek out together over money. It’s so odd to me that money is the top reason for couples to argue, as well as the #1 predictor of divorce. We all know what they say, that money can’t buy happiness. I agree with this to a point, but I think it certainly helps maintain a peace of mind. On the other end of the spectrum, money has the power to tear relationships apart. Not the case for us, we’re total dweebs in love! Jesse and I have found that talking about money is actually fun, and probably one of the biggest strengths in our relationship. It’s not because we’re loaded (we’re not), and it’s not that we’re financial geniuses, or have always been naturally “good with money”. In fact, we haven’t. Both of us can think back to a time when we were pretty much broke, and couldn’t comprehend having such a thing as extra money in savings. There was a time when, for either of us, an extra $100 was more likely to mean “new clothes!”, or a few extra rounds of drinks at the bar, than an extra payment towards anything remotely long-term. Don’t get me wrong, I do still occasionally engage in some retail therapy, and I believe it is important to reward yourself for a job well done or a milestone reached.

However, over the past two or so years, we’ve started to focus on a much more sustainable financial future. Maybe it’s because we’re old and weird. We often find ourselves hanging with friends, sipping wine and discussing things like insurance and interest rates. Anybody else feel like this is totally SPOT ON?!?:

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Maybe it’s because we started to listen to Dave Ramsey podcasts whenever we travel (also because we’re old), and found the stories and advice to be both entertaining and educational. Or maybe we’re just extremely rare in that we see eye to eye about money issues, we’re excited about our future and we are pretty good at communicating. Regardless of what has triggered this change in our brains, we have made some serious headway with savings and paying down debt, and we love to talk about it, for anyone who cares to listen!

So, I plan to write a series about some of the things that we’ve done over the past few years to change our financial habits, what we have found works well, and what maybe could use some tweaking. Here are some of the topics that I plan to cover:

  • Combining finances
  • Useful tools
  • Budgets
  • Managing Accounts
  • Debt payoff
  • Credit Cards
  • Goals and progress

I should also mention here that while we often refer to Dave Ramseyisms and we do enjoy listening to his advice, we don’t follow his steps and guidelines 100%. There are a few things that we do that are strict no-nos according to Dave’s rules. For instance, we have two cars, with two car payments, and they are not “junkers”. We happen to enjoy having working, reliable vehicles that look nice and provide options, like a smoother ride for traveling or a large hatch back and bike racks for camping and outdoor sports. Peace of mind is worth a lot in my opinion, and we will also be paying off both of our cars in a much shorter time than the standard 5 year car loan payback. I’m not here to preach to you or to tell you that there is one right way to pay off debt and save money, rather I’m happy to share what has worked for us personally.

So stay tuned, and check back on Mondays for more money talk.


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