The Winner of the June Call to Action!

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Meghan-Sullivan-winnerHere at LearnVest, we devoted June to a hot topic: love and money. We tackled it all—from what it means to reveal your salary in your online dating profile to the money mistakes newlyweds make. Our articles featured our best tips and juiciest accounts of how finances and relationships mix—both the good and the not-so-good.

At the start of the month, we asked our readers for some personal details about how money plays into their love lives. Our June Call to Action question: What surprised you most about your significant other’s finances—and how did it influence your own approach to money?

We enjoyed reading over 80 thoughtful responses—from the girlfriend who found out she was dating the most frugal trust-fund baby on the planet to the reader who had to persuade her thrifty husband to spend on basics like car repairs and doctor visits. Thank you to everyone who shared!

And congratulations to the winner of the June Call to Action, who will receive $100 to help achieve her financial goals: Meghan Sullivan, a 35-year-old finance brand manager, in Stamford, Conn.

Below, check out how Meghan’s money habits got a makeover after she met her fiancé:

“Before meeting my fiancé, I would make purchases with my credit card and then regret them later! I barely looked at prices at the grocery store, just buying the same brands as my mother did. I wasn’t saving nearly as much as I could have been.

“The first time we went grocery shopping together, I noticed how frugal he was, only buying what was on sale or from a generic brand. He doesn’t come across as frugal—he just spends smartly. When we started talking about combining finances, he informed me how much he had in savings. I was sure I had saved more than him, but he had me beat!

“We were both heavily influenced by our mothers. His mother grew up in the Philippines and is a very smart, price-conscious shopper. My mother doesn’t look at prices as much as she looks at reliable brands.

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“It was easiest to change my shopping habits. Sometimes we shopped for groceries online, taking advantage of exclusive sales—so the savings more than made up for the delivery fees. It was harder to change how I used credit cards. I now pay them off each month, which means only buying what I can truly afford (except in case of emergencies).

“I now think twice about every purchase, asking myself: Can I afford it? Will I really want it tomorrow? Is this brand worth an extra $5? One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my fiancé is not to use credit cards as an excuse to buy something out of my budget. Even paying a few dollars a month on credit card interest adds up. I’d rather spend that money on a treat for myself—or my fiancé!

“I think becoming open about finances has alleviated one of the biggest stressors in our relationship. So many couples fight about money, but we review our budget and spending together each month. We split our savings into accounts with specific goals, from saving for a down payment on a home to fun stuff, like our upcoming wedding and honeymoon!”

Thanks for sharing, Meghan!

  • Jill

    What a cute story! It’s easy to imagine a new/newish couple realizing those things about one another :)

    The line ‘He doesn’t come across as frugal—he just spends smartly’ was kind of though provoking for me. I’ve always equated frugality with spending smartly, and given how hard we all work for our money, it seems odd to not want to spend our money wisely on things we need and things we want. It’s interesting how our perspectives and our relationship with money changes as we go through life.