In our “Money Mic” series, we hand over the podium to someone with an opinion on a financial topic. These are their opinions, not ours, but we welcome a constructive, thoughtful discussion.
Couples are supposed to discuss their finances before getting married, so you can set expectations and get to know the financial side of your sweetie before you walk down the aisle.
Anyone who has been married for more than a year knows that we have a lot of good intentions before we say “I do,” like promising to divulge financial secrets, share every bit of money fairly and never spend a dime without the other person’s approval.
Here’s what my husband knew about me before we got married: I like to spend money.
And here’s what I knew about him: He doesn’t. But somehow, nearly 20 years later, we are still together … even though he still hates the way I spend.
Why We’re So Different When It Comes to Money
My hubby comes from a family of middle-class savers. Despite having money, his parents rarely spent it. In fact, my deprived guy went on just one family vacation during his childhood. That’s it. One trip in 18 years. It’s understandable if money had been tight, but they had the resources, so why deny themselves?
That’s where my upbringing comes in.
I also grew up in a middle-class household with two working parents, but we spent a good deal of our income–and went on at least two or three modest vacations (think Holiday Inn) a year. We also ate out a couple times a week, got new cars every few years and pretty much bought whatever clothes we wanted, when we wanted.
My parents probably didn’t have as much saved as is recommended these days, but they considered themselves providers–and wanted their kids to have the things that they didn’t.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that not all families were like that.
So when I met my would-be life partner in my early 20s, and he wanted me to save more than I spent, well, let’s just say that didn’t make for automatic marital bliss–at least for the first few years.