‘How Marriage Made Me Better With Money’

A&J-39In the LearnVest Personal Stories series, everyday people share the details of their money lives, discussing the individual choices they’ve made and how it’s impacted their financial journey.

Today, one man explains how tying the knot helped him gain a new perspective on money, refocus his spending priorities and start making financial progress. 

I’ve heard that money can be a leading cause of tension in a marriage, but it’s actually brought my wife, Jillian, and I closer together. Ever since we exchanged “I dos,” I’ve adopted a completely different approach to finances because I now have a partner to help me get on track financially. By working together, Jillian and I have made drastic and strategic changes to our lifestyle, allowing us to pay down debt and save more.

Before I got married, my biggest financial problem was not having any goals for my money. Basically, if I had $2,000 in my bank account, I saw it as money to spend on whatever I wanted, with no real regard for a budget. Because I was contributing 4% to my company’s 401(k) plan and I had a company match, I also didn’t see the need to put any more effort into planning for my future.

Then I started dating Jillian.

We first met in college, but didn’t start dating until after running into each other at a concert many years later. When we officially started seeing each other several years ago, she knew that I liked to spend money on eating out together and purchasing gifts for her. And I knew she was more thrifty than me, but money was never really an issue. It wasn’t until after we got engaged that I realized just how opposite we were when it came to money—and how that might affect our future together.

RELATED: Getting Married? 3 Ways It Helps You Plan for Your Financial Future

  • kristn

    $200/month on rent? where do you live?!

    • BeeBee

      According to the article they live with his faither-in-law in SoCal, so they’re getting a very generous family discount.

      • Andrew Webb

        BeeBee, that is correct, we live with my father-in-law. It’s challenging at times living with family, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges.

        • Tiffany

          My husband and I lived with four roommates for the first year and a half of our marriage. It was definitely challenging, but the savings in rent helped us pay off our wedding that much faster. I’m surprised you and your wife were able to rent in OC for only $1200-1300 a month including utilities!

  • Jennifer

    $200 on rent? It sounds impossible.

  • ARM28

    The way you describe your wife’s financial savvy sounds like you definitely married well!

    • Andrew Webb

      I am extremely blessed! My wife has been such a God-send!

  • shi

    It sounds like they are staying at his father in law’s house and paying him $200 for rent..

  • mg

    god will punish if you try and hurt others to the writer.. the guy btw looks like a girl

  • omoriala

    It seems like so many of these “financial makeover” stories where people pay down debt / save a ton always reveal that they’ve moved back in with their parents…

  • http://www.pennydesaver.com Penny deSaver

    This made me smile. My husband went through something like this many years ago :) Except our rent was higher, but with similar learnings. Thanks for sharing your story.