In 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.