Last week my husband joined me on the podcast to be ‘interviewed’ about our first time we sat down and talked about money. It’s been eight years since we were engaged and began sharing our finances with one another and so much has changed since then.
As you may expect, having to be completely open to someone about how you spend your money was eye-opening and nerve wrecking. I’m happy to say, though, that we both came in with the mind set of being honest and starting on the same page.
What We Got Right with Our Money Chat
We set up an evening where we could talk about our finances in a relaxed setting. While neither one of us recall the exact words, but we do remember the topics. We talked about what goals we had for the next year or so, we shared our assets and debts, and we talked about our plans to get to our goals based on our current situation.
Smooth sailing, right?
Not quite. It was then I discovered that while I had credit card debt, a car loan, and a student loan my fiancé had no debt. Okay, he had one semester’s worth of a student loan, but he was paying it off in he next few weeks. It was an eye opener for the both of us.
I felt weird being the one carrying the debt, but my husband took it in stride. He felt that we could work through this together.
We started merging our finances by opening a joint savings account. All wedding gifts and our contributions would get deposited into the account. We were using that for the deposit on our first apartment and for general savings.
How We Could’ve Done Better
Honestly I could’ve been better prepared for the chat, by having the individual and total amounts of my debts. I think that not having the numbers in front of me was a reflection of how messy my finances were.
The good news is that hearing how he had no credit card debt motivated me to make a goal of getting rid of mine before the wedding. The crazy things is that I started blogging about personal finance to keep myself accountable and fell in love with learning more and chatting with others. So I guess our money chat had an even bigger impact than I thought!
Lessons Learned from Our Money Talk
As you can see, we did not get everything right the first time. The big plus, though, was that we were upfront with one another and that established trust between us. He knew that I would be upfront about my finances even when it was bad and I felt safe (for a lack of a better word) knowing that he was willing to work with me on improving things.
That’s our story, I’d love to hear about your first money chat. When did you have it? How did it go and what have you’ve learned from it?
Photo Credit: Derek Σωκράτης Finch