The Importance of the Team
I read this today when I was perusing the www for budget tips and tricks. Talk about taking something for granted! While I am the first to recognize the amazing patience of my boyfriend, his willingness and skill to fix things and his ability to make me laugh, I didn't recognize another part of the cooperation that makes my life easier.
My team is the most important tool I have to be a penny pincher. Yesterday, I got an email that said “I went ahead and paid off the credit card, I hope that's ok.”
“Um, ya. That's fan-freaking-tastic.” We had a little extra money from tax returns and while we spent some money on items he needs for search and rescue, put some in savings and paid ahead on our bills, we still had a little bit left over. That email could have said “babe, I was feeling ambitious so I bought a scuba diving kit” or “I went ahead and had my car repainted.” Instead he considered our future and paid off his credit card. While mine stills looms ahead it is one less bill we have to worry about.
I have never shared finances with another person but I can only imagine how excruciatingly difficult it would be to have differing opinions about where the money should be spent. Don't get me wrong, we differ. I tend to be the stock-pile mouse and if I had it my way I wouldn't ever spend a penny while my guy aires on the side of less caution which teaches me to let go and that I just don't need to wear clothes with holes in them. Our differences seem to help us in the dollar bill battle yet our similar goal is what makes it all possible. We both want a stable financial future. We want to have a home and the things we need and our goal of financial security and freedom drives us to work together to get it done.
While this post is a bit on the sappy side, I do believe the biggest influence on a budget can be the very people trying to stick to it. If he was saving money and I was spending it, we would never get out of a hole. I'm grateful for a functional and successful relationship with our monetary influx... and out-flux. This team business can swing to the other extreme as well. If you both work together well by spending gobs of money, the budget will be nonexistent. I have friends who keep their individual finances completely separate and others who utilize outside help to keep their finances in line. Whatever way seems to work best, the hands touching the money decide where it goes. Make sure those hands work together. And make sure you wash them after touching the money, yuck.
Do you have a good team? Are you both on the same page or do you differ in your methods?