Joining Financial Baggage in a Marriage

7 years ago

One of the hardest things about marriage is arguably meshing two different money styles and two different financial backgrounds.

I came from a very rigid financial family – my dad is a spreadsheet guy (well back then he was a green ledger sheet guy) who tracked every penny. There was never a lot of extra money but we had what we needed and my parents put all of us kids through Christian schools and through college.

We drove cars until they died (one was 17 years old when my brother finally totaled it), rarely ate out and never got really expensive gifts.

Despite this upbringing I will be the first to admit that I am more of a spender than a saver. I got my first job at 15 working at Burger King, and held down a job consistently on into adulthood. My jobs only served to support my shopping and social habits. Sure, my senior year I saved up some money for college but I didn’t really have a savings goal or any big motivation.

Mark grew up in similar financial circumstances but from a much less structured system. So he had even less experience with living on a budget.

All of this contributed to our disjointed system – well it wasn’t even really a system. We could make a budget, sure, but had trouble sticking to it and soon found it wasn’t working and would give up for awhile.

We’d have what we call “The Visa War”. I would get the Visa bill, open it, keel over in shock from the balance and then begin to vehemently highlight everything on the bill that Mark had charged. I would total it all up and march into the office and declare something like “Did you know you charged $457 this month?!”

Yeah, it wasn’t pretty. I am not proud.

Because usually the unhighlighted expenses (mine) were nearly that if not more J

It took us nearly 7 years of marriage before we finally got our act together.

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