Sure, we put on a united front. All of our posts and books are written and reviewed by each other several times before they’re published. So, it seems as though we are 100 percent in sync financially. And, for the most part, we are.
Differing Financial Philosophies
There is one significant difference between us, though.
We don’t entirely agree on the definition of being “#MoneyConscious”. There are several aspects of being #MoneyConscious. One is having a basic understanding of the economy, how it works and how it affects our personal finances. Another is having a true understanding of our personal finances, including our true income, taxes, savings, investments and expenses. Being money conscious also means understanding the true value of things and cost effective alternatives. And, yet, another aspect is being aware of our spending, what we buy and how what we buy affects us.
This last aspect is where we differ slightly. John’s definition of being money conscious is understanding our personal financial situation and living within our means, while staying focused on our financial goals. To him, this means that if our budget allows, we can take a vacation, buy a nice bottle of wine and occasionally splurge on a nice clothes. Doing any of these and more to the detriment of our finances and our financial goals is not being money conscious.
David, on the other hand, focuses on frugality. After diligently considering whether or not any purchase is necessary, he searches for the most cost effective option. This option isn’t necessarily always the cheapest option. However, David doesn’t like spending money and is, therefore, more inclined to simply say no to purchases than John.
Who’s Financially Right?
Both of us are right.
Having taken our financial lumps and learned the hard way, neither of us is inclined to spend frivolously anymore. Neither of us spends unconsciously. We’re both very in tune with the economy and the stock market. We both have a clear understanding of how much money we earn and where our money goes. We’ve built our emergency savings account and make regular, significant contributions to our retirement and investment accounts. We’ve learned from the past.
When it comes to our money, John seeks quality and David seeks quantity. Any person or couple can attain both. We’re financially compatible because we keep each other balanced. David, too, enjoys a good bottle of wine once in a while and that’s good for the soul. As with David, John gets excited seeing our investments and saving accounts grow. Alone, each of us may be financially myopic. Together we achieve the best of both worlds.
There are definitely couples who are financially incompatible. There are those who have completely different financial goals. Sometimes one person in a relationship has very clear financial goals, while the other is so much the opposite that they hinder the financial progress of the other. While some couples find balance, some enable each other’s financial unconsciousness.
There you have it. We’re an example of a couple who, for all intents and purposes, may come across as financially in sync, but who is slightly out of sync.
How about you? Are you and your partner 100 percent in sync? If you’re not, how are you different? How does that help with your financial goals? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
David Auten and John Schneider are The Debt Free Guys. After paying off over $51,000 in credit card debt, they have dedicated themselves to helping people live debt free, have fun and be Money Conscious. They are the authors of four books including 4: The Four Principles of a Debt Free Life available on Amazon now.