Last night Mike and I had a really good talk about money. We talk about money on pretty regular basis, have worked out numerous budgets over the last couple of years living together, and often the conversations end with me frustrated and stressed. But last night, the conversation went differently.
We created a budget a few months ago and have been trying to live within the parameters of it since. But we spent too much in November and then with the bedbugs and Christmas presents in December we’re kind of feeling like we’re not in control. We’d like to get on the same page and really be on top of things going forward. So in preparation for a larger conversation about money, both of us have been thinking a lot about it.
When Mike picked me up for dinner last night, we started chatting about what we’d both been thinking so far: how we should allocate our money, the logistics of paying bills, budgeting, planning to attend friends’ weddings, go on vacation, save, buy Christmas gifts, pay down debt, etc. And we were on the same page. Mike would say something and I’d say “Yeah, I agree, that’s a good idea.” And I’d say something and he’d say “I was thinking the same thing” or “You’re right.”
I think the difference between that conversation and some of our prior conversations is that we were both on board, both thinking about the issues separately before we came together. In the past we’d sat down to chat about money and we’d ask each other questions we didn’t have the answers for. Then I’d get combative and frustrated when Mike didn’t know exactly when the cable bill is due. But this time we’re both brainstorming, both thinking about potential budgets and different ways to allocate our money. We’re thinking about where we’ve gotten stuck in the past and how we can prepare for those types of things going forward.
We’ll have a more detailed conversation this weekend where we lay out real numbers, come up with a plan to manage our money and communicate about our money on a monthly basis, and decide on long term goals. I hope that by preparing individually for this longer conversation ahead of time, it will be more productive and substantive.
From our conversation last night, I’m thinking it will be. We were very much on the same page and talking to each other as partners and teammates. It’s exciting to plan our life together.