This week’s post revolves around a fictitious couple and as the movie begins with those large letters, “based on real events”. Allow me to introduce Mary and Jack. They have a personal dynamic around their money and the funny thing is, it works. Jack tends to be the spender in the relationship (most couples have one)! Then comes Mary with her saver mentality wanting to prepare for every type of rainy day.
In my work with others, I find this to be pretty common. Sometimes it doesn’t always show up immediately. Eventually though in a relationship, there’s a saver and a spender and overtime we polarize one another. The saver gets more into saving as the spender gets more into spending.
As you can imagine, this can cause some stressful conversations. 😜
Mary and Jack also process their spending differently. Mary is actually aware of the day to day spending happening so the credit card bills don’t provide undue surprises. If they make some large purchases during the month, Jack doesn’t seem to notice them or stress UNTIL the credit card bill comes through. He looks at the large balance and inquiries – what happened this month?! 🤔
It’s important to recognize these habits because it can help us navigate our finances as a couple. I sometimes remind Jack certain choices will add to a bigger credit card bill and it gives him better context for decision-making in the moment. If it’s over $300 they agree to wait 24 hours before they purchase.
Even if you are handling your finances solo, it’s helpful to know your own tendencies to set yourself up for success and less stress. Put the same guidelines and safeguards in place for yourself.
At a recent budget meeting, or as they like to call it “money party”, 🥳 Jack and Mary were strategizing their various sinking funds – Sam’s tuition, taxes and Mary’s maternity leave. During this particular party Mary noticed they were prioritizing things that were happening sooner at the expense of planning for things to come later.
Jack said – “That’s next year’s problem.”
While laughing 😂 you have to appreciate the honesty. Despite the obvious flaws in Jack’s plan, so many of us deal with our finances this way. It’s really hard to prioritize things that are further in the future – especially when we’re just trying to figure out what’s going on right now.
But you can imagine that adopting this as your finance life motto will set you up for a lot of money stress. The famous line by Scarlett, “I’ll deal with that problem tomorrow” is one in the same.
So much of our money journey is about being honest with ourselves around money. Not just what’s happening with it, but how we think and interact with it. We spend a lot of our life pretending. Why?
It’s fun to pretend that next year’s problems don’t exist or that they’ll get figured out with no stress. Or somehow we won’t even think about it next year so it doesn’t count.
Our actions today set us up (or don’t) for future months and years. Of course, it’s never too late to turn it around or get better, but the choices we make today have direct repercussions on our future financial well-being.
Are there things you are making next year’s problem? Or the year after’s problem? Let’s start on a path today and design the life YOU want to live and deserve.