You can have your spreadsheets, online budgeting sites, statements, etc… Want to know what the single greatest positive impact on my finances has been?
Is it a great lawyer that helps me with business decisions? An awesome CPA to guide me with tax questions? A fantastic financial advisor to direct my investments?
Nope, they got nothing on this person.
I’ll tell you – it’s my wife. Let me explain…
Back in the day I was in debt, had no savings, no investments, and my net worth was measured in “things” I owned (not like a house but more like guitars and music CD’s).
I wasn’t the picture of good financial health.
But I slowly worked my way out of my financial funk. I educated myself. I paid off my credit cards. I contributed to my 401(k). I started saving.
I did these things on my own. Had I not met my wife I would have continued to improve my finances but not to the extent that they are at now.
My wife turbo-charged my finances, well, OUR finances.
Here’s why my wife is the greatest impact on my finances and my best financial tool:
We’re a Team
My wife and I work together on our finances.
We’re a team.
We discuss money and make sure our spending meets our goals. We let each other in on what we’re doing with money and what we’re spending on.
I’m so lucky to have someone who I see eye-to-eye with financially. If one of us needs to make a big expense we let the other know. If it’s something that may be a bit outside the budget we discuss it. Our financial goals are in-sync and we work together to make those goals happen. We really want to work together, and with each other, as one financial unit.
My Wife Keeps Me Grounded
So, I write a personal finance blog where I talk about money, finances, frugality, etc… This means I always keep my spending rational and under control, right?
Every now and then I get an idea in my thick head that I want, no I NEED, to buy something (“babe, I really think we need a new Macbook”). When I mention my urge to my wife she quickly brings me back down to Earth. It works both ways too. We bring reason to each other.
We Trust Each Other
I have no need to keep money secrets from my wife. We’re a team, remember?
I’d like to say this is a given for a married couple but I think we’ve all heard of couples where one is hiding something from the other. Maybe it’s the cost of a shopping spree? Perhaps it’s a credit card the other doesn’t know about? I hate hearing about couples that act like that. I thank my luck for finding someone that I can be honest with and who is honest with me!
We Complement Each Other Well
No, not compliment. We do that too. I’m talking about complement.
My wife and I add to each other’s financial knowledge and skills. We complete each other (yeah, that sounds a bit corny, but it’s true).
For example, my wife is great with short-term finances. She knows what’s in the bank account and what we can afford to spend on a day-to-day basis. Me? I’m better at the long-term stuff like retirement and investing. My wife can tell if we can afford something now while I better understand interest rates and maximizing our money. We cover for each other’s weaknesses and improve on each other’s strengths.
I Have Real Financial Purpose (Maybe Purpose Overall)
As a single guy I did a little planning for the future, but as a family-man my focus has grown exponentially. I have a wife and four kids and I know what I do financially has an impact on us all.
What I do with money, investments, income – it’s not just me anymore, it’s all of us.
And that is so much better!
My wife is awesome at looking at goals and making them happen. She’s a great motivator as well. She’s the one that got me going back to school to finish up my degree. She is, in great part, why we have a house of our own.
She also puts up with supports the time I put into this personal finance blog, knowing that I love it and that I’m building it up to be a real second income for us.
Retirement used to be this fantasy land that was far off. Now I imagine living my retirement years with my wife. This means I have to act on our goals and make them real so we can achieve financial independence and live out our “golden years” the way we want to.
My purpose has real weight now and it’s no longer “I’d like to to this or that” but “this is how I will get it done.” I didn’t have this kind of focus before my wife.
So, with all of the great financial tools out there, the awesome books, the financial experts – the greatest impact on my finances is my wife!
(Happy anniversary honey!)
Brent McCoy says
True, spouses have an enormous effect on most areas of success – most men I know rightfully credit their wives as the biggest influence.
I bet most spouses don’t get the credit they deserve.
FANTASTIC ARTICLE. When I first started my site I wrote a similar piece on The Wife (mine not yours) and she ended up printing it out and saving it. I hope you let your wife know about the post.
That sounds real cool. I feel like I’ve read the article but I’ll have to dig through your archives and check it out.
This sounds like a tribute! I am there with you, My wife is my secret weapon. Any major purchase or event, we discuss it together. She balances me in so many ways. Your article sounds a lot like us, except for your early financial difficulties.
Glad to hear you and your wife work well together. I love hearing when two people become one!
This is beautiful. God has blessed you with a soul mate, and I detect gratitude in your essay.
Thank you! Yeah, there’s certainly gratitude. I’m a lucky guy.
I completely agree. My wife doesn’t get as into personal finance as me, but she complements me by being able to spot good deals, and combine sales with coupons. She also reigns me in when I’d like to buy something I don’t need. 🙂
I think people sometimes think a spouse should be the same as you are but really a great spouse completes you. Glad to hear you have that!
Beautiful article. I was kind of thinking the same thing about my wife, but you beat me to it and did it so eloquently, too! 🙂 She is more short term, I’m more long term. But since I am now a head of a household, I am even more determined to give us financial stability, a fulfilling life, and comfortable golden years. Kudos! 🙂
Exactly! With my wife and family, everything I do has more purpose.
Sounds really touchy. What if you have a few girlfriends? Will this make you more accountable or do you still need to get married lol?
I know you’re kidding but honestly, I think the act of marriage does add true accountability and commitment (or at least it ought to!).
With a girlfriend, it’s still only you. Yes, you have someone but you haven’t made that real commitment to be together.
And wouldn’t a few girlfriends end up being real expensive? 🙂
First Gen American says
What a nice article to post on your anniversary.
I take for granted that my husband is also quite frugal (but not as frugal as me). I don’t know how our marriage would function if he were any other way.
Thank you First Gen.
Well Heeled Blog says
This post made me smile.
Glad to hear it!
Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder says
Aww. That’s wonderful. That’s exactly how it should be.
Thank you Kyle.
Great article! It’s amazing that you and your wife are able to work that way. Most of the time, it’s often a one sided financial story. My wife isn’t quite there yet but considering she knew practically nothing about how to manage money, she has a come a long way under my wing. She now can easily spot flaws in the financial thinking of her friends 🙂
Marriage means growth for both.
Paula @ AffordAnything.org says
I think it’s great that you listen to your wife! No, seriously … I mean it. A lot of couples have the potential to compliment each other (they both have strengths in different areas), but they end up NOT complimenting each other because one partner views the other partner’s strengths as “less important.” Your wife may have helped you turbo-charge your finances, but you deserve equal credit for listening to her!
I wish my husband would give me a little more credit 🙂
He started out with nothing. We work as a team now, and it took a lot of hard work getting him to see the big picture. But it has been well worth it.
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