I’ve never had a REAL financial plan before. Sure, I’ve set up budgets and had some pretty lofty goals, but I never ended up following them for more than a week or so. As such, I have never had any kind of savings in my account and have been living paycheck-to-paycheck for pretty much my entire adult life.
Sunshine said something to me the other day that resonated with me. I had to sit there and really think about it.
“I thought our financial situation was going to improve when you moved here. It hasn’t.”
She was totally right, of course, because we are both living paycheck-to-paycheck. One or two unanticipated expenses have popped up and things have been looking rather grim as we head into the holiday season.
But then I looked at what we make and thought there had to be something wrong. I mean, we’re not raking in the big bucks or anything, but we’re not doing too shabby. Where was our money going?
So we had a discussion; a REAL discussion about finances. No secrets, all money out on the table. What we make and what we owe. To some this may be just a normal marriage situation. For me, especially, it’s a massive leap of faith. I have never shared my financial information with anybody prior to Sunshine. Mind you, that was probably because I was embarrassed about the state of my bank account…but still, this was a pretty big moment for me.
So we have come up with some ideas and solutions and ways to get us back on track. Changing bank accounts here, consolidating finances there…keeping track of ALL money because it’s going to be completely shared. Again, this is something I’ve never done before…but where what I’ve done before has never worked, I’m jumping into the deep end of the pool and trusting that the two of us can not only stay afloat together, but swim strongly.
We’re going to start small and think big. We’ve watched programs on television and have seen ideas online on how to pay down debt and manage finances. The plan is to take care of the smallest debts first so that those payments can then be added to the larger amounts owing.
If all goes according to plan, we should be able to begin actually saving money in January. Of course, we’ll have to see how things go over the next two months…there could be unexpected expenses or we might just be unable to stick to the budget. But with the prospect of having our finances in order and money in our savings account, I think we’ll find a way to make this work.
We’re adults. It’s about time we started acting like it.