Let me start by saying, the sweaty brow has nothing to do with the topic of conversation. One thing C and I do regularly (in addition to eating spicy food) is talk finances. As we were wrapping up a particularly spicy white chicken chili dinner we started talking about the next few months and then fast forwarded to the kiddos heading to college. Thinking about that now, it really could have been a reason for the brow sweat.
Let’s get real for a second. Being honest about your finances can be tough. It’s a little like opening that junk drawer in your kitchen. You know what I’m talking about, its got pens, tape, spare keys, scraps of paper, receipts from 5 years ago…its where things are swept during a quick tidy up session. When someone asks where a pair of scissors is and you have to guide them to that drawer fear strikes your heart. Post college I was staring down some pretty gnarly student loans. Four years at Marquette came with an $80,000+ price tag. That said, debt builds character and I’ve been happy to pay the price given everything the experience has given me. What I did not anticipate, however, was that the love of my life would also share a similar character building experience. That first conversation when we started to get serious about dating was as real as opening the junk drawer.
For the better part of our partnership we’ve paid more in student loans monthly than we have in rent or our mortgage. That said, financial planning is pretty darn important to us. Building a budget, understanding when it makes sense to pay more on principal and staying credit card debt free has been an on-going and weirdly fun conversation. Something I’d imagine is not necessarily the norm, but works for us.
If you haven’t talked financials with your person in a while, or are afraid to, take the leap. It opens up a new level of understanding and gives you something to look forward to (we’ve been joking about a money room for about 5 years now). I’m sure I’ll have more posts on budgeting and planning, but for now just open the drawer.