Is there anything sexier than talking about budgets, compound interest, and debt? I get it … at face value money sounds like a really dull topic at best and a really prickly one to discuss with your partner at worst. But trust me: Talking about money, especially when you do it on a regular basis, can and will create intimacy in your relationship.
A couple years ago, my husband and I decided to buy a new TV. Ours was on the fritz and it was approaching the Super Bowl so TVs were on deep discount at Costco. While we hadn’t planned on this expense, between the cushion in our budget and some savings, we were able to pay for the TV out of pocket. But what if we had put this amount on a credit card?
What motivates you more, time or money? For me, it’s time all the way. I long for more concentrated time with my spouse, more time to spend with my family and friends, and more time off from work to go on adventures. Making my budget work with my salary has never been an issue — but having control over my time? That’s vitally important to me. I keep a detailed spreadsheet of how I’m spending my PTO. And flexible scheduling (like half-day Fridays in the summer) and the ability to work from home are two of the things I like best about my current job.
I have to admit that I didn’t give my student loans very much thought until I graduated from graduate school. By that point, I had been accruing debt for nearly six years. In college, even though I knew there was debt involved, I lived blissfully unaware of how much I was really racking up in the background between tuition and living expenses. By the time I got to graduate school, and had the reality check that most college seniors get during their final month before graduation, I was paying a little more attention and tried very hard to be extra careful about my budget so I added as little as possible to my college debt. But still most days, it didn’t register on my financial radar screen.
About five years ago, I was able to surprise my husband with a little getaway adventure to a historic B&B in Stillwater, MN, about a half-hour from our home. As we got off the highway and caught a glimpse of the river and quaint main street downtown, it felt like we’d traveled to another world. After an amazing dinner at a wine bar, a relaxing night at the B&B, a multi-course breakfast in bed (delivered by picnic basket), and a morning walking around the shops downtown, we felt rested, refreshed, and reconnected to one another. We were back home by Saturday afternoon feeling like we’d fit an entire vacation into one 24-hour period.