Thursday, September 4, 2014

FPU Night 2 - Relationships and Money

Your intrepid reporter, Ms. Drawler, has returned from night #2 of FPU.

I wasn't supposed to be going to this class. I was supposed to be in Virginia enjoying family, friends, and mountain views but alas Lil' D is sick and we had to cancel.

While I'm not happy Lil' D is sick I was glad to attend an important night. This class wasn't so much about the HOWS of saving money or getting out of debt faster or how to best plan for retirement. It was more about getting on the same page with your partner to achieve serious maximum life results.

It seems so simple (duh! of course you talk to your spouse about money!) but I've found that taking the time to have a real conversation about something in a marriage is more difficult than when you were dating. When you are just boyfriend/girlfriend or even engaged everything is such a light and dreamy discussion. Of course we want to TRAVEL! Have a nice HOUSE! 3 KIDS! 2 CARS! 7 DOGS and a PIG (ok, that might just be me)!

Smiley faces all around.

I remember driving around Crozet, Virginia with JTS, the autumnal breeze blowing through the windows, beautiful yellow leaves fluttering to the ground, holding hands and throwing out dreams like thought bubbles. We were smiling in our sweaters. We were practically out of a catalog or a Sofia Coppola movie with some amazing light filters.

Oh Virginny, I miss you.

Five years later I realize that to bring those thought bubbles down to earth our conversation has to be more down to earth too. Around a table. With a thought-out plan and a budget. Not as romantic (and we certainly don't look romantic this week with a sick baby and bags under our eyes) but exciting to me in that we are actually taking concrete steps to make our airy, romantic dreams come true.

I can't wait for next week when we get to the nitty gritty of budget planning. As Dave pointed out this week the number #1 reason for divorce is disagreement around money and a well-discussed budget takes away ALL of the arguments when everyone agrees and sticks to the plan.

We also discussed how men and women think differently about money (generalizations, sure, but whatever). Money represents self-esteem to men and security to women. I would agree with that on my end. And I had never thought about it that way. Looking at money as security really puts your purchases into perspective. Will this stuff make me feel secure? Or will cash in the bank make me feel secure? Good to remember when I want to dress Lil' D up as a baby fashionista.

As for religion:
I kept my mouth shut when the group discussed tithing. Because my giving is currently less than 10% of my income. And it goes to the local NPR station.

Speaking of fashionistas, you should check out KarlaReed on Instagram. Seriously inspirational thrift and vintage store outfits. I've let that side of my personality, how shall we say, slide a bit since those lovely fall days 5 years ago and she makes me want to kick it back up a notch.

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