Money Q&A

A month ago I received an email newsletter from Marriage 365 (subscribe ASAP) and it laid out important financial questions to ask your spouse. I took some questions from there and added in a few of my own for today's Money Q&A. It's an interview style, where I ask Alex at the question, and then he asks me the same. Alex and I were both business majors at Hardin-Simmons University, but he's definitely the numbers guy. 

Is there anything I spend money on that you wish I wouldn't and why?
Alex: No, I feel like you're pretty intentional with money.
Jesse: Beer...too much beer ; )

What do I spend the most money on?
ALEX: House stuff
JESSE: Beer....I'm seeing a pattern here.

What is something just for fun you would like to save up for?
ALEX: A lift kit for my truck.
JESSE: I really want a closet organization system! My builder-grade closet is not functional, and I would love a wall dedicated to my shoes.

When I spend money, do you trust that I have the best for our marriage and family in mind? Why or why not?
ALEX: Yes, we're on the same page with money.
JESSE: Yes, sometimes you get some pretty crazy ideas with what you want to buy which is why you call me the dream crusher ; ). However, I know our savings and retirement is your #1 priority and I'm extremely thankful you manage our finances.

What do you splurge on? What do you save on?
ALEX: Tools and tech in general. I save on groceries (always HEB brand).
JESSE: Clothing. I could easily drop $150 on a high quality pair of shoes. I save on food and could live off of boxed macaroni and cereal.

Do you feel excited or anxious when you think about our financial future? Explain.
ALEX: I'm very optimistic and excited about it. I feel like we are making very conscious and beneficial decisions for our future.
JESSE: Excited, but as a woman I think there will always be fear there. I would love to retire at 55 but then I think about health insurance and college...yikes!

If someone had to decide if we were responsible or not by ONLY looking at our bank account what do you think they would say?
ALEX: They would see that there are only 5 transactions a month because I only use credit cards. They would see we out too much, and we save a lot.
JESSE: Responsible. We've definitely had our ups and downs, but Dave Ramsey helped us early on in our marriage.

What's the greatest lesson you've ever learned about money?
ALEX: I can't think of one lesson in particular, but I listen to financial podcasts daily that I take tips from (Motley Fool, Dave Ramsey, The Money Guy, Mad Money, Fast Money, Planet Money).
JESSE: Totaling our paid off cars in less than a month and having twins soon after opened my eyes to how quickly you can get back in to debt and how easily credit card spending adds up. Also, watching Minimalism was an eye opener as I've always been an avid spender and it truly shook me to the core. I'm a much more conscious shopper after seeing that movie and practicing minimalism to a certain extent.

When you think about the next 5 years, what do you see or dream about for us financially?
JESSE: I dream of taking the whole family on vacations, and continuing to save for college and retirement. I hope we both excel in our careers, and our salaries help us achieve our financial goals faster.
ALEX: Ditto

If you never had to think about money what would be your dream job?
ALEX: Own a cool bar, pawn shop and barbershop. Three places dudes go to hang out.
JESSE: I would own an antique store OR be a stay at home mom once my kids are all in school ; ). Some people say they would be bored when they retire, but I think I'll do just fine!

Photos by Jessica Rockowitz | Location: Cityhouse Collective

It's not surprising money is the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. High levels of debt and lack of communication are major causes for stress and and anxiety.  I encourage you to spend more time openly talking about finances and your goals for the future with your spouse. How much do you need to retire comfortably? What do you need to be saving now? Will you help pay for your kid's college, and how can you start saving? Time is our greatest advantage, and compounding interest is your friend! And if you're not in a good place, that's OK. I recommend you and your spouse both reading Total Money Makeover which was a game changer in our marriage and helped us pay off debt.

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