Monday, April 12, 2010

Money Smarts

Considering all our ever-changing life situations, I've been having lots of conversations with friends about money lately. It occurred to me that it's time that I share our money management secret with Blogland.

Ok, so it's not such a secret. In fact, if you've had a financial conversation with me anytime in the last 6 years, you've probably heard all about it.

Back in the days when he was still a Californian, my friend Leon gave us a copy of David Bach's book, Smart Couples Finish Rich, which had been given to him by his mom. Raf and I were early in living together at the time and had a couple road trips planned to San Luis Obispo.

Over the course of these trips, we read the book aloud together, including many breaks to chat about our personal opinions, money values we'd been taught growing up (intentional or not), our individual and joint goals, and how we were going to proceed with the book's recommendations.

I'm so thankful to have read this simple, solid guide with Raf. We immediately started setting financial and life goals together--traveling, owning a home, saving for retirement, building a security net. One by one, we've met milestones and celebrated accomplishments together. And each year, we continue to build, re-prioritize, and keep looking forward.

I'd have to say that reading this book together is one of the most powerful and important moves we made early in our relationship. Those in-depth conversations we had in the car opened the lines of communication to be able to comfortably talk about money--one of the most difficult topics all couples wrestle with. We still disagree on priorities, strategies, and goals regularly. But the point is--we're TALKING about it! We're working together. And eventually, we tend to reach a compromise.

I realized this week how grateful I am to Leon for passing along this gift. I hope that by sharing our experience here that it may lead a few of you to pick up this book as well, and read it with your partner. (And for all the single ladies, there's also Smart Women Finish Rich.) You can have a used copy of either delivered for the bargain basement price of $4, post shipping, via Amazon.

As you probably know, Raf and I love to talk to other couples about money management, planning, etc. We love sharing ideas, hearing others' approaches and goals, etc. So if you're looking for a study group, hit us up! :) Happy Financial Planning, friends!


Smithchauvinist said...

The Man should make all money decisions.

brooke said...

HAHAHHA! I bet that totally flew with Jenn while she worked to support your behind thru law school! :) Good to hear from you, guy!