Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finances + Rituals=Exponential Growth

I (Anna) had lunch with my dear friend and former college roommate, Emily, yesterday. Next weekend is her and her husband's one year anniversary. What a year it's been! They bought a beautiful home. And of course, grew together in every way a couple can and should. However, I was particularly inspired by one of the details she told me about their marriage. They have bi-weekly financial meetings. At these meetings, they evaluate whether or not they have reached their bi-weekly saving goals in each spending category. Then they set new goals for the upcoming two-week period. Brilliance! Her husband, Jeff, is the type who finds balancing their checkbook and organizing their finances FUN. Fun? "Not I" said the fly. But, yes, Jeff daily logs into Quicken to micro-manage their money with all the vigor and zeal he once devoted to his high school and college basketball career. Emily said the meetings had to officially be made "bi-weekly" so finances aren't a dinner table topic each night. He's even turned my big-spending Emily into a coupon clipper! Wow. Quite a transformation if you saw the countless new "going out" tops she purchased each week in college. They were stylish as can be, but expensive nonetheless (I loved it, though, because she let me borrow one of her "old" tops every Thursday night!). Those were the days.

For most Americans these days, finances are tight. And even if they aren't, isn't this a great way of coping with one of marriage's toughest topics?! It's what we all should be doing all of the time about all issues, not just money. Emily and Jeff aren't just investing in their financial future, they're staying connected on one of the issues that couples divorce over.

Congratulations, Em and Jeff, on one year of marriage and financial gain! Now I'm off to clip some coupons.


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