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What’s up everyone!
Hope we all had a great week.
Listen, so I was reading the papers earlier and came up on a pretty interesting article…
I know right! I mean Harry! What are you…wait… sorry, wrong article.
This is the right one.
It describes the personal finance journey of a couple, aptly named Cheetah and Sparky.
Cheetahs as you well know, are the fastest creatures in the animal kingdom.
But this Cheetah turns out to be a “part-time fitness instructor and personal trainer”… Cheetahs sometimes do this you know.
Sparky is an electrician. He fixes er… electricity.
The article goes on to say that their children are keen wakeboarders (boarding whilst being awake), their girls attend dance classes (note: not to be confused with dancing to class) and all attend private schools.
How was this possible?
Be being debt free.
“When we moved in together, I came across this budgeting system called ‘money bags’. It’s an old-school envelope budgeting system and I said: Right, I am taking all your money and you get $80 (in the old days, $80 was a fair amount) a week… that’s your play money and I look after the rest.”
The original idea of such a system is that you label envelopes – or click-seal money bags – with your expenses like bills, groceries, etc., and how much money you need for each.
Crucially, you define how much you’ll allow yourself to spend on the fun stuff, too, such as entertainment. Then every time you get income, you fill up the envelopes or bags with the required amount… then see what’s left for saving or getting ahead”.
The article then goes on to highlight the property journey the couple took, slowly upgrading their properties from $154,000 (20 years ago) to a $750,000 debt-free home.
All the while, being self-employed, having 3 kids, and transacting on a couple of investment properties as well.
Nice, nice, kudos to Cheetah and Sparky.
I think this goes to show that personal finance has never been easy without effort, no matter what generation you’re in.
And the importance of mindset, and a partner who is on board with the same goals.
Our house (in the middle of our street)
Which brings us to our household.
When I first started dating MrsFrugalSamurai, I think I am fair in saying… and I tread VERY delicately around this topic, that her personal finance habits were shithouse.
However, inch by inch, play by play, we clawed with our fingernails for that inch, that’s a TEAM gentlemen, and either we heal now… or we… wait, wait… that’s not what I said at all. That’s Al Pacino talking.
Back to MrsFrugalSamurai, who is arguably more important that Al Pacino (she makes me happy in a way Al never could).
Slowly but surely I think we have managed to turn our personal finance habits more or less in line with each other.
Hers by being less friviolous, “do we really need ANOTHER Tom Ford Beauty Soleil Contouring Compact Bask???”
And me by being more friviolous, “what? who DOESN’T buy clothes to wear for the next 15 years???
This is because of…
Introducing, Accountability Sunday.
Which is just a day (Sunday) which MrsFrugalSamurai and I hold each other accountable by going through our respective spending.
We have our shared accounts of course, but we also have our individual accounts, and Accountability Sunday gives us visibility on each other’s spending for the week.
Minus all the essentials like petrol, groceries, bills, food etc. etc. we have a set amount which we are allowed to spend on ourselves.
Sometimes we go over (I’ve never gone over), sometimes we go under – but the important thing is to hold each other accountable and have some visibility over our finances.
I think that was the main issue – sometimes you live paycheck to paycheck without understanding where all your money goes to… because you don’t track it.
And I am very proud that as a couple and a team, we have gone much much better with our financial goals.
When we brought this up with some friends, a couple were incredulous.
“It’s my money, I earnt it, I can spend as I want”.
Which is fair enough, and I totally agree… IF you know what you’re spending it on AND do not wonder where all your money is and/or complain that you have no money left.
“Why not just have shared bank accounts for everything”.
That’s a great point, and many married couples do. Like I mentioned, we have shared accounts and we have individual accounts.
The main thing for me, is I fear that if we have shared accounts, I may be too domineering and controlling of all the funds (I control all the shared accounts)… I mean… I grew up saving 90 cents on every dollar earnt for goodness sake.
No one wants to live like Greece circa 2011.
I’ve done austerity measures before and yeah you have plenty of coin left over, but it affects other areas of your life.
MrsFrugalSamurai provides a healthy balance, and individual accounts is the difference between buying toilet paper and reusing it (seriously wtf, wow).
It’s currently working in our household, and that’s all it matters!
The Royal household on the other hand…
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