A great client of My Income Organiser has an amazing perspective on watching her family's money. I asked if she would be happy to share some of her insight with my readers. She said yes!
Here is Anne's piece on how she grew up, how her husband grew up and the way they have managed to find common ground despite their differences.
One of the things that my husband and I have learned through navigating the financial strains in our marriage is that a positive money mindset empowers you to live a fulfilling life. The right mindset generates an attitude of embracing life and focusing on what is really meaningful. Consequently, the right Plan mindset enables you to fund these priorities.
For many people it can seem scary to adjust to a new money mindset. It was for my husband. He grew up in a well off family, where he was able to obtain pretty much anything he desired, when and as he desired it. As a parent this meant ensuring that his children were able to try anything they wanted, participate in any school or social activity, own brand new clothing, and otherwise live without worrying about costs. This worked when we had high disposable income. However, when we hit income constraints, he became distressed. He believed that we were depriving them by having to say no. Having grown up under the poverty line, happy and content, I had a completely different perspective. But it was a perspective that he struggled with.
As far as he was concerned any kind of spending plan meant missing out on many things that were important. He knew my story, but he didn’t really understand how you could still be happy without being free to spend. So he’d pay for events and items that the kids “had” to have, whittling away our money and building up credit card debt because it was “just what was needed”. Then when it came to the really big things, we simply couldn’t do them. One of the biggest lessons came when his grandfather passed away and he couldn’t attend the funeral because we didn’t have the money, or room left on the credit card, to fly overseas for it.
We got help to set up an income organising plan together where Erika spelled out our income and outgoings in front of him (I refrained from pointing out that she was showing us exactly the same things I’d been explaining to him- mostly). The combination of practical lessons and the experience of missing things that were really important helpAed him to realise that he was sacrificing the most valuable things for instant gratification and fleeting desires. The two key lessons he took away were the necessity to realise your limitations (whether temporary or permanent) and the need to focus on the priorities that have a deeper meaning than keeping up with the latest trends.
We’re not perfect. He still struggles to just take the time to save up for something he desires. I still struggle to understand why he thinks some things are important. However, by understanding and working on our priorities together, we now have a budget mindset that empowers us to take control of our life. We have control, instead of constantly letting our spending control us.
My Income Organiser