My wife is without question the brightest beam of sunshine in my life. Without her I would not have approached fiscal fitness with as much intensity nor vigor. She has been with me through some incredible peaks and valleys that measured well below sea level and are reaching higher with every passing quarter. Through it all, I sincerely cannot picture my life without her. She is everything to me: my lover, my therapist, my best friend. We have known each other for seven years, but in many ways I feel like she’s known me since day one. With her, I relate, talk, express myself, share and open up differently than I have any other relationship.
We met in college and she has been on the journey with me long enough to see me transition from hyper consumer to super saver. Thinking about it now, she really is the only person that knows me before and after the most important changes made during my adult life. Only God knows me better. One of her qualities that draws me closer to her is that she’s better than me at just about everything. From budgeting, to being frugal, the books she reads, to general investing philosophies and implementations, she does it all better and more efficiently than me. Now she would argue that I work harder than her, but my rebuttal is that I have to exert that much work just to keep up with her, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Back to when we met though. I was entering my final year in my B.A. program and essentially was scrambling to find housing weeks (2 actually) before the semester began, thanks to my lack of planning. I ended up finding a room in a private off-campus housing apartment complex, I literally took the last bed they had in the entire building. She was on staff for the housing company. Now I credit my coaxing her to date me to my impeccable sales skills, but she would say that she was probably just trying something different. She, being from Michigan, and me hailing from goober land (L.A) in itself made us very different people, but through our relationship we have worked together to be a strong couple.
In terms of personal finance we have been each other’s supporter and biggest fan. Early on when we started our total money makeover my wife would actually go out to overspend just to bust my budget. Now she’s drags me to budget committee meetings and carefully examines every expense to ensure we get the best deal. But I think one of the biggest achievements we’ve made was lowering our standard of living. Without stuff, luxurious vacations or fancy cars we forced ourselves over the last three years to get to know one another. The result is that we enjoy our time together above and beyond anything in this world and our relationship is so much stronger than it was before we got our finances under control.
For me on an individual level, she restored my faith in other people. I grew up in a sheltered home, with the belief that people are bad and OK to be taken advantage of. My wife’s love, compassion, heart and goodwill convinced me over time that people are indeed good and genuine. She restored my faith in humanity. Once I accepted that into my soul, I began to change as well. While it is an ongoing process with worlds of improvement ahead of me, with my wife by my side, I know with confidence that I can accomplish anything in this lifetime and be the person that God meant for me to be.