Hello! Today we have an extra special edition of my being grateful series. By the title, I’m assuming some of you already guessed, but if not…

This past Monday, R and I celebrated our third anniversary! Even though we’re not married, we still celebrate, and we did so by going out to eat. Besides our upcoming trip to Asheville, we’ll be eating at home, don’t worry! I haven’t forgotten how much we spent at restaurants in September yet (even though I would like to).

To celebrate with all of you, R is making a special appearance! Gasp. Yep, that’s right – I’m dragging him out of the closet, too (even though he doesn’t blog or anything).

I’m still going to refer to him as R just to be on the safe side, and I won’t be sharing any pictures. I’m hoping this will help to continue his “incognito” status.

Being grateful for each other

In line with the theme of the post, we decided to discuss how we’re grateful for each other. Three years went by in a flash, and it can be easy to forget our humble beginnings after being through two moves, several job changes, and our college days.

I’m grateful for our friends, because without them, we possibly never would have met. R was friends with them from high school, and still hung out with them in the summer; I went to college with them. We met the summer after R graduated in 2011.

I actually took a tour of R’s college, as I was thinking about transferring there, and decided not to. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had, and whether or not we would have met.

I’m glad things worked out as they did. Our friends enjoyed playing match-maker once I admitted to having interest in him, and by the end of the summer, I had worked up the courage to ask R out.

Yep, you read that right – I was the one who initiated our first date. I’m awesome like that. (Really, I was petrified.) I asked him if he wanted to see a movie together (so cliche, I know), and he said, “I’d love to.”

The movie we saw? Killer Elite. Not that great, but I prefer action movies to chick flicks, and I figured it was only fair to R.

Being Grateful | Journey to Saving

Officially dating

After a month of staying up until 2-4am talking, we were “officially” dating. Both of us were very open about our finances and what was going on in our lives. After being with a spender in the past, I was excited that R seemed to have his priorities straight.

Even though he was working part-time at a grocery store, he was trying to save up enough to buy a car so that he could go on interviews and get a full-time job. We talked about how our parents were in debt, our frugal upbringings, and how neither of us cared much about brand names or the latest trends. It was a financial match made in heaven.

Being Grateful | Journey to SavingUp to that point, the most R had ever spent was about $2,000 (on his tattoos). I was not impressed (with the spending, not the tattoos), and at the time, he admitted he wished he had saved it instead, this way he could afford a car.

That was the biggest issue we had when we first started dating, as I had to drive out to R all the time (only 15-20 minutes, thankfully). Eventually, his mom co-signed a loan, and he got his infamous $3,000 “piece of crap” that is surprisingly still running today. He paid that off after 1.5 years, which I thought was awesome.

Student loans

It’s no secret we’re both contending with student loans. A little over a year ago, R didn’t even want to talk about them. That’s how much he regretted his major in college. He put the majority of his bonuses earned last year toward his loans, and managed to pay 2 off. He’s now working toward the biggest loan at $17k.

In a way, I am grateful we’re both going through this together. Paying off debt is tiring, as many of you know. It’s a long journey, but I think we learn a lot about ourselves in the process. I’ve seen how hard of a worker R is, and it inspires me to do more. While we haven’t always agreed 100% on how we pay off our student loans, having this joint goal to work toward has been helpful.

In fact, if it hadn’t been for a walk we were taking a year and a half ago, I probably wouldn’t have started this blog.

Ironically, we were standing in front of my old elementary school when we started discussing our student loans. It dawned on me, right then and there, that I’d be paying them back for ten years. I don’t even want to think about 5 years into the future, let alone 10! R ran calculations based on our current rate of payments, and the numbers were disappointing. Something had to change.

Sure enough, I popped online, and saw that others were making a game out of rushing to pay their loans off. It inspired me to start documenting my own journey. While I’ve put a stop on aggressive payments due to my freelancing situation, it’s still our #1 goal.

Our future

We know we make an awesome team because we’re on the same page. We hardly ever argue about money. If we do, it’s R telling me I’m too much of a worry-wart, and that we need to go out and enjoy ourselves more!

Being Grateful | Journey to Saving
Serious cat.

Regardless, I think we’ve built a fantastic foundation on which to build our future. I know that once our student loans are paid off, there will be no stopping us. I am a dedicated saver and frugal enthusiast, and R balances me out, reminding me that there’s more to life than money.

I’ll never have to worry about him making purchases behind my back, or getting into debt of his own (he still doesn’t have a credit card; I’m working on that). We both grew up knowing the kind of destruction that debt brings, and I’m grateful to have a partner with that understanding.

I’m sure we’ll still make mistakes, especially when it comes to investing, or DIY repairs, but we will learn from them together.

I’m simply very grateful I found someone who shares the same perspective as I do when it comes to money. We check in with each other regarding all of our purchases, without judgment. I’m in charge of the budget and paying the bills, and R is the master number cruncher. When we decided to move in together, we poured over the numbers together and figured out what would work. We’ve always been in this together.

I hope you enjoyed getting a little peek into how we manage our money together! We touch upon a few different things in the video, but there was actually 30 minutes of footage so I had to be picky. =) R was also pretty tired when we were filming, and later he said he was worried about coming off disinterested. I assure you he’s normally very goofy. He actually wanted to dance around in the video!

Are you grateful for how your relationships have shaped your views on money? Do you have any questions you’d like R and I to answer in a future video?

PS – The “announcement” referred to in the video is this one. I’m being grateful for your support, and the opportunity to be writing at YAM!



  1. Brooke October 4, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Great to see R in the video! Congratulations on 3 years together and your spot as a contributor at Young Adult Money!

    K and I also combined finances while dating. We will living together in NC and started our life together where we live now, so it made sense to get one joint account and manage it jointly. Before we moved up here we had a joint account for mutual bills, but I wouldn’t call it combining necessarily. We managed our money separately still then.

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Thanks Brooke! Sounds like your relationship with K evolved as ours did. If we hadn’t been so lazy, we probably would have opened a joint account for rent and groceries eventually. It would have made things slightly easier!

  2. Ch October 4, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Loved the video! You two are so cute together! I think all the frugal Applebee’s dates are hilarious! Congratulations on three years!

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      Thanks girl! Applebee’s is so far away now we rarely go, but we seriously had one too many frugal Applebee’s dates back in NY. We got sick of it after a while!

  3. Nicola October 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Congratulations on 3 years and your new spot on YAM! :)

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      Thanks Nicola!

  4. Ciel Belle October 4, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Congratulations on your 3 year anniversary!!

  5. Mrs. Frugalwoods October 4, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Happy anniversary! And, nice to meet you R! Sounds like you two manage your money in much the same way as Mr. FW and I do. It’s such a great thing to be on the same financial page as your partner!

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 8:12 PM

      Thanks Mrs. FW! You guys are awesome role models. =)

  6. Maria October 4, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Happy Three Years to the both of you! And congratulations on being a contributor at YAM! Definitely lots to be grateful for :)

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      Thanks Maria!

  7. Debt Hater October 4, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Congrats on the 3 year anniversary, it’s a long time and even without being married it’s a reason to celebrate I think! I agree that while you not might have the same exact financial goals, it’s important that you are on the same page and can understand where the other person is coming from.

    I actually started my blog for a similiar reason too! I saw that it was going to take 10 years to pay off my loans with minimum payments of $800 a month and thought to myself, “How can I fix this?!”. The blog helped me set up goals and stay accountable.

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      Thanks! It is much, much easier being with someone that’s on the same “financial wavelength” as you.

      How funny! I wish more people came to that realization, but so many people think debt is normal. Hopefully our blogs have inspired some people to demolish their student loans.

  8. Kassandra October 4, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Congratulations to you and R on your third anniversary :) So nice to virtually meet R as well! Congrats on the YAM contributing spot too :)
    I met DH right around the time I started to break-up with my debt back in 2009. DH was one of three people at the time who knew the details and supported me every single step and payment along the way. I chose to pay the debt off on my own but I needed his moral support and encouragement to get through some really rough times.

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      Thanks Kassandra! Moral support and encouragement are the best things to have while paying off debt. R and I mostly focus on our student loans separately, but it’s just nice to have that mutual understanding.

  9. Lauren October 4, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    So cute! Happy anniversary. Can’t wait to read your posts on YAM :)

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      Thanks Lauren!

  10. Tonya@Budget and the Beach October 4, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Awe you guys are so cute!! It’s great to put a face to the “R” in your posts, although I have him pegged as a Ryan. I just keep inserting that name so to me…he’s definitely Ryan. Anyway, happy anniversary you two…I’m thinking a two for one special at applebees might be in order! :) And bunny ears never get old.

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      Thanks! Haha, he is not a Ryan, although he could pass for one. I was actually thinking of going to Applebee’s for a throwback to half off apps or something, but the closest one is about 25 minutes away (versus the 5 it used to be), so that might have to wait.

  11. Alicia October 4, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Happy anniversary you two :) and I love that you brought R in for a chat. You two are super cute together.

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 7:54 PM

      Thanks Alicia! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  12. Shannon @ Financially Blonde October 5, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Congrats on your anniversary and congrats on YAM!! I was so excited to see that DC asked you to come write for him. I enjoyed getting to write for his site. And I love that you are doing these videos, but I was REALLY excited to see R make an appearance this week. What a super supportive guy and you two make such a great couple in so many ways, but most importantly financially.

    1. Erin M. October 5, 2014 at 8:24 PM

      Thanks Shannon! I think YAM is a great outlet for me to help other millennials, so I’m excited.

      Aw, thanks! R enjoyed making his first appearance, even though he thought he did a bad job, haha. It’s hard to watch yourself after filming!

  13. Kara October 5, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    Happy Anniversary! :-)

  14. debs October 5, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    Oh I have to watch this video in the morning because the Irishman is sleeping. Happy Anniversary! Glad you guys are so financially compatible. Um I don’t see a paper bag on his head so not sure if he is incognito anymore. :-P

    1. Erin M. October 6, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      Thanks Debs! Haha, unfortunately I can’t choose the thumbnails for my YouTube videos yet, but once I do, I’ll change it so he’s a little more hidden. Technically no one knows his identity!

  15. Holly@ClubThrifty October 6, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    You guys are too cute. I’m glad you are a financial match in heaven too- it makes life easier!

    1. Erin M. October 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      Thanks Holly! It really does make life a lot easier.

    1. Erin M. October 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Thanks Stefanie! I was a little surprised, too, as I’ve asked him to write posts before. Apparently he’s more comfortable in front of a camera!

  16. Amos @ Modest Money October 6, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Congratulations and happy anniversary you two. I really love the way you walk together financially and your rate of paying the loans is awesome too.

    1. Erin M. October 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Thanks Amos! R has been pretty dedicated to paying off his debt, and I’ve always admired that.

  17. Brian @ Debt Discipline October 6, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    Happy Anniversary! Isn’t life easier when you are on the same page with your spouse/significant other?

    1. Erin M. October 9, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      Thanks Brian! Yes, it’s definitely a lot easier when you’re in agreement on financial matters.

  18. Kirsten October 6, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    This is such a cute, personal post

    1. Erin M. October 6, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      Thanks Kirsten, though I think it pales in comparison to everything you’ve been posting about!

  19. Untemplater October 6, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    Congrats! Lots of exciting and happy things happening for you. I wish you all the best. :)

    1. Erin M. October 8, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Thanks Sydney!

  20. Liz October 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    Happy anniversary! It’s amazing how time flies isn’t it? I think it says a lot that you guys are on the exact same page when it comes to finances. That is a deal breaker in many relationships and unfortunately many don’t realize they have different views until they’ve been married.

    1. Erin M. October 8, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Thanks Liz! Yes, time seriously does fly! I don’t think people realize how important it is to be on the same page with money until it’s too late as well, and I’m very grateful I learned that lesson early on.

  21. Myles Money October 7, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Happy Anniversary! You guys look great together and it’s great that you complement each other so well. Balance is everything.

    1. Erin M. October 8, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      Thanks Myles! Very true that balance is everything. We have a lot in common, but our quirks definitely complement each other where it matters.

  22. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply October 7, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Happy Anniversary! Pretty cool that you were the one who asked R out…and even cooler that you picked an action flick. What guy can say no to that?? I think picking someone who is financially compatible is probably one of most important financial decisions (not that it’s a financial decision). But many say that financial discord is one of the main reasons for arguments so, yes…it’s pretty important.

    1. Erin M. October 8, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      Thanks Andrew! Haha, I hate chick flicks, and actually prefer action movies since I don’t expect too much from them other than explosions. Before R, I hadn’t realized just how important it was to be with someone you’re financially compatible with, so I’m very glad we ended up being on the same wavelength as far as that goes.

  23. Natalie @ Budget and the Bees October 7, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    I was about to comment seriously about how great it is that you two have built your relationship on financially sound practices, but I’m scratching that because you two are hilarious! I don’t know what it is, but I laughed so hard (in a good way) at your dynamic in the video. I can tell you’re a really fun couple. Congratulations on your anniversary!

    1. Erin M. October 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      Oh thank you Natalie! We are total goofballs, and that’s really what I enjoy most about our relationship. We’ve been able to just be ourselves around each other, and I like to think that brings out our silly side. =)

  24. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank October 8, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    What is the most common argument about finances you and R have? And, how do you solve it? Happy Anniversary!

    1. Erin M. October 9, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Thanks Jayson! I wouldn’t say these are arguments, really, but we do clash when it comes to spending. R is much more lax on things than I am. I like to stick to sales, whereas R will buy something as long as he needs it enough (especially when it comes to food). I’m also not as likely to give in to eating out. Clearly R’s priority is food!

  25. Lance @ HWI October 8, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    If you can’t find ways to be grateful, especially for the small things, life is going to be pretty rough. Working in health care I see families with little children struggling just to stay alive and it helps me remember that my worst day is no where near the worst day of other people. My wife is a great support and has the same financial viewpoints that I do and it’s wonderful.

    1. Erin M. October 8, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Thanks for stopping by, Lance! I completely agree that life is going to be a lot rougher if you aren’t grateful. So many people have it worse than we do, and it helps to keep things in perspective. Glad to hear you and your wife are a great financial match, too!

  26. kay ~ frugalvoices.com October 8, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    This was my first visit so I’m not really familiar with all the back story, but I gotta tell ya, that video was super sweet! It’s really nice to see a couple that works toward the same goals. It’s so hard when one is frugal and the other is spendy. Happy Anniversary and congrats on your new gig! I will definitely be back AND I’ll have to check out the YAM site too! :)

    1. Erin M. October 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Thank you for the kind words, Kay! Glad you stopped by, and I’ll be heading to your blog as well. My ex was a spender, so I can attest to the difficulty of that situation. It caused some friction!

  27. Melanie @ Dear Debt October 8, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Happy anniversary! You guys are so cute. Financially on the same page too, which is so important! I love these videos. I so want to do some, but am intimidated as I can’t edit, so I need to do it right the first time, which is also stressful. You are doing great with this! Great series. :)

    1. Erin M. October 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Thanks Mel! There’s no need to be intimidated at all; editing isn’t hard! The next time we talk, I’ll send you a link to the tutorials I was looking at. It’s pretty much just a movie version of copy and paste. =)

  28. Done by Forty October 8, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Such a cute video! And so many Applebees references. I think you ought to contact them to see if they’ll be a sponsor for the blog. :)

    1. Erin M. October 9, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Thanks! Hah, yeah, it’s pretty sad that we were there at least once a week with our friends back in college!

  29. Sofia October 13, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    I <3 your videos and that you mixed it up by bringing on R as a special guest. Thanks for sharing your story. It's always sweet to hear how people first meet.

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      Thanks Sofia, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I love hearing the stories behind relationships and wedding proposals. =)


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