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.
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.
Up 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.
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.
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!
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!