Five years ago, I fell in love with the dream of financial independence. Financial independence starts with creating a budget, in order to reduce your expenses and increase your savings rate as much as possible.
The problem is that Mrs MP didn't have the same dream, nor the same vision of how to reach it.
At that time, I'd have loved to have had some kind of guide that I'd follow to embark my SO on a common budget, and even better on my dream of financial independence.
That's why I've decided to tell you about our experience so far. It certainly won't be representative of every couple or personality. But I hope it'll inspire you to see that you're not alone in this situation, and that it's possible to onboard your partner on a common budget, and on the dream of financial independence.
The 4 steps to onboard your partner on a common budget
1/ From the beginning of our relationship, to the "move in together" moment
I went back to the time when we met with Mrs. MP, to see how far we've come. First appointments and first gifts, but completely separate financial life. Then settling together, with the first discussions, discords, and compromises concerning money.
2/ Our first big step towards a common financial life
We took a step forward when I started to work. That was the time for the common expenses to be distributed pro rata to our incomes, and for the opening of our first common account. Which generated further discussions, discords, and compromises :)
3/ Setting up a (real) budget with YNAB
Big revelation five years ago when I discovered the world of financial independence and budgets. And there are even apps for that. I like one in particular: YNAB.
This piece of software really helped us to have a better view of our finances and to understand where our problems came from. I was convinced about it for my budget. We also managed our common expenses via this tool. But Mrs. MP had more trouble getting into it. It was a transition period full of good surprises, but always with some frustrations and heated discussions.
4/ The big jump
After having a hard time with several YNAB files, many separate bank accounts, and too many complicated money transfers, I felt the need to simplify and take our financial life up to the next level. My goal was to have a common vision, one common bank account, and one common YNAB budget. This big leap required a lot of preparation, discussions, negotiations, and changes. I'll give you all my keys in this dedicated chapter.
And what about financial independence while we're at it?
1/ Embarking towards a common dream
Alongside this great milestone in our relationship (points 3 and 4 above), I also brought my dream of financial independence to the table. Between "This whim will eventually pass to him..." and "In fact I'm starting to believe it myself!", I'll explain how Mrs. MP put her first foot on the early retirement boat.
2/ The discussion
Daily routines can really have a negative impact on many things (although other times it can be really positive). Our savings rate, fueling our dream of financial independence, hasn't escaped to this rule.
We had to have THE discussion to realign our objectives. This wasn't the easiest step, but clearly the most beneficial in the long run.
Conclusion: What to learn from this experience?
I love the stories bloggers tell, but sometimes I feel disappointed and say to myself: "Cool stuff, but what do I do with it now, concretely?" Dont' you?
It's therefore this question that I'll answer in this last chapter in order to not leave you hungry.
Bonus: Financial interview with Mrs MP
While I was preparing this serie, I came across an interview with about twenty financial questions to ask to your partner. The goal is to know more about your spouse in this field, and who says to knows more, also says you understands better, and thus discussions around money get facilitated within the couple.
So I asked these questions to Mrs. MP. You'll find all her answers in this bonus chapter of our serie.
There you go! You now know the 4 steps we took with Mrs. MP. Those that have led us towards this common dream of financial independence, supported by a single budget, but while respecting the freedoms of both of us.
If you're in one of these phases now, or have already gone through it, I'd be interested to hear your feedback. And if you're even more advanced than the MP couple, don't hesitate to share your tips and tricks with us!
I'll see you soon for the first part of this series to find out how to onboard your partner on a common budget and on the dream of financial independence.