Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Money Monday, On a Tuesday: The Art of Compromise

So sorry y'all. this was supposed to go live on Monday, but for some reason, it didn't. 

Its not uncommon in marriage to have a different financial personality that your spouse. One may be a spender while the other is a saver. One may have been raised in a wealthy family and the other was raise on food stamps.

For us, generally speaking, we are on the same plane financially. We know our goals, we know our plan, and we are following the same financial map. Where my husband and I differ though, is the speed at which we pursue those goals.

Right now, the only debt we have is our mortgage. When we purchased our home, we borrowed less than half of what we were approved for. We got a great rate and our monthly payment is very management for us. We live in a modest home in a working class area of the city. Because this was our first home, we opted to take a traditional 30 year mortgage because we wanted to ensure that we were not "house poor." We knew we wanted to maintain our lifestyle. We didn't want to have to say no to people and experiences because of our home mortgage.

We also knew that we did not want to pay off the mortgage in 30 years, we wanted to do it much sooner, which is the fork in the road for us. While we both want to pay off our mortgage early, what we tend to disagree on is the speed at which it is done, at to what extent we will cut and sacrifice our lifestyle to do so. If it were me, I put every single extra cent towards the mortgage. I would cut my lifestyle as much as I could, and I would pay the house off as fast as possible.

My husband, while he does want to pay off our home as quickly as possible, does not entirely agree with how much I want to put towards the mortgage each month.  Yes, he wants to pay it off early, but he also wants to make sure that we enjoy our home and our lives. We like doing home improvement projects. He likes taking down walls and building new ones. He wants to retrofit our lighting to make our home more energy efficient and safe. He wants to add a deck and pergola so that I can enjoy the back yard all year long.  He wants to replace aging equipment and features so that when we sell, we will get a high dollar amount for our home. He tells me all the time, how much he wants to make our home as nice as it can be for me.

While I want to do all of these things, and I appreciate all he wants to do, they all require a capital investment.

What do you do when you have two people under the same room with the same goal, but going at different speeds?

You compromise.

We decided that for every dollar we put towards home improvement, we will put .50 cents towards the mortgage. Before any project can begin, we must fund it to 150% percent.

This has worked out beautifully for us. He get's his projects, I get my extra payments. It is really a win win compromise of us.

In the end, we realized just how much we need each other. If it were not for him, I would never go anywhere, never see anything and have no friends because I would be to cheap to do anything. What is the point of a home if you can't share it with family and friends?

How do you compromise different goals and desires? Are you and your spouse on the same page and same speed?


Anonymous said...

I think this is a really wonderful compromise, and I'm happy to see an example of a couple working together like this! I love your solution, because I definitely see the merit of both of your schools of thought. Good on you guys!

Brooke said...

mine doesn't share my debt free goal, but is money minded. he would just prefer to have loans on rental properties so we can make more money (even if we add risk)
i'd rather be totally debt free and keep our risk as minimal as possible.

Amanda S said...

Love the way you guys were able to meet in the middle! Lately we have been doing it on a case by case basis, but have not really focused on the long term. It's something we both really need to work on still.