Dear Wayne and Wanda,
During the COVID lockdown, my wife and I saved a lot of money. As the savings accumulated, I was pretty excited. Although we’ve never had a lot of debt, we’ve never really saved a lot. We were living pretty well within our means.
Fast forward to now. Things started to open up and we started to go out. It’s not like we’ve never gone out before, but we go out a lot more now, meeting friends for dinner and drinks. Earlier this year we took a few trips, and now she searches online for flights and hotels. She’s already booked us a pretty fancy, non-refundable place in Hawaii for Christmas.
I recently checked our savings account and it’s pretty depleted. I suggested we slow down and focus a little more on saving. She said COVID taught her to ’embrace life’ and that she was not afraid to use up our savings and even go into debt. I was shocked – we have always been very hostile to debt. And while we weren’t good at saving money, we always said we wanted to. I feel like I need to get back on track financially. Advice?
COVID has changed a lot of things for a lot of people. People quit their jobs, changed careers, chased their dreams, gave up relationships, formed new ones, and at times, fought hard. For many, it clarified our thoughts on what we need to have in order to have balance, feel fulfilled, and ultimately be happy.
Now that we’re going through this – I think we are, anyway – for those of us in committed relationships, it’s important to come together and refocus and ultimately come to an agreement on what to do. looks like the new normal. This could include things like making the best use of your household space if one or both of you are working from home. This could mean whether you want to keep or abandon the coping habits you formed during the peak of the pandemic. And in your case, that also means coming to an agreement on how to handle your household finances.
Misaligned financial strategies can derail a marriage. You were on the same page once; you can probably go back there. It will take listening, and that can mean compromise, and probably, you can find common ground by better understanding each other’s mindset when it comes to money and setting common goals that you can achieve. will make you both feel safe, secure and happy.
Planning wise, I’d bet this couple already had a good strategy before COVID and just got lost once everyday life – and those purse strings – started to loosen up. People who are all about their Benjamins don’t just save for the sake of saving them. They make it work for them. They have a vision that they want to bring to life. It looks like this couple.
So what were you and your partner aiming for with these pretty good savings and really high credit scores? The long-term vision of living big in retirement? The work-life balance of traveling the world once a year or going to Hawaii four times a year? Upgrading to a new home or upgrading your portfolio with investment property?
There must have been a major factor in paying off your debt, living within your means or within your means, and regularly piling up that paper. So, now that you’ve had a little fun – hey, we’ve all deserved it – let’s bring the attention back to this big thing. This is the perfect time for a health check: there, in black and white, you will see the progression, or regression, towards that goal. And I hope that’s the splash of cold water you both need to sober up the expenses. Otherwise, look for a financial advisor who will be happy to explain it and even provide you with a roadmap to get you back on track for the long haul while giving you some flexibility to enjoy life in the moment. .