Whoosh! Five years have gone by so fast since my husband and I first got together! I can’t believe how the years have gone by. I wasn’t even looking to get into a serious relationship when it happened. There he was though, and you can’t pass up love when you find it! Since then we’ve moved in together and have gotten married. A lot has changed in our relationship, and we both are very much in love. Our finances have also changed the longer we have been together. We live pretty frugally now and try to save money on everything to reach some big goals we’ve set for ourselves. Of course, this also has to do with the fact that we’re both older!
Being in a permanent relationship definitely affects how we view our finances. When we were single, we didn’t have many goals other than saving money for a rainy day. Now we have very defined goals. Some of that has to do with better personal finance knowledge. We tend to spend a lot less than when we were both single!
Here are some milestones we hit along the way!
The first year of spending
Oof… we certainly spent a lot in our first year together. We both wanted fancy dinners and spent a lot of money for enjoyment. Shopping is something we both love to do, and we were doing that quite a bit. We were also both 5 years younger and had a lot less financial goals. We would end up spending $200 on a meal every now and then.
We also lived in in our own apartments. We paid two rents, two sets of utilities, and two internet bills. At the time, I was also living entirely by myself. After going through a slew of crazy roomies in college, I was willing to spend a bit more to live on my own. Looking back, I wish I had at least lived with one roommate to save money.
Moving in together
About two and a half years ago, we moved in together! I’m all for living with your potential husband before getting married. We worked out all kinds of kinks before marriage and also saved a lot of money! With the average price of a wedding hovering around $20,000 these days, saving money is essential before getting to that point. Since we live in Los Angeles, our wedding was actually higher than that! I think it really helps to consolidate two households into one sooner. You’ll be only paying one set of bills instead of two. Plus you won’t continue to buy two of everything!
With all our finances combined, it’s much easier to know where we spend too much and where we should cut back. Before, we only had half of the picture and it was harder to save up for our combined goals. We started seriously saving up for a house more than a year ago. It’s only after we combined finances do we really get to see our goal progress combined! It’s much more encouraging!
Long term goals
You don’t have to be married to have combined goals. We started talking about our goals a couple of years into our relationship. We didn’t really solidify them until after marriage, but we both had common goals we worked towards. Having someone else with you trying to reach a goal is much better than doing it alone sometimes. You have someone to encourage you and vice-versa.
Valentine’s Day isn’t so sparkly and magical anymore. Neither do we do much for birthdays or anniversaries. We used to go out to a fancy dinner or do something that costs a lot of money. Now that we’ve been together for so long, we don’t really need to celebrate using tons of money. Some cupcakes, a simple dinner, not even a gift is necessary. For the two us, we don’t need to spend money to celebrate!
Yeah, we’re definitely heading towards that old married couple status! I always smile when I see an old couple still holding hands. That’s what I want to be still doing years and years from now.
Have you experienced this change in finances since being in a relationship?