Hey girl, hey!
Surprise!!! Yes, I know I said “Confessions” would be a three part series, but for all my girlfriends who have fellas (husbands, boyfriends, brothers, cousins, friends, etc.) in their life… this one is for them! Today I would like to introduce to you my friend and brother, Neal!
Neal is an Accountant by day and a MMA fighter by night... He also happens to be my bestie Sandy’s husband. So, naturally, over the years we’ve grown closer and he’s become something like a big brother to me. Neal and I caught up one beautiful Sunday morning, after fight practice, to discuss how he made the decision to conquer his finances and give his debt the 1 - 2 punch. Here’s how the conversation went:
[Elle]: “So tell me why you wanted to start this program with me?”
[Neal]: “Basically because I knew I had the ability to save more money... but either through self-control or not planning stuff out right, I just wasn’t able to save money like I wanted to. So when you do the same thing for long enough and find that it’s not working out, then it’s dumb to keep doing it the same way and expect different results. If it didn’t work... then at least I tried something different, but it happened to work out really well!”
[Elle]: “What do you think have been some of the things that have worked well for you?”
[Neal]: “Splitting up my accounts and having one account for strictly bills and one account for spending money. Due to the lag in paying bills, I would pay all my bills as soon as I got paid, but it may take a few days for everything to come out of the account... so I never really knew how much actual money I had to spend for the next check. So I would end up putting money in my savings, then spending the rest not realizing what I had and would overspend, so I would take the money I had just put in savings to cover me until the next paycheck.”
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[Elle]: “That’s an issue that a lot of people have… they have intentions to save money, but then it seems money just starts leaving their account fast. So in order to make it to the next payday, the money that was just put in savings has to be taken from savings and it never really gets a chance to build up.”
[Neal]: “Yea… that and breaking out your bills on the spreadsheet helps because you’ll see what you have left over for the next two weeks. And just having that number in your head is good because now you’re looking at what you’re spending that money on and being aware of your purchases.”
[Elle]: “So you’ve paid off two of your student loans so far, and you’re so close to paying off another one.”
[Neal]: “Yes, I thought I was doing okay because right before I got with you, Sandy and I paid for the wedding, I paid off her ring, and I paid off one of my student loans, but my savings was not where I wanted it to be. But since working with you, I’ve paid off two more student loans and I’ve got some money saved up so that’s a success in and of itself.”
[Elle]: “And the fact that you and Sandy just bought a whole couch for your home”
[Neal]: Yea… dropped $1300 cash for a couch. We needed no financing and just walked out the door like no big deal.
[Elle]: Was it weird for you to come to a woman to ask for financial help? Because some guys feel it might be weird to take money advice from a woman.
[Neal]: “No, but I mean it feels weird to come to anybody for financial help, but I was just like ‘you know what, Sandy’s doing it and she says it’s helping her so why not’?”
[Elle]: “Do you feel like this has helped in your marriage with you guys both being in the program and being more financially aware?”
[Neal]: “Yes, because it takes that extra little bit of stress off the relationship. We still have money conversations, but it’s not like ‘do we have enough’ or ‘how are we gon pay for this’. It’s not a stressful conversation. It puts a lot of strain on relationships when people are trying to figure out what to do to get things paid for, and our conversations are more like a timing and planning kind of deal.”