Here is my #1 Investment Fundamental – Your Partner. ( I started with #2 to #10 and concluding with #1.) In my opinion, having the right partner is the most important factor in building good finances. This is more important to me than saving an emergency fund, contribute to 401k, making a budget, or anything else. Your partner can help you build your wealth or make it impossible to do so. We are both savings-minded and have never built up any consumer debt and that gave us a huge head start on many people.
I’ll just list some reasons why I think having the right partner is so important.
– The right partnership helps each other work toward the same financial goal. It could be paying off debt or retirement or saving for a house. If both people work together and support each other through hard times, then the journey is so much easier. Two incomes are twice as good as one income!
– On the other hand, if one partner is a big spender, then your personal finance will be so much more difficult to handle. If I save up my 401k and see the Mrs. spending all our money on consumer goods, then I probably will quit saving. There are bills to pay and let’s face it, I like to spend money too.
– Risk tolerance is also a big question mark. I can take a bit more risk than the Mrs. If it was just her, she would have just banked all her savings. I convinced her to invest so we are both on the same page. I think both partners should know what the household finances look like. This is one of the reasons I started this blog. I want to share everything with the Mrs. and other family members so they know what we are doing. The Mrs. is our chief editor so she has to read all the posts carefully. I found that this is the only way to get her up to speed, as she won’t read anything else on finance.
– It’s even better if the team has complimentary skill sets. We are both pretty good at saving and spending less than we make. I’m a bit better at investing and keeping track of asset allocation. The Mrs. is much better at keeping things organized, like paper work and record-keeping. We make a good team.
– I think it’s a big crap shoot if you get the right partner or not. When you’re young and in love, spending habits are easy to overlook. I am very lucky to have a wife who is a big cheapo. We have our ups and downs like everyone, but finance was never a big point of contention between us.
– I’ll close with a personal story. If you read my exit strategy, you would see that the Mrs. is planning to keep working once I quit my corporate job. I know this is not traditional and I’m sure many people disapprove, but I think I earned a few years off to figure out a different way to make money. Michelle is supportive of this and I am very grateful. She detoured from wealth-building for a couple years with the Peace Corps and took two more years to get her masters degree. So I still worked quite a bit more than she had over the last 15 years. It’s my turn to take a little break. 🙂
How important is teamwork in your personal finance? Our partnership is very smooth on the finance front, what about you? Any stories to share?
First Gen American wrote about the importance of marriage in finance last week – Babci’s Favorite Saying on Marriage.
Money Reason also wrote about The Power Of Spousal Teamwork.