My wife Selenid is awesome for many reasons. I can’t list them all here. Too long. She’s an amazing mom, is super supportive and loving of me despite my craziness, and an awesome PhD and professor to boot. Plus more. But she has also taught me a lot of important lessons about money.
I didn’t always recognize this before I began my (let’s say) more formal financial self-education. But now that I look back, I recognize that most of the good habits with money that I had really were learned from her.
Our previous relationship with money
To start out this story, I think it’s important that I talk a little bit about what our previous relationship with money was like.
Presently, I think we have an awesome relationship with money and we worked really hard to get there and get there on the same page.
More about that here:
Finances and Your Partner: How to Get on the Same Page!
But before this, it was a stressful subject for us, like is common for most people.
Neither of us was really in charge of our finances. We kind of were just winging it. And that led to a lot of mistakes.
The Top 10 Financial Mistakes (and Errors and Blunders) That I Have Made – Part I
We spent up to our income and often were taking out credit for necessary and unnecessary purchases.
Since neither of us exactly had both hands on the financial wheel, we often would get surprised when things came up like the checking account was low or that we really needed to scrimp by this week to have enough to pay rent.
Forget about savings.
But within this time there were a lot of money lessons that help me immensely now
I’ve talked about how before my financial education, I only did 3 things right.
- Living on a budget out of necessity (see our budgeting template here),
- Thinking about what we wanted in life, and
- Starting our financial education
But really there were a few other things that Selenid helped me with even before all this that I feel like should be acknowledged.
Selenid’s first money lesson: Don’t be fearful AKA Keep calm and carry on
I had a real scared relationship with money. I have to admit it.
Before this all started, I would spend money without intention and without a plan. Then, when I would notice that we had a lot less money than I thought or that our debt was growing, I freaked out. Seriously.
Selenid was always the calming force in these situations. I’ve asked her about this and she can’t describe why exactly she has always been able to do this. She always has been able to sit down, look at the problem at hand, and come up with a plan. She knew we wouldn’t go broke and have to live on the streets. So we just had to figure things out.
And we always did. It wasn’t always pleasant, but we did it.
I always admired that and it taught me to have a more calm and abundant mindset with money that is now serving us very well.
Selenid’s second money lesson: Don’t get too far ahead of yourself
This is one of the money lessons that I still work on a lot.
It’s easy to get caught up looking forward and projecting or trying to reach a future goal.
Before it was trying to make sure we had enough for rent or planning how we were going to swing our finances when we were about to have our first and then our second son.
It’s all well and good to plan. It’s necessary. I love our financial plan and budget. They are the treasure maps to our financial freedom.
Still Need a Written Personal Financial Plan? Here…Use Mine!
Budgeting Made So Simple A Surgeon Can Do It
But…there is such a thing as getting carried away. Staying in the present, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult things to do in the world. No matter how counter-intuitive that may seem.
So, Selenid says to plan ahead. But once the plan is set, take time to enjoy and live in the moment. Even if you are not at or even close to your goals (money or otherwise). It’s the journey.
Selenid’s third money lesson: It’s ok to spend on yourself
Man, I was terrible at this. Still bad now but getting better.
I would spend money on such stupid things in a completely unintentional fashion before. And then I would turn around and get so cheap when it came to actually spending on myself in a way that would lead to future growth, personally, professionally, and especially financially.
But Selenid always did a great job of spending intentionally in a way that brought her joy.
Want to hear something crazy?
I almost balked at starting this blog because the annual fee to set up the website was like $60!!!
I love doing this. Imagine that I hadn’t because of $60. Not to mention that the blog has made me much more money than that which I now know, thanks to Selenid, to re-invest back into the blog and our financial plan.
In fact, of all the money lessons from Selenid, this may be the best.
It started with the blog and then continued with a course that we took for a couple thousand dollars at a time when we really didn’t have a couple thousand dollars lying around. But that investment has made us hundreds of thousands of dollars.
My Net Worth Biopsy: Still 6 Figures Negative But Improved By >$250,000 In 4 Months!
Now, we invest in courses (like mine), coaching, and beyond!
Selenid’s fourth money lesson: Give
Ok, this is actually the most important of the money lessons.
Selenid is extremely giving. Even in the depths of our financial struggles, she would not hesitate to contribute (honestly even more) that she could to causes that touched her.
I wish that I could always say the same myself but my fearful relationship with money often caused me to hesitate or instinctively hold back. I’m not happy to admit that but it’s true. It’s not the case anymore. Thanks to Selenid. And this is something that I am happy to say I learned from her early on.
Those who give the most tend to receive the most. That’s a core tenant of the abundance money mentality. We consider it a mandatory necessity in our pursuit of financial freedom to give.
Last cliche…A rising tide raises all ships.
Selenid’s fifth money lesson: Invest in real estate
This is certainly a newer one.
But Selenid has found a real skill with real estate investing. It’s a journey that we started together but she has really found a knack for.
Whether identifying properties with amazing hidden value or selecting tenants or managing the properties, she is able to extract a lot of GAIN and also do a lot of good for our tenants in the process.
It’s been really fun to do and has become a new “hobby” that we share!
I would encourage you to learn more about real estate investing for full time physicians and professionals like us and see how it helped us increase our net worth significantly with just one property one one year!
There you have it…5 money lessons from my wife!
What do you think? Do you agree with these money lessons? Have any similar lessons impacted your life, financially or otherwise? Let us know in the comments below!
3 thoughts on “5 Important Money Lessons I Learned From My Wife”
Great post, thanks! … Have you done any posts on recommendations for combining accounts after getting married to cover day to day expenses? And brokerage accounts for savings and stuff like that? Thanks!
Thanks Tom and great idea! Will do that!
Thanks! We are getting married later this year and it’s something we are thinking about. Like how best to do a checking account for day to day expenses and share contributions. And whether to combine taxable brokerage accounts. Would love guidance/recommendations/advice on good ways to do it. Thanks!