Mrs. Money Squirrel Gets Started

Most of us love New Year’s Eve: New Beginnings, revelry, resolutions, debauchery, riding in the bed of pick-up trucks to get cheesesteaks, fireworks, confetti, champagne and personal financial planning. Last one doesn’t sound quite right you say? Well once upon a time this girl would have agreed with you.

I’m fairly certain I had just turned 21 a few months prior and it was my first drinking age New Year’s and I was ready to be with my girls and par-tay!!! No real plans other than dance, drink and be merry. I asked Mr. Money Squirrel if he wanted to join us. Now Mr. Money Squirrel is not the social butterfly that I am but he still liked to go out, have fun and partake of an occasional drink. It was New Year’s Eve, the parties and bars we could go to were endless and had I made it to any of these places the music and drinks would have been flowing! As it were Mr. Money Squirrel flipped the script on me with a simple question. A question which to this day makes me roll my eyes.

“You got party money?”

via GIPHY

Now we were only dating and nowhere near put a ring on it stage so my hackles went up real quick. You ever know you are entitled to your opinion and nothing and nobody can tell you otherwise? I was certain of one thing, it was New Year’s Eve, I was dressed and ready to go out and have fun. That’s more than one thing, sorry.

I had money, it was in MY bank account, earned from my sweat and blood and I was GROWN and in control. Not even my mom and dad were going to run my money so Mr. Money Squirrel had better back up. I knew he liked to squirrel away money for rainy days. I had come across a few of his stashes while cleaning from time to time but the idea that I was going to spend my New Year’s Eve discussing personal finances with him was too much for me.

I considered walking away and leaving him to his numbers. I considered yelling, likely I did but a decade steals some memories. I considered all kinds of insults about the fact that he was not my dad or husband. In the end I caved. When I look back I realize I must have already decided that he was the one. There is no rational reason I can think of for me to be persuaded into doing something I had no desire to do other than the fact that he was serious. He really wanted this for me, for us. Maybe I also realized he had decided that I was the one for him.

He got me to stay. To cancel on my friends and stay in to do my first budget. I felt angry. I felt stupid. I felt depressed. I felt scared. I felt illiterate. I felt like it would never end. It took several hours to locate info that I had literally tossed all around our apt. When we were done I felt drained and I felt like crying. And Mr. Money Squirrel came and lifted all those feelings up by saying four little words. “I’m proud of you.” I stuck out my tongue. I could only mature so much in one evening.

It was Mr. Money Squirrel who started me on this journey but we do it together. Our budgets and practices are ever evolving as we figure out what makes sense given our lives. We moved from paper budgets to digital versions. From credit to cash transactions. From once a year financial evaluations to once a month. From separate only to a few joint accounts.  Our newest journey into #debtfreeliving has brought us to Ann Arbor. We are staying with family, searching for jobs/ways to produce residual income and planning for a brand new day. Thank you for joining us on this journey!

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