If you want to be happy and rich, don’t marry someone based on pretty looks, charming words, and fuzzy feelings of love. Instead, marry someone who has the same goals, dreams, and shares the same decision-making logic as you. If you can do this when choosing a partner, you’ll find you’ll be happier, less-frustrated, and if you’re both frugal along the way, you can become richer than you ever imagined.
I know, because this outcome happened to us.
It’s true: The spouse you choose will have a massive impact on the amount of wealth and happiness you will be able to experience over your lifetime together.
Choose a spouse recklessly, and you may spend the next few decades in the same reoccurring arguments on what decisions are smart, and how you should spend your money.
But choose a spouse wisely, and you can spend the next few decades planning, executing, and living a dream future you both want to live together.
But, no matter who you choose as a partner, a conflict-free, emotionally-perfect, and completely-blissful marriage does not exist. Even the best marriages have disagreements, arguments, and fights. But as long as you agree on the big decisions in life, at least your fights will be over the small decisions in life.
I wanted to write this article to pull back the curtain on my own marriage, and show the pros and cons that we experience as we pursue the same financial life together.
We’re lucky that we rarely argue about money, because finances are a top-10 cause for divorce and conflict in American mairrages. But as you’ll see, just because we’re on the same financial page, that doesn’t mean our marriage is perfect or argument-free. It just means that we have more time to disagree about everything else, haha.
Here are a few examples that show the pros and cons of marrying a person who shares the same frugal logic as you:
Pro: When you’re on the same financial page as your spouse, all of the financial decisions you make are made using the same shared-logic you both posses. Therefore, the question as to how to spend your money wisely together becomes a logical act, rather than acting on a whim. It makes saving a ton of money easy, because you both think saving and investing makes sense, so you effortlessly do it together. But marriage and life isn’t about being 100% logical and disciplined all of the time. This overly-logical trait leads to the con of marrying someone who is on the same frugal page as you.
Con: Because you’re both so logical and disciplined financially together, sometimes you’ll miss out on taking a huge risk, or going on an awesome adventure, because spending money on this particular event just doesn’t make a lot of sense to your shared financially-logical minds.
But if you asked me what type of married-life I’d rather experience: A YOLO life (You Only Live Once life) where major life decisions are based on emotional feelings, and anything and everything good and bad may happen. Or a disciplined journey of logical decisions that will naturally lead you to the life you want to live, I’d choose the logical lifestyle 10 out of 10 times because you’re almost guaranteed to reach the destination you dream about. If you base major life decisions on emotions and feelings, there’s only a chance you’ll end up living the life you want to live, and a chance is just not enough for me. I want to be sure.
PRO: Marrying a frugal spouse is perfect if you want to travel as often as you want, because you’ll both be super-mindful of every penny you spend on a trip. With a frugal spouse, you’ll find that you can afford to take five $1,000 trips, while the average American family thinks they can only afford one $5,000 trip. Or if you’re super frugal you can take 10 – $500 trips!
CON: However, if you’re both frugal and traveling on the cheap, you’ll find that you both get hungry and tired at the exact same time. That means you’ll both get irritated, frustrated, and HANGRY with the other person when you’re supposed to be enjoying each others company and relaxing on vacation.
And since you’re too cheap to just buy a nice dinner out, or rest at an overpriced, but convenient hotel, you’ll probably find yourselves in situations where you’re more irritable than the average couple on vacation. (These periods of frustration I am talking about usually have less to do with the other person’s behavior, and more to do with your own exhausted mood.) It’s just part of the lifestyle we’ve experienced when you become married to a person who is just as frugal as you and you like to travel cheaply.
In our relationship, it really helps that we both have thick skin and short memories. We’re able to de-personalize the moments when we’re tired and hungry and unfairly testy with the other person. Meaning, we’re aware it’s the situation that’s frustrating us, and not the other person, so we rarely take it personally when the other person has a moody disposition for a short period of time.
In fact for us, it can be sort of comical how fast we can go from super-irritated and frustrated, to calmly talking about the weather and tomorrow’s plans once we’ve had a chance to rest and eat something.
Romantic Date Nights:
Pro: When you marry someone with the same frugal-mindset as you, you will sometimes have the tendency to skip over romantic date nights because they don’t make any financial sense. The pro is that you’re then able to save and invest a TON of money.
For example, buying fancy bouquet of flowers for $50 doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because they’ll be dead and useless in a week. It’s hard for us to go on fancy romantic getaway weekends because the logical decision is to stay home and find something cheap to do.
Con: Since you’re always making logical decisions to save money together, your marriage won’t always look like an Instagram story full of luxurious experiences and romantic date nights that you can parade to the public on social media. You won’t always be perfectly dressed; dining at candle-light dinners on white-table cloths; while driving luxury cars, because it doesn’t make financial sense to do any of that!! Especially when you compare the cost of that life to driving to the grocery store for dinner wearing sweat pants in a 10-year-old Toyota!
But honestly, I have a feeling when it comes to any marriage, the success of a marriage isn’t dependent on how much money you spend on luxury items or romantic date nights. Successful marriages are defined by 2 people who genuinely like and care about the other person. And the ease in which they can work through unexpected challenges together.
What makes our marriage successful? We like making logical decisions together. We like sacrificing to achieve the same dreams together. We like to work to impact the world and make it a better place together. Ultimately, we like spending time together, and doing the same things for the same reasons. I am a big believer that these are the type of things that hold a successful marriage together even though they don’t show up as luxurious images in social media pictures.
How You Disagree:
PRO: If you marry someone on the same financial page as you, you’ll find your disagreements are rarely over financial issues. That’s because the financial decisions you make seem totally logical to both of you so there’s nothing to disagree about. Not arguing about money is a massive boost to building a happy marriage.
CON: But… Since you don’t spend much time arguing about money, you’ll find plenty of other things to argue about. You’ll still disagree on what to eat for dinner, and who’s turn it is to clean the bathroom and kitchen. You’ll disagree over whose family has less drama, and how long you have to stay at events hosted by the other person’s social group.
But at least you won’t be arguing over money, argued to be the #1 cause for divorce!
The Questions You Ask:
Pro: Since you’re both very aware about money in your life, you’ll find that you talk about money a lot. And since money is a subject you’re both hyper-aware of, and daily life is a matrix of financial decisions to make, you’ll always have new subjects to talk about.
Con: Since you both think about money a lot, many of your conversations will revolve around questions like: “Where did you buy that from? How much was that? Did you get a deal on it?”
You won’t be asking these questions in an insulting or confrontational way. You’ll genuinely be curious and interested learning how much something was, why they decided to buy it, and how the purchase impacts your micro-and-macro wealth-building strategy?
But If Your On the Same Financial Page as Your Spouse, You Can Do Whatever You Want for the Rest of Your Life.
In conclusion, I wrote this post to show that even if you’re lucky enough to find a spouse that you are on the same financial page with, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage.
Why? Because a perfect marriage doesn’t exist. Even if you don’t disagree or argue about money, you’ll just find other weird things to be stubborn and disagree about. (Like our disagreement last month on where to store our Christmas decorations: Attic vs. laundry room.)
But, the biggest pro about marrying another frugal person is that even though you will get cheap sometimes, you’ll be able to manage your money in a way that you’ll have more than enough money to accomplish every dream you have for the rest of your life.
When you’re on the same financial page as your spouse, you’ll be able to save money together and target your goals together. Then you can go on a mission to achieve those goals together.
Sure, a frugal marriage doesn’t mean you’ll be able to create a perfect marriage. But the fun part of being in a frugal marriage is that a day will come when your sacrificing stage ends, and you’ll be free and wealthy enough to live all your dreams together. You’ll finally be able to purchase all those trips, experiences, and adventures, or start that non-profit, that you’ve spent your entire married-life dreaming about.
We got married because we dreamed about the same goals, and we wanted to experience the same things out of life. Being on the same financial page together allows us to seamlessly accumulate the financial resources to live our biggest dreams together. That combination of financial agreement, and similar life goals, is what keeps our marriage trucking toward the future we’re trying to build together.
In the end, I think this is the essence of what a makes a great marriage: A great marriage is two people committed to a unified lifestyle and shared life goals. Then, just save and invest your money with that person, so you can turn your married life into a mission to create the life that you dream about together.
Let us know in the comments what has helped your marriage be successful on the subject of money.
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This resonated so much with me in my marriage. I used to feel so guilty about being cheap and making our “romantic date nights” so lame. We’ve never had those Instagram-worthy date nights and I used to feel like it just meant we weren’t doing the things you’re supposed to do as a married couple.
But you’re absolutely right – just because we’re not blowing money on $50 bouquet of flowers doesn’t mean we’re doing it “wrong.” Just because society makes us believe marriage should be one way doesn’t mean it’s the right way.
Absolutely! Being intentional with each other and making a point to spend time, whatever that may look like is what really matters. Not the dollar signs.