Not many people know that my husband and I have been together since 1999. Yup! Way back when Missy Elliot, Jay Z, and DMX were trending and “Hot Boys” was one of the popular songs at that time, and let me tell you, I was very happy because I had a hot boy.
Being together from 1999 means that we’ve been in this financial journey as a couple for a lot of years. We started dating each other in high school and even back then we had to learn how to stretch our lunch money.
We had “lunch money” problems in those days.
My husband got more lunch money than I did. I always noticed that he was always very cashy, but that was mostly because he was a big saver when it comes to money. When Friday evening comes, he was always the one full of cash.
This habit he always said he got from his father because he, too, was big on saving. He would always see his father putting money monthly into his bank account, and so he just picked up the habit, too.
As for me, growing up poor, we didn’t have any money to put in a bank account, which was not the priority at that time, so whatever money came into my hands was quickly spent. Whatever lunch money I got was spent off at “Biggas” in Liguanea (St Andrew, Jamaica) or Popeyes in Sovereign Centre Kingston buying food – if you know you know.
However, being in a relationship with my husband back then, and observing how he handled money, I started to wonder what pushed him to be saving and how he even did it.
When we moved on from lunch money in high school to pocket money in university, my husband still had that habit of saving and I guess it began to rub off on me because when I started living on campus and had to fend for myself, I, too, began to develop the same habit.
I had to learn the value of working for money and saving it so that it could stretch to pay all my bills while I was in university. I couldn’t go off spending that lunch money all the time as I used to.
Then our relationship transitioned. We started working and began getting salaries. So now we had “working people money” problems.
I studied Actuarial Science at the University of the West Indies and I was lucky enough to get a really good job that was paying well, so now that that money was flowing in, I had to really learn the value of saving, but bwoy it was not easy.
I remember my husband and I, before we were married, got into a big argument because I said to him if I had J$100,000 I’d be set. I wouldn’t need anything more in life than that $100,000.
Who told me to say that? Listen, this man look on me like, “this girl is crazy, a hundred thousand dollars can’t do anything.” His words to me were: “How are you going to buy a house, how are you going to set up yourself?” But I just never really thought about it like that, I was not in that kind of mindset then.
I grew up poor, so all I knew then was what my mother told me, “Study your book, get a good job.” And that’s what I did; $100,000 at that time was a lot of money. I thought if I could get that, I wouldn’t need anything else because what else would there be, what else would I need?
My husband opened my eyes to the possibility of having more in life. He was future-focused and wanted us to work toward buying our first house together. Of course, that was a big leap for me because I was always just renting money. All I knew then was that when you have money coming in, you spend it because you’re just so happy to be earning.
Once my husband helped me to start dreaming bigger, I began to believe it was possible to own a house earlier than my mother did. My mother bought her first house in her 30s, so when my husband put that idea in my head about buying a house together in our 20s, it activated a whole different mindset. It flipped a switch in my head from working to just spend money to now working to save the money and finding additional ways to earn so that we could have money to put into asset buying, investing and building wealth together.
I’m telling you this story because I want you to see that when it comes to wealth building, it is important to choose your partner wisely. When thinking about your life partner you have to think about somebody who can level up your money mindset, especially if you come from a poor background like I did.
If you already have that right mindset and you’re big on saving and investing naturally, you want to find a partner who has a similar mindset or, at least, is willing to come up to your level of thinking and expand their mindset.
Team work makes the dream work, as they say, so if you can find that partner that you can work with towards the same goals, it can really set you up for financial success.
They have a song that says “me a focus on the work and she a spend the money,” hear me, you don’t want that. Both of you should be working toward the same vision so that you can reach your dreams and goals faster. Financial success requires teamwork, it requires you to have regular discussions and check-ins with your partner about your goals.
For us, every year my husband and I sit down and figure out what we want the next year to look like for each of us. We think about what we should focus on as a family and especially with our son we have to think about what we need to be focusing on for him as well. This discussion is really helpful because it sets the tone, it sets the pace for what we want to work towards. If you are not doing that with your partner, consider it.
So my single ladies and single men, look for a partner that can level up with you. Get with someone you can talk about your financial goals with. You want to have these money discussions, these money dates with your partner set you up to reach your goals faster. Doing this will cause you to experience less money stress, and makes life more enjoyable; this way you won’t have someone who will average you down or pull you back.
These are the things we want to look for as we find that right partner in our journey toward financial success. The hot boy or hot girl has to be about their money, too. We need a money boy and a money girl as well. That’s what it needs to be about, building wealth and legacy together. The Profit Jumpstarter Virtual Wealth Bootcamp is happening this week! Come and learn how to get into the right mindset to become a confident investor on April 20-21, 2023 register here and take the first step to becoming wealthy.
Keisha Bailey is an experienced Wealth Coach who teaches persons how to earn passive income, create wealth and reclaim time & reach financial freedom by investing. Keisha works with investors to create highly profitable portfolios so they can build wealth faster. If you are looking to learn how to level up your money, she can be reached at [email protected].