Family Is Key to Personal Finance Success

It is fair to say my family and I wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for my wife. In fact, that’s a gross understatement. My wife is the reason we turned it all around shortly after we were married.

I firmly believe family is the key to personal finance success. You can carefully plan your 401(k) allocation; you can be frugal all day long; you can pay down credit card debt. If your family isn’t behind your efforts and 100% onboard, you’ll be wasting your time.

Our Story

My personal finance journey is going to sound familiar to a lot of people, so I’ll keep it short. I graduated college with several thousand dollars of student loan debt and several thousand dollars of credit card debt. Mine was a somewhat different situation after graduation than most. I was commissioned as an officer in the army, so I went to training for six months. During that time, I literally ate out every meal (we lived in dorms basically). I saved nothing. I paid the $15 minimum on my credit card debt.

Then I met my wife. We married not long after and she did something amazing. She got me on the right financial path. She did it with a simple action.

She insisted we save something every month.

We were still hurting because she was still in college. We were going further into student loan debt and trying to dig out of credit card debt. But we saved $100 per paycheck religiously. That simple act changed it all for me.

To make a long story short, we’re now debt-free (other than our mortgage) and save and invest every month.

The Family Factor

Had my wife (my family at the time) not been with me, we simply could not have recovered from the hole I’d dug us. We put vacation pay, bonuses, and gifts toward becoming debt-free. We budgeted. Our entertainment was inexpensive or free. We drove crappy cars.

And we did it together.

Today we make decisions together (and argue along the way sometimes) and once the decision is made – we’re in it together. Having everyone pull in one direction makes progress possible. Family behind you is the key ingredient to financial success.