How does money change you?

by Miel on January 14, 2014 · 11 comments

We were out at dinner the other night with a couple of close friends. We were discussing stocks, as we often do with this particular group of friends. When we noted that we had surpassed the Million Dollar mark, our friend commented how refreshing it is see that we’ve done so well for ourselves and yet still keep it real.

James and I talked about this a bit on our way home, and it has continued to cross my mind in the last couple of days. While I appreciate the sentiment of our dear friend, it also occurs to me how we have and haven’t changed because of our financial situation.

04.17.12-12PM-Amber-The-DriVen-Class-More-Money-More-Problems

Ways we’ve changed with money
1. With more money comes added responsibility. We now manage three different LLCs and just have a lot more to keep track of financially than we once did.
2. We do have more latitude to respond in emergency situations without as much stress, since there can be money found to manage with various needs (i.e. new HVAC, leak in our place, broken dishwasher, etc.)
3. There isn’t much of a bling factor, but we now more often opt for longer term quality purchases (when we were first together we bought disposable furniture, that was indeed disposable and had to be replaced). We are pretty minimalist in what comes into our house, and what we do have will likely stay around for awhile if it still suits our needs.
4. We’ve also added to our skillset related to financial management, stocks, businesses, negotiation, real estate management, etc.
5. The relativity of money has changed, in what used to feel like a lot no longer does.

What hasn’t changed with money
1. Our day to day expenses haven’t really grown in proportion to our income; there has been a marginal growth in housing related costs (as we moved from a 600 sq ft place to a 950 sq ft place), but otherwise most goes to savings and business endeavors.
2. Our pet peeves about each other’s finance behaviors and perspectives are still about the same as they were a decade ago, though I think we’ve both come to accept what is and don’t often spend much time arguing about finances.
3. We still meet regularly to review our finances and our goals as we did as a new couple.

For more on this, check out our other postings!

Couples Money Mistakes

Three Financial Resources for Couples

Managing Couples Finances

Should Couples Combine Their Finances

Miel



{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brock @cleverdude January 14, 2014 at 7:16 am

It’s refreshing to read about someone that has found financial success, but hasn’t let lifestyle inflation affect them. Congratulations on reaching that million dollar mark, Miel…..I hope to join you in the not to distant future!

2 Kathy January 14, 2014 at 9:29 am

We never get specific with friends in terms of how much money we have. About all I’ve said is now that we can afford just about anything we already have just about everything so not much to wish for. The subject of actual dollars just never comes up.

3 Tim Lawler January 14, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Great blog here guys! I just found you on Google. Congrats on hitting that Million Mark! That is a MASSIVE accomplishment. Keep it going.

4 Jane January 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm

+1 Kathy
We never get specific with money no matter family or friends. Our “what hasn’t changed” is identical to your though! I think it can be easier to be on the same page when you both review your finances regularly. For us, it’s once a month when we update our net worth and budget tracker. It’s a great reality check on how things are going.

5 Miel January 14, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Jane, I think some of those things of “what hasn’t changed” are essential to getting ahead financially. Checking in about finances is a great initial step, with yourself and with your significant other, to start getting ahead at any time. One I should have added was creating joint goals. We’ve consistently done this and have always agreed that we’ve been more successful when we have a clear goal that we are both committed towards.

6 Miel January 14, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Thanks Tim! One step at a time to get there! Start today towards your goals. :-)

Cheers,
Miel

7 Miel January 14, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Agreed, finance talk with friends or family is not common. We are actually more likely to talk about finances with some friends than much of our family. Perhaps that’s part of the DINKs aspect, when there aren’t kids or other things to discuss. I don’t talk stocks with most friends, but the few who like them I find it to be fun. Since we own so much real estate it comes up from time to time, especially when we are buying or selling places.

8 Miel January 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Thanks Brock! The funny thing about making your first million, is that chances are your lifestyle hasn’t changed dramatically, or you never would have made it there in the first place. It also takes a lot of work and a lot of risk. Look forward to welcoming you to the club Brock!
Cheers,
Miel

9 James January 14, 2014 at 10:16 pm

@everybody.

Hi Guys,

James H here – Miel’s better half. One way things have changed is we get more requests for money. I guess when you put it out there that you have money, people ask you for some!

10 Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans January 21, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I think buying high quality items is key to being frugal. Of course, I can only afford disposable, lesser-quality items as of right now. But when the accounts grow, I think I’ll “live a little” and let myself splurge on items that are worth the premium.

11 Derek Olsen January 21, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Under “What hasn’t changed with money” I found #2 and #3 really interesting.

Actually, I found them both encouraging.

What I took was this: More money won’t cover up pet peeves, which is a good thing, it allows a married couple to continue to deal with the real issues. You can’t cover up issues (pet peeves) with a pile of money. It doesn’t work that way.

The fact that you still meet to talk about money as you did when you first started out is encouraging too. There might be a few more zeros at the end of the numbers now, but the conversations are still the same.

Thanks for the post.
-Derek

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