I’m always excited to hear how Simple users are enjoying the product, so when I read the lovely things Couple Money blogger Elle M said about us in her post, Making the Switch to Simple Banking, I was eager to learn more. Here’s what she had to say about Goals, personal finance blogging, and managing money as a couple.
Simple: What inspired you to start a blog about couples and their finances? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about couples and their financial habits?
Elle: Money can be a wedge in some relationships, but it can also bring couples together. That’s what I wanted Couple Money and the podcast to cover - how do you not only improve your finances, but build up your marriage?
Most couples I know have two different personalities, so it’s not just about the numbers, but strengthening the partnership as well.
For example, my husband is a tech guy while I love to travel. Those pastimes/passions/pursuits/etc. are important to each of us. However, we only have a certain amount of money in our budget. We had to create a family budget that respected our individual personalities while achieving our mutual goals.
How would you describe your relationship with money? How did it change after you started Couple Money?
I now see money as a tool to help us build up our family, take care of our financial responsibilities, and help others.
Years ago I would stress over money; I had goals to save and invest more, but I wasn’t consistent with my follow through. Becoming more educated about different options for banking and other financial services has freed up my time and attention to find ways to be smarter with money.
How does Simple fit into your financial world? What feature made the most difference in how you managed your money?
Our essential bills, financial obligations, investing, and major savings are handled and funded by our joint accounts. The rest of our money is in our individual accounts, and mine is with Simple. I use it to save for gifts, trips, dining out - basically my fun money.
I love how I can set up automatic savings with literally just a few swipes on my phone. As a mom who works from home, my hands and mind are usually full. I love that I can create a Goal and have Simple keep me on track without having to check in constantly.
I’m also going to say that I wish all banks were required to have a Safe-to-Spend feature. It is so easy for me to sign into Simple and instantly see what I can spend without dipping into my savings and messing up my Goals.
What’s the most exciting Goal you have right now? When did you start it, and when do you think it will be complete? Is there a savings goal you think everyone should have?
As weird as it sounds, the most exciting goal I have is my ‘Rainy Day Fund’. I need to change the name into the ‘Go For It’ Fund since I use it whenever my husband or a friend has a wonderful idea pop up, like local concerts or a hole-in-the-wall spot they discover. Since I spend from it from time to time, it’s constantly being refilled.
On that note, I think if you’re in a serious relationship, you should have a ‘gift’ fund to use to surprise your partner. You never know when you’ll stumble upon a great deal on a trip, or find something they would absolutely love.
What does it mean to you to have control over your finances? Is that a state you feel like you’ve reached? Any sage advice for people who are working to achieve financial freedom?
For me, having control is setting a purpose for our money and following through on that plan. I feel we’re moving closer this year by paying off the last of the student loans.
I’d suggest people start with their dreams - where do they want to be in 20, 10, 5 years and work backwards from there to come up with the financial game plan. It’ll not only make the process easier, it can keep you motivated to stick with your goals.
Photo credit: Elle M