“We Have No Money”

When my wife and I were married, neither of us had ever created or used a budget or even balanced a checkbook, for that matter. We were both, as Dave Ramsey says, “Free Spirits.” When I joined Finicity, over three years ago, I was very impressed with and excited about our flagship product, Mvelopes. So I quickly became the “Nerd” in our marriage, when it came to finances, kind of by default. It is crazy to think about how far we have come in that amount of time. Everyone wants a quick fix, that magic pill that will make all of their problems disappear into the ether. But the truth is, no matter what your problems are, or whatever it is you want to change in your life, it’s NOT going to be resolved immediately or happen overnight. Change takes discipline and continuous effort. I like the way Ramsey puts it-change is a “process” not an “event.”

Don’t get me wrong, we still have a long way to go in building our wealth, but we have made a lot of changes along the way. One of the things I was hoping would change in this process was my wife asking me the question I’m certain most financial nerds in a relationship are asked the most . . . “Do we have enough money for me to buy this?” I am by no means picking on my wife, I love her very much, and I am very glad that she would at least ASK me BEFORE she bought something. But the answer most of the time is, “We have no money.” Before using Mvelopes, this meant that the balance of our bank account was ZERO. Unfortunately, some of the time it even meant that our bank account balance was LESS THAN ZERO!

While I still get asked the notorious question, at least now both she and I understand that when I say, “We have no money,” it means that the ENVELOPE we wanted to spend from has a balance of zero and that our bank account is chalk full of what it takes to keep us in the black.

However, that statement right there reminds me of one of the changes that I am ecstatic to claim HAS occurred during this process . . . we have NOT been in overdraft once in the past three years. That’s right, THREE YEARS! I’d rather my wife ask me if we have enough money to spend on something 100 times a day than have to pay up to six $20-overdraft fees a month! I love you, honey . . . ask away!

Kristopher Higley, Designer