Welcome to The Coin Confession! Dealing with money in a relationship can be tricky sometimes, so we looked for couples to tell us how they handle their finances
Today: Wahura shares her journey
“Honestly speaking, the way we manage our finances has been — totally unexpected for me. For starters, I am a saver and he’s a spender — So you can imagine how heated some of these money discussions have been, but we weirdly found common ground.
So it all started when we first met. Believe it or not, Mr. Man was very open about his finances from the word go. To me, this was very mindblowing because, how many Kenyan men do you know who are genuinely open about how much they earn, their savings, investments etc. Probably not a lot. And the few that you know are probably the braggy ones who use money as a means to impress ladies. But let’s not get into that. Back to my story.
We met when we were both finishing Uni and coincidentally, we both got a job around the same time. Personally, I was so excited to after getting my first job and I couldn’t wait to tell him all about it including how much I earned. Keep in mind that all this time we hadn’t had a single money talk. All I knew is he was ready to be open about where he stood and all the nitty-gritty but I still felt like it was too soon for that.
A couple of days went by and I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I decided to tell him how much I earned and all these things that I couldn’t wait to buy. “Omg baby so let me just tell you. I earn X amount and to be honest, I didn’t expect that much for my first job. So now let me tell you, the second I am paid I want to take you out to Fugo Gaucho so we can have all we can eat meat — I know how much you love meat. I also can’t want to spoil myself with salted caramel cake every week and omg MR PRICE HAVE A SALE THIS…” I must have gone on and on for hours. And he was just there smiling, almost looking at me the same way you look at a newborn baby when they finally learn how to walk.
In the spirit of being open, he also told me how much he earned. He didn’t seem as pleased but boy oh boy did he have a plan for his salary. “For me, I want to save 30% every month. In the next 6 months, I want to have saved X amount so I can invest 60% of it towards…” Wooh! I was shooketh. This was the first time that I realized that we both had 2 different money personalities. While I was there planning for my salted caramel cakes and Mr. Price offers, he was planning to hit a very high savings goal.
After that, we never really had another money talk as things were almost always the same. Despite being a spender, I was actually really good and consistent with my savings. I just didn’t save as much because I had a significant budget specifically for spoiling myself. Mr. Man, on the other hand, was also very consistent with his savings and investments and the good thing is he never put any pressure on me, so we never really had a fight/argument concerning money. All he did was ask me to do better, and I did.
Fast forward 4 years later. I got blessed with a wee baby girl (Yaay! If you are ever going to read this peanut) Around that time, I lost my job. Which was devastating. So we decided that I would stay at home for the first 6 months to look after the baby. During this period, we relied on his income and my savings, so a big chunk of his salary went to catering for most of the expenses. So normally I have a very hard time asking anyone for money (Well except my parents) and I think he noticed this because I would let the bills run late hoping and praying he would remember to cater to them, or if push came to shove, I would call my parents and ask for money — something that would really piss him off (Why are men so touchy about such things anyway?) So we had a money talk and we decided to open a joint account to cater for our expenses. So this account would pay for rent, electricity, groceries, fuel etc and because of this account, I didn’t find myself always calling him asking for money.
6 months later I got a new job and I initiated another money talk. Seeing that he had covered most of the expenses for 6 months, I didn’t want to strain him anymore. Now that I was earning again, it was the perfect time to have a money conversation on sharing responsibilities. I don’t know if its how he was raised, but this man wanted to continue paying off all the bills (WHAT!?) I really wasn’t for this because I knew he wasn’t saving as much as he wished he could, so after a long period of needless back and forth, he finally gave in and we decided to share responsibilities: I would pay for groceries, the help, and a percentage of the rent, and he would pay for the rest.
One really cool thing that we do today, is we have a joint monthly budget, which basically guides us on how to spend our money during the month. The first thing we budget for is savings. We each have a percentage of our salary which has to go to our joint savings account. Second, because I am a spender, there’s an amount that we budget for my spending (Yay! How cool is that?) and then we allocate the rest of the money to other stuff such as, dates, fuel, etc
P.S: I just found out that he has his own personal budget and apparently I’m an item on his budget. So every time I overspend and go over my budget, he sends me some money to keep me on track.
P.S.S: I am really fighting hard to do better
We haven’t really invested together, but we are building the savings account to get to a particular amount and then we’ll both invest in ourselves by getting a masters. So yeah. That’s us.”
Do you have a Coin Confession that you’d like to share? Kindly send it to email@example.com