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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Advice To "Free Spirits" Who Have to Live with A "Nerd"

How to live with a nerd
Yup, I'm the "Free Spirit." Dani's the "Nerd." Sure, she can be free-spirited, and I can be nerdy, but when it comes to money she's the one who wants to budget and plan and save and invest and IRA and frugality and whatnot and whatever, whereas I am, well... I lost interest in this whole sentence a long time ago.

But here's the thing, my fellow Free Spirits, I think you've got the harder job because, let's face it, you're the one with spending habits that need to be curbed. You're the one who needs to exercise a little discipline during the regular budget meetings. Granted there are many things that Nerds need to learn as well—like how not to keep such a tight grip on the financial reins, and that, yes, sometimes you actually have to spend money to have fun, and that that's OK.

But here's the thing, a Free Spirit has to realize that it is possible to have fun on the cheap too! You just got to get your head in the game. Here are a few things Free Spirits should be doing... scratch that... need to be doing in order to make a partnership with a Nerd work in the best way possible. Otherwise you guys will never get ahead financially.

#1 Learn to have fun on the cheap
Sure you can spend $50 and have a great dinner date with a movie and bowling, but there are other things you can do to have fun that don't cost as much. You just have to keep your eyes open. Check around for deals on free or discounted opportunities. Surprise your spouse with something fun at home—maybe even get a little romantic. I think you'll find that planning the surprise is half the fun. Just stay within the budget so as to ensure you'll meet your money goals.

#2 Rise above the "Whatever" response
The person who just says "Whatever" to budgetary matters is not taking control of their money. Furthermore, they're just frustrating their Nerd. Don't be so dismissive. You've got to communicate with your Nerd to help them understand what's important to you. You're both going to have to do a little compromising, but that starts with communication.

#3 Stick to the plan... mostly
A Nerd is going to look at your budget as a financial Bible. Once the two of you get a working budget on paper, in the Nerd's mind it might as well be carved onto stone tablets. So what does the Nerd feel when you then go out and blow the budget all willy-nilly style? Disrespected. Granted your Nerd has to realize that the budget is not set in stone, and that it should be flexible to some degree, but you've also got to understand what it means to them. If there are changes you want to make to the budget you've got to communicate them first.

Living with a Nerd isn't easy, Free Spirits, but look at it this way: in a year's time you're going to have more money and be better off financially WITH your Nerd than you would be without them. So appreciate them. Love them. Work with them. They need you just as much as you need them because, let's face it, unless they're living with a Free Spirit, Nerds don't get to do much living at all!

I love you, honey!

Keep pinchin' :-)

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