I’ve learned many things during my credit improvement journey that I would like to share. By reading this blog post I hope that knowledge will help you on your credit improvement journey.
- For couples, the path to better credit can and should be a shared adventure
- Discussions with you partner can be challenging! (But worth it.)
- There are no quick fixes, except, perhaps for one
- It feels liberating to get reduce your debt burden
My newest learning are largely about the emotions of finance. Whether you are in a relationship or not, money, credit, debt, personal finance, and even wealth management is an emotional process.
When it comes to finance I am extremely logical, almost like a Vulcan. My wife’s financial personality is more emotional, perhaps like a Romulan’s. If you don’t relate to the Star Trek references, perhaps you can relate to “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” I’m not saying that all men are less emotional about money, or that all women are more so. I have seen couples where the roles are reversed.
Either way, it is rare that a couple has little emotion about money. We all have our hangups, and some are financial.
Now, if you are currently single, I can relate too. When I was single, I had impeccable credit and finances. I was also lonely. I went on occasional dates, and I turned off some first dates when I picked them up in my 15-year old Saturn. I could have afforded a brand new car, but I was too young for that to be in my financial best interest. Believe me, you are better off without someone who complains about your car being too old!
When I finally met the right woman, my finances remained impeccable, but hers were different. I would say that about half of our fights over the years have been about money, and that ratio became higher after we got married. My number one lesson about money and love is:
Talking about money is important, listening about money is doubly so. Knowing when to talk, when to listen, and when to postpone the money conversations is critical. Patience is better than pushiness. Your partner is likely listening — it may just take them a few days to process what you are saying.
I realize this post has focused on money and relationships. When you are single, financial strength leads to self confidence, which leads to not being single (however be choosy… pick someone kind and mostly compatible). When you are in a relationship, realize that talking about money means listening. If you communicate with patience and honesty you will have fewer arguments and better finances!
I realize I left a teaser at the top. What is the one quick way to improve your credit score? Simple: pay down your balances, if you can. (And avoid increasing them with dogged determination).