Step 1 To Our Financial Recovery - Join Forces
If the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem then I suppose that is what we did. More accurately stated, perhaps, is that we were slapped in the face with the cold wet fish of reality.
Problem one was quickly apparent. I am a terrible communicator when it comes to what may be perceived as negative news. I like to solve problems on my own and if that is impossible, I sugar coat the problem as much as possible before sharing it.
Being as I have been the sole person responsible for our finances since we were 16 and 17 years old respectively, Shane had no clue as to the specifics of our financial state. Sure, he knew when we had "extra" money (ie when we could go out to eat) and when we didn't. But when it came to things like due dates on bills, being behind on bills, or even our total debt load he was in the dark. We were both to blame there... I didn't want to share and he didn't want to know.
Earlier this year I read this book and realized I was doing neither of us a favor by keeping our financial state to myself. But our pattern of handling money was so deeply ingrained that it took months to teach myself to share information. Thankfully, just before our income took a hit, I had brought Shane fully up to date with our status. We were therefore able to walk into this situation as a team instead of me being on panic mode all by myself.
It is odd we have never joined forces on finances before as we work closely together on every other aspect of our lives. Finances were the only thing in which we were not both fully engaged.
I believe one of the main contributing factors to our success to date has been the fact that we became a team, a united front, when it came to handling our money.