I get more mileage out of a quarter than a Hyundai gets out of a gas can. You see, I'm a born saver. I started saving money so early in life that by the time I was twelve years old I saved enough money to fund a trip to Spain to visit my cousins. I took three rolls of film with me and only took six pictures, thereby "saving" two-and-a-half rolls. Okay, I guess I used to be a little compulsive about saving. I know how to save money so well that I built a career around teaching others how to do things like feed a family of seven for only $250 a month, pay down debt, and establish a workable family budget.
My husband, Bob, however, is a born spender. When he was a kid, his paper route money never even saw the inside of his pocket. This pattern continued into his adult years, when he became a fighter pilot in the Air Force. He could still spend money faster than his Stealth F-117 could go from zero to 500 mph. For you Air Force novices, that's pretty fast.
So what happened when this spender landed in the life of a saver and swept her off her feet? Well, I'll put it this way: Bob decided that he'd rather dodge flying missiles in Baghdad than come home and tell me he forgot to use the coupon on the pizza he brought home for dinner. In our early marriage, Bob unceremoniously deemed "budget" the "B" word. The mere mention of that word sent him scrambling.
Now, don't get me wrong. Bob and I have a lot in common. We both enjoy gourmet coffee and dark chocolate, and we like moving often with the military. When we fly, both of us also like to rate the airline pilot's landing on a scale of one to ten. Amazingly, we always rate the landings the same (most pilots average a seven). As a matter of fact, we agreed on just about everything when we got married—except for money. And yet, we wanted to manage our finances as well as we rated a pilot's landing.1