Gold Coast couple Lindsay and Steve have two boys and a happy marriage. But their life wasn’t always this easy. In the past, their relationship was marred by feuding over money. Lindsay and Steve’s experience is in fact very common. Relationships Australia reports that financial stress is the top cause of relationship breakdown. Personal finance expert and MyBudget founder Tammy Barton, spoke with Lindsay and Steve about how they stopped bickering and the family life they enjoy now.
How did you used to feel about your finances?
Lindsay: We used to live week to week, month to month. Steve got paid monthly and we literally ran in cycles. Once the month was up, we were always looking for the next pay cheque and we never had any security looking forward to the future.
Steve: Yeah, we were rich one week and poor the next…If I went and spent money, I had a very good memory. I would say “well you went and got that last week” and it would be a tit for tat game. I didn’t want to disappoint Lindsay, so I would let her go and get whatever she wanted, but then I saw that as a free pass for me to go and do whatever I wanted to do.
Has improving your finances helped to improve your relationship?
Lindsay: We’ve moved to Queensland and set up a fantastic family life. We’ve purchased my dream car. We’ve also unlocked potential for future dreams to come true, and meanwhile we’ve had fantastic weekends and holidays in between.
Steve: We’ve got way more now than we’ve ever had, but we’re still earning the same. We’re not only providing for us—we’re providing for our kids and they don’t miss out on anything now.
What was it like adjusting to a budget?
Steve: We can still go and get whatever we want now, as long as it fits into our budget. If it doesn’t fit into our budget, we either make it fit or we don’t get it. So that’s how it’s impacted our lives—we don’t just go and do that stupid purchase.
Lindsay: Do you know how good it feels to say that your kids don’t miss out on anything anymore? For a mum, that’s pretty cool.
Watch the full interview with Lindsay and Steve:
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