Brady's Story Financially Engaged

The year was 2008

The economic meltdown was in full swing and I (18-year-old Brady) happened to find myself in a Dave Ramsey class with a group of 50-year-old married couples struggling with financial, professional, and relationship issues.

Needless to say, I felt out of place.

While it was tough to relate to everyone (my biggest concern was writing college application essays), their stories and struggles stuck with me. Everyone was using the class to take corrective actions for their problems.

  • “We have so much debt – a house, a car, credit cards . . . how can we pay this off?”
  • “We’ve spent our entire marriage arguing about money. We need to get on the same page.”
  • “How can we think about retirement when we’re always living paycheck-to-paycheck?”

The system seemed backwards

I kept thinking we should be using personal finance to prevent the issues from happening in the first place. Over the 13 week course, everyone kept looking at me and saying the same thing . . .

“We wish we knew all of this when we were in our 20s.”

I took it to heart and did what I could at the time. I found the only investment on Vanguard that had a minimum as low as $1,000 (…I made a lot that summer…) and threw my summer job money into a Roth IRA. I also opened a starter credit card to begin building my credit score. However, it didn’t feel like enough. I wanted to help others avoid making the same mistakes as those 50-year-olds.

The following summer, I went off to school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I met my wife, Hannah.

Brady and Hannah University of Wisconsin Madison Introduction Financially Engaged

Brady and Hannah at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers Financially Engaged

Hannah's story financially Engaged

Contrary to Brady, I (Hannah) did not grow up going to the Dave Ramsey classes. In high school, my parents instilled a strong work ethic in me by making sure I went out and got part-time jobs each summer. Although I didn’t make much more than minimum wage, I loved watching my bank account grow, which is what fueled my interest in personal finance.

As Brady mentioned, we met during our freshman year at UW-Madison. We had similar interests and most of our business classes revolved around finance and accounting, so over the next three years, we became close friends.

I’ll never forget the Spring of 2012, when he invited me back to his parent’s house. One slow night, after a few glasses of wine, he turned to me, stared into my eyes, and said “Do you want to watch the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace videos with me?

I think I laughed out loud

A real life LOL

Quite the romantic. Joke’s on me though. We watched a couple videos, two months later we were officially dating, and we’re now happily married. All kidding aside, it was a light-bulb moment for us. Couples need easy and effective ways to live their best lives while having financial peace of mind. I loved that he was as passionate about helping others as I was.

 

Brady Hannah UW Graduation Financially Engaged

Brady and Hannah Wedding Walking Financially Engaged

from our story to yours financially engaged

Over the next two years, we graduated together from the UW accounting program with Bachelors and Masters degrees, and went on to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).

As we kicked off our careers, we began to do a deep dive into the world of personal finance. We read all the books and articles we could get our hands on, developed elaborate financial plans, and shared our tips and tools with family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers.

And most importantly, we learned how to deal with our finances together.

Through helping others, we quickly realized that people, especially young couples, were eager to make the right choices with their money, but

  • didn’t know where to start,
  • didn’t have enough time/energy/interest to do the research themselves,
  • and didn’t know how to discuss such a sensitive topic with their significant other.

According to recent surveys, one-third of newlyweds are surprised by a partner’s financial situation and habits. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

Without the time and money for their own financial advisors, young couples need a resource that provides simple how-to’s and tools that make the process and communication easy.

They need processes that take minimal time to set-up, and save hours each month tracking data, all while providing valuable peace of mind.

They need relevant and credible information before each of life’s major events occurs. Which means most couples need that info now yesterday.

“Eighty percent of life’s most defining moments take place by age thirty-five.”

The Defining Decade

  • Choosing career paths
  • Getting engaged/married
  • Managing student loans
  • Learning how to invest
  • Building credit for the first time
  • Buying a car or house
  • Starting a family

The list goes on and on.

We get it. . . while personal finances interest us, it’s not the case for most people. In fact, it’s usually an uncomfortable, uninteresting area of life that becomes all too easy to ignore.

So we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. We’ve scoured the web, read the books, built the tools, and tested the systems. We’re here to make the process as simple and painless as possible.

Our goal is to help couples navigate life’s major events by sharing our own journey. We want to help you live your best life with fewer regrets, better results, and more time to focus on what truly matters. We hope you’ll choose to follow along and become financially engaged!

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