Brady's Story Financially Engaged

The year was 2008. The Great Financial Crisis was in full swing and 18-year-old Brady happened to find himself in a personal finance class with a group of older married couples struggling with financial and relationship issues.

Needless to say, he felt out of place.

While it was tough to relate to people 30 years older than him, their stories and struggles stuck with him. Everyone was using the class to take corrective actions for their problems.

  • “We have so much debt – a house, cars, credit cards . . . how did we even get here and how will we ever pay this off?”
  • “We’ve spent our entire marriage arguing about money . . . money spent on eating out, shopping, golfing, you name it. It’s ruining our relationship. We need to get on the same page.”
  • “How can we think about retirement when we’re always living paycheck-to-paycheck? I feel like we’re barely living today, but it freaks us out that we won’t be ready.”

He couldn’t shake this burning thought from his head – the system seemed backwards.

We should be using financial education to prevent the issues from happening in the first place. If parents and schools wouldn’t teach the basics, someone else should.

Over the 13-week course, everyone kept looking at him and saying the same thing . . .

“We wish we knew all of this when we were in our 20s and 30s!”

They were doing the right thing and getting serious about fixing their issues, but he could tell by the look in their eyes they REALLY meant what they said to him.

He took it to heart and threw what was left of his summer golf caddie money ⛳ into a Roth IRA 📈and opened a starter credit card 💳 to begin building his credit score. 

But it didn’t feel like enough. He knew he wanted to help others avoid making the same money mistakes and build a wealthy life.

The following summer he graduated and went off to school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he met me (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

Growing up, my parents made sure I got part-time jobs and encouraged me to start saving. Although I didn’t make much more than minimum wage ($7.50 per hr 🤪), I loved watching my bank account grow, which is what sparked my interest in personal finance.

When Brady and I met during our freshman year at UW, 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. All the while, I continued working part-time jobs to help pay my living expenses and saving the pennies that were leftover for the $40k in student loans I was destined to graduate with.

I’ll never forget the Spring of 2012, when Brady 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 some personal finance videos with me?

I laughed out loud. A real life LOL. 🤣

Quite the romantic. 

Joke’s on me though. We watched a couple videos and two months later we were officially dating.

It was a light-bulb 💡moment for us. 

It was so clear couples needed easy and effective ways to create financial peace of mind, while living for today. 


Brady Hannah UW Graduation Financially Engaged

from our story to yours financially engaged

We ultimately graduated together from the UW accounting program with Bachelors & Masters degrees, and went on to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).

We began to do a deep dive into the world of personal finance. We read all of the books and articles we could get our hands on, created financial plans for ourselves, and shared our tips and tools with family, friends, co-workers . . .  anyone that would listen, really.😆

By helping others, we quickly realized that young couples wanted to make the right choices with their money, but

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

It was clear that they needed resources that would provide simple ways to communicate about money, require minimal time to set-up, and give them confidence they’re making the right choices with their money as they navigate through each stage of life.

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.

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

The Defining Decade

We can personally attest to this. During our 20s and early 30s, we:

  • became debt free, 
  • saved money for our wedding, 
  • navigated an unexpected medical diagnosis that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills,
  • bought a puppy,
  • bought and refinanced a house, 
  • negotiated raises and moved up to leadership positions in our careers,
  • bought a car, 
  • traveled the world, 
  • had two babies,
  • raised over $40k for charities
  • built a 7-figure investment portfolio and net worth
  • ….and most importantly, we learned how to communicate effectively and manage our finances together 🖤

Our goal is to help you successfully navigate life’s major financial events and find a balance between living in the now AND investing for your future, together. 

It’s ideal to start prioritizing your finances as early as possible in life to help you prevent financial mistakes, but don’t worry! Even if you’re not a spring chicken anymore or you’ve made a few mistakes already, we can help. The best time to start is now.

Thanks for choosing to follow along and become Financially Engaged!