– I’m going to share one of
the biggest financial mistakes that my husband and I made,
in hopes that you won’t. If you’re engaged or newly married, especially if you’re
looking for your dream home, then this video is for you. I’m gonna take you on a little road trip. I feel like I’m Mr. Rogers here. (laughing) I’m gonna take you on a little road trip to our old neighborhood and
tell you what exactly happened in the first few years of our marriage. Stay tuned. Okay, I’m gonna take you
to our old neighborhood where we bought our dream home, and it was the perfect
home for our wedding. We had a lot of wonderful pictures. My family from Holland came over and they all insisted on wearing hats, ’cause you don’t go to
church without wearing a hat. So come join me on this little road trip to our old neighborhood. (upbeat music) For the best marriage
advice, hit the thumbs up, subscribe, and hit the bell to be notified when we post a new video every Wednesday. Hi. My husband and I co-founded
Intentional Marriages. We’ve led over 100 couples
in a marriage curriculum where we have shared the
good, bad, and the ugly, and today’s video is about an ugly lesson we learned the hard way, and our heart’s desire
is to help you prevent learning things the hard way, so we’re all about
turning decades of lessons into days for you, so hopefully you can benefit by learning from our hard life lesson on this financial decision we made. I mean, the excuse I have
is that we were engaged, and excited to start our life together, but that was no excuse for
the mistake that we made. As I mentioned in this video here, 41% of Gen Xers and 29% of boomers have cited financial reasons as the reasons why they got divorced, so needless to say, it’s
important that we get on the same page regarding our finances. The problem with Russ and I is that we were on the same
page about making a mistake, and here’s the mistake that we made. Before we got married,
Russ and I were looking for a house to purchase. We had spent all day looking
at homes within our budget, and at the end of the day, I knew that there was this dream home Russ had always talked about, and I thought, it can’t hurt anything, let’s just swing by there
while we have an agent and go check it out. So we did. We went to the neighborhood,
and it was gorgeous, and it was a very large home, all 7,300 square feet of it. Yeah, it was huge. It was a house with a pool
overlooking the golf course, and I mean, it was gorgeous. I could see why Russ
called it his dream home that eventually he would wanna purchase. Now mind you, as I shared
last week in this video, I was the only one that
had a salary to qualify on, so we knew that this particular home was way outside our budget, at least 25 to 30% outside our budget. So it wasn’t a consideration. But as we were walking around the house, I knew this old wives tale that
if you sit down in the house that you are looking at,
that means that’s the one, that’s the one you’re gonna buy, and so jokingly I remember we were walking downstairs to leave this house, and I look up at the top of the stairs and Russ is sitting at
the top of the stairs, and I’m like, no, get up, get up, do not sit down, and so we all laughed and, but little did I know it set
in motion for when we left, I was asking Russ let’s
call your mortgage friends. Let’s just see what the
numbers would look like, right. I mean, that can’t hurt anything. So he called up his mortgage friends, found out what we could
qualify for, and wow, if we did an interest only
loan, that would be even better, and then all of a sudden,
the numbers started to work. I mean, we were stretched if
we tried it, but it would work, so we started to put
the paperwork together, and called the agent, and
told her to put an offer in, and our heads are just
spinning like oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is gonna
happen, this is amazing. Comment below. Let me know, have you ever
made a really big purchase that you regretted later with your spouse? Now did we need a house this big? Absolutely not. (man yelling) But we had dreams of hosting
small groups at our house, having lots of guests over, having a lot of family
stay over, spend the night, and we would grow into it, we would decorate it over time, but one thing I don’t think either one of us really considered was well what about the utilities. I mean, one month during the summer, our AC bill was over $800. I mean, you know I just, thinking back, it’s just
amazing that we justified this. But you know how we justified it is we didn’t ask anybody any questions, we didn’t ask anyone or tell anyone, hey, by the way, this is what we’re doing, because we knew what
the reaction would be. People who loved us would’ve
said, you’re crazy, crazy, to be doing this so early
on in your marriage, especially because we had so
many financial challenges, to add this on top of it, ugh, ugh. So, as embarrassing as it is to share this big blunder of a mistake, I believe that if we share this, hopefully it’ll show you that wow, okay, I thought they were a pretty put-together, financially sound couple, and they made that big of a mistake. Yes, we did. (laughing) So hopefully it’ll
release some of you guys to not make the same mistake, okay, especially you newlyweds. We have such a heart for you newlyweds. And like I said earlier, the only excuse I can come up with is that we were in this dreamy love fog, and that dreamy love fogs don’t
have any limitations, right. (laughing) I know, that’s the only
excuse I’ve got for you. Well it didn’t take long for
the consequences to hit us. We purchased in 2004, and just a few months in,
our mortgage almost doubled. Can you imagine? We were already at the max, and now it had doubled. Oh my gosh. Oh, I remember how painful that was, feeling like we were
trapped inside this house, and I’m just thinking over and over, how did we make this mistake. – What’s wrong with me? I’m getting what I deserve. I’m reaping what I sow. – And so, so the mortgage almost doubles, our utility bills are like crazy, and now it’s almost 2006,
and we can’t sell the house. It took over eight months, and the most painful part about it is we even had to bring money
to the table to the closing. I know, and what I thought would never, I would never share this story ever, it was gonna be our private story. Yes, people knew we
eventually had to move, but what I’ve learned is, when you make bad financial
decisions in private, they have a way of becoming public. Let me say that again. When we make bad financial
decisions in private, they have a way of becoming public. Now obviously people knew we were moving within the two years that
we had purchased the house, but I never dreamed I
was gonna be sharing this with the world wide web via video, but what I’ve learned in the vulnerability of sharing our mistakes is that it releases some of you guys, and it releases you from, you know what, let’s not go down that same
path that Russ and Danielle did, and I’m more about that
than saving my pride. I am more about you in
learning from our life lessons, really hard life lessons. I spent a lot of nights in tears because I was scared
and I was embarrassed. I was just embarrassed I
had made this decision. So needless to say, we were shellshocked that we had gotten to this position, and we left that house $90,000 in debt. That included our wedding, it included credit card debt, and it included the house, and it was amazing that we
went from being debt-free, and fast forward in two years,
we were $90,000 in debt. You know how we could’ve
avoided this whole situation, is by simply asking our
mentors or close friends. We could’ve laid out
our financial situation, we could’ve said this is
what we wanna purchase, and anyone, you don’t even have to have a
strong financial background, anyone would’ve said you’re
crazy, do not do this. But like any negative situation, there was a lot of good
that came out of it. We had met with a financial mentor, which was hard for both of us, because we felt like
we knew better, right, we just didn’t do better, and just knowing doesn’t mean
you’ll do the right thing, but what we learned from
that financial mentor is the whole give, save, live. When we had continued to
give during this time, we weren’t saving, and we were
living to the extreme, right, and so just that simple step of saving and being more intentional with it made a key difference for us. So, now we were giving,
saving, and living, and the second step that
really made a difference was we started to track our expenses. Now in general, we knew
where our money was going, a lot to the house, a
lot to credit card bills, but tracking our expenses
now held us both accountable, and as much as there are
so many apps out there that you could do this very easily but what we’ve learned in
having apps track it for us is that it develops a report,
you look at the report and you’re like oh, okay. When you track the expenses, Russ and I, I look at our expenses and Russ charts them
in a Excel spreadsheet, that interaction, and I’m gonna be talking about that more next Wednesday
so stay tuned for that video, but that simple act of us
doing our expenses together has been so beneficial in us understanding where exactly we are with our finances, and it holds us both accountable
to what we’re spending and our financial
decisions moving forward. So, the moral of the story is, please involve mentors, close friends, financial mentors, financial coaches, anywhere that you are willing
to open up your books, and say hey, here’s a big
decision we’re about to make, what do you think. If you need some guidance on
how to track your expenses, we have a free download on the spreadsheet that Russ and I have been using ever since we moved out
of that house since 2006. So we’ve been using this
spreadsheet for 14 years, and it breaks it up into
the needs and the wants, and hopefully your wants don’t
outweigh your needs, right. So you can get that in
the description below. Just download that free spreadsheet, and if you have any questions about it, leave us a comment below, and we’ll be happy to help you out. If you like this video, even if you thought we’re
crazy to put this out there, please give us a like below, subscribe, and take a screenshot, and share it with your friends. Comment below if you are
ready to include mentors to hold you accountable and
speak into your finances. Young couples and newlyweds, please please please don’t let your dreams overtake your bank account. You’ll be in quicksand before you know it. Don’t forget to join us
next week when we talk about how to use the tracking
expenses spreadsheet, and if you are newly
engaged or just married, check out this video here, The Marriage Manual for Newlyweds, to help you get on the right
footing for your marriage. Thanks so much for watching.

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